Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Rabbi of Belfast and later Chief Rabbi of Ireland (1919-1936). Nicknamed the “Sinn Féin Rabbi” by the British due to his sympathy for the Irish Revolution and close friendship with Éamon de Valera
The always fascinating Dublin history and culture blog Come Here To Me has another excellent article on the capital’s recent past, this time an overview of the most prominent members of the city’s Jewish community who fought in or supported the Irish revolution of 1916-1923. Included in the list is Michael Noyk, the leading Sinn Féin lawyer of the period, and Bob Briscoe TD, officer of the Irish Republican Army and later Lord Mayor of Dublin. Also worthy of mention is Estella Solomons, the noted portrait and landscape artist who was active with the Cumann na mBan (CnamB) throughout the War of Independence and beyond.
You can read more on this subject here, “Brothers In Arms? Ireland And Israel“.
Revolutionary Struggle or RS logo and slogan (Íomhá: Dublin Opinion, via CHTM)
As always the Dublin history and culture blog Come Here To Me presents a fascinating if rarely discussed part of the capital’s political history with a short look at the late 1970s militant group Revolutionary Struggle (RS). Despite the name and unlike many on Ireland’s Far Left during the period (Workers Party, et al) the RS were committed socialist republicans who gained fame within certain circles for their provocative motto, “Nationalise the War!”. The culmination of their existence was probably the shooting of the British entrepreneur Geoffrey Armstrong during a lecture at Trinity College. Several suspected or former members went on to bigger and better things in the areas of politics, law, academia and journalism.
Sarah Curran by George Romney
One of the current buzzwords of the contemporary internet is “hyperlocal”. The term refers to the belief that small, regionally-based websites can best achieve success by focusing on the minutiae of the area they are located in. This can cover many types of internet media, from local current affairs to business reporting. While the viability of the theory is debatable (and to me, at least, it is only applicable to locations with large populations, like major cities or places with a strong regional identity), there are some sites that prove the idea’s worth.
In Ireland one such website is the Dublin-based Come Here To Me blog. Since 2009 it has catalogued the cultural, social and political history of the capital city, as well as venturing broader afield, in ever-more fascinating detail. No person, no building, no event is too obscure for this wonderful website as it uncovers forgotten parts of Dublin’s history as well as reporting on its many contemporary affairs. Where else could one go from reading a post on the 18th century Hellfire Club to an article on urban graffiti artists?
What makes the site all the better is its vaguely iconoclastic, anti-establishment air. This is the people’s history, not the state’s, the world from the bottom up, not the top down. The latest two articles are up to the usual high standards, with an examination of the long forgotten Jemmy Hope, the Irish Republican revolutionary of the late 1700s and early 1800s, and a look at “The Priory”, the now sadly forlorn home of Sarah Curran, Robert Emmet’s great love. I recommend a reading of both.
Two great posts from the always interesting Come Here To Me! blog in their Statues of Dublin series: The Phibsborough Volunteer and Constance Markiewicz and Poppet. Also have a look at their Lanes of Dublin series. It’s far better than it sounds!