Chapter One 1.1- Ireland, Historical and Political Background Ireland’s relationship with England is one of the main factors related to the establishment of the Irish identity. England’s actions during the last four hundred years have been shown by Edward Said, a literary and cultural critic.England’s position was as a coloniser of Ireland with the desire to keep the coloniser/ colonised connection throughout various kinds of domination such as social, political, and economic.1 This connection lasted into the 20thcentury. Edward Said presents the meaning of the English activities and its unmistakable status as a coloniser of Ireland. He explains that the assignment of the colonised people as ‘other’ is one of the significant parts of colonialism. 2 The coloniser dehumanises the colonised. ‘Othering’ means to classify the human being as anything else but a human and the coloniser sees himself as the right self. 3 The status of being ‘other’ stays longer after the first overcoming of the land. Colonisation is more than an objective control of another nation. It is about the differences that are set between two parties with a suggested prevalence of one over the other. Victor Merriman defines colonisation as:An existential phenomenon, colonisation is experienced as a state of being a process of separation, or alienation from oneself, in which minds, bodies, spirits and language of the colonised are abused. Colonial education is a process of co-option into contradiction which corrupts one’s notion of belonging and suppresses possibilities of becoming. 4Ireland witnessed floods of immigrations. The first immigration was in the early medieval times by the Celts who came in the form of two movements, the Fir Blog and the Pritenie. The Celts managed to survive in Ireland. They achieved control and supremacy through business. They co-existed with the Irish to the extent that they shared a common culture and a common language, the Gaelic or Irish- Gaelic. As a result, they created the first colloquial literature and a high culture of Western Europe. “This culture remains an aspiration, a foundation, an architectonic and the pride of contemporary Irish life.” 5 The Celts coexisted with the native Christian Irish people as St. Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland before the fifth century. The fifth century represented the first step towards the establishment of written and oral tradition. Another prime migration was by the Viking that started in 759. 5 They were professional seamen using long ships to travel. During the 840’s they started to build compounds in many locations along the Irish coast. In 902 CE the Vikings were forced out and their power turned down in Ireland in 1014 after the battle of Clontarf. The settlements that the Viking established kept growing making trade an important factor in the economy of Ireland.6Another migration was the Anglo-Norman intrusion that came to Ireland in the late twelfth century, particularly in May 1169 under Richard de Clare Strongbow who was assisted by king Henry II.7 Through the resolution of the first waves of the Anglo-Norman not much mischief have been done to the Irish people, many of the Anglo-Norman intruders incorporated in the life of the Irish people as the Vikings had before them. During the 14th century many laws were established by the English, laws that prevented any kind of cooperation with the Irish people. This act created a feeling of hatred and discrimination between the Irish citizens and the Anglo-Normans.8 This aspect was the reason of the occurrence of most of the wars and struggles of the last recent four centuries. The Anglo- Norman invasion played a significant role in the history of Ireland it started the English and later British concern in Ireland. Following the Norman invasion at the end of the 12th century, England declared dominion over Ireland. During that time, the penal laws against the Irish catholic majority included land rights and social regulations. The Irish people were disappointed as the English law guaranteed that the Irish would not get political, social, and financial opportunities. The English parliament between the 16nd 17th centuries, handed out several decrees proclaiming that the original Irish were not allowed to occupy any power of authority in England and Ireland as well. That declaration 1691 was followed by a set of laws to prevent marriages between the Irish inhabitants and the English individuals of Britain. The laws prevented any English citizen from using Irish language, involving in Irish traditions, or even adopting any Irish laws that were not approved upon by the English throne.9 They were even not allowed to possess a gun or a horse that valued more than five pounds.10Since its arrival, England manipulated the working hands and the natural sources just for its own benefit, and they also underestimated the life of the Irish people. One of the other sources England used to improve its economic status was loaning next to zero advantage to the Irish people.11 Besides the financial aspects, every now and then England called upon the Irish individual in times of battles not as inhabitant but as volunteers. Ulster was brought under the authority of the English crown in 1603. During the late 6thcentury Ulster’s plantations were taken from Catholic Irish landowners and they were given to protestant English and Scot settlers. The plantation settlements, established in 1609, were the main reasons for the political, religious and linguistic division of the country.12In 1651, when Cromwell came to power, he gave lands owned by the Catholics to those Protestants who were loyal to him like the Puritan soldiers, who were and helped him to get to the throne. That catholic/ protestant struggle was about the right to possess a land. With the arrival of Oliver Cromwell, the English parliament gave him a free hand to expel the Irish. More than 60,000 Irish Catholics worked on the sugar farms in England and were sent to Barbados and Caribbean in 1656 to serve as slaves. In 1658 the number of the population declined through slavery and killing, from 1.5 million inhabitants to less than 500,000 only.13During the region of King James II (1685- 1688) and King Williams of Orange (1650- 1702) along with the Limerick Treaty in 1691, the Irish people were relieved from of the penal laws. They regained their lands that were seized since 1641.14 Still, through the following one hundred and fifty years, sets of regulations took the authority off the hands of the Catholics. The Irish were considered different as far as religion, financial system, rank and culture are concerned. The penal laws were reviewed as “Well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of a feeble people and debasement in them of human nature itself as ever proceeded from the perverted ingenuity of man.”15The Irish were not permitted to be members in the parliament. They were prevented from working in any English company. They were not allowed to increase any considerable power or keep weapons. They were not able to join the English armed force or naval force.16 They were prohibited from working in the field of law or any other public service profession.17 The Irish were not able to claim a house, or buy a land. Some landlords exported which lead to the famine 1740 to 1741. That famine caused the death of about 38% of the population and forced many Irish people to leave the island.18?The Irish saw that violence was the only way out. The uprising of the Irishmen in 1798 led to the establishment of the Act of Union of 1800 which created the kingdom of Britain and Ireland. In 1870, Charles Stewart Parnell, the creator of the Irish Parliamentary Party, aimed at uniting all Irishmen.19 In 1886, W. E. Gladstone appeared to support the issue of self-rule in Ireland. Parnell and Gladstone tried to pass the Home Rule Act 1914 and their attempts provoked the Unionists who were Protestants in Ireland. England was worried that the act could divide the empire. They moved to prevent the achievement of Home-Rule for the Irish. In 1914, the Third Home-Rule Bill was activated to grand self- governing for Ireland, yet it was postponed because of World War I.20On Easter Monday 1916, the Irish Citizen Army accompanied by a number of Irish Volunteers took control of some of the tactical buildings including the General Post Office and they announced a free Irish Republic.21 Many men and women were captured and executed for participating in the Rising and later in June 1917, and under an official pardon the prisoners were released and received hero’s welcome.22 The quest for emancipation was the governing idea during the nineteenth century. Daniel O’Connell, a catholic lawyer, known as the “Emancipator”23managed to sit in the parliament. He expressed a true devotion to the Crown, and he believed that liberty of Ireland could be achieved without bloodshed. 24 He depended strongly on the assistance of the Republicans and the Unionists who trusted him. O’Connell achieved the emancipation of Catholics through the establishment of Catholic Association in 1923, and he led the Repeal Association campaign to unknot the Act of Union but his attempt was in vain.25The events between 1916 and 1921 were crucial in the history of Ireland and its relation with England. It was called by its main important parts, the Easter Rising and the War of Independence.26 The political transformation along with the violence caused the separation from England, the establishment of Ireland as a Free State, and the foundation of Northern Ireland.27During the general election in 1980, Sinn Fein’s political movement ‘We Ourselves’ or ‘Ourselves Alone’, achieved a total victory. It was looking for independence from Britain and regain Northern Ireland even if by force.28 Soinstead of sitting in the parliament, it established its own parliament, the Dáil, in January 1919. (Vaughan, 240) Refusing to negotiate with Britain, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) waged “the guerrilla war”.29 The war ended in July 1921 by a truce, followed later on by the Anglo-Irish Treaty which established the Irish Free State. In order to end the discrimination the Northern Irish Civil Rights Association was established in 1962 in Ulster but this only led to more blood and violence.30 For the following three decades, a series of violent events including protests, bombing campaigns and assassinations known as “The Troubles” began causing 3,600 deaths. Only the ceasefire of The Irish Republican Army in 1994 helped to decrease violence and permanently ended in 2005 with the withdrawal of the English army.The republic of Ireland joined the European Union in 1991. Ireland developed as far as economy and technology are concerned. The Celtic Tiger movement has both economic and social changes.31 Ireland moved way from being poor and from being part of Britain towards a self-controlled and independent identity.