Current Affairs History Politics

Cutting Through The Lies

An Irish family forced from their home by the Royal Irish Constabulary or RIC as their land is siezed by a British colonial landlord during the Land War, Ireland, 1879

Two excellent articles debunking the recent attempts by Pro-British and Neo-Unionist apologist-historians and journalists to rewrite Irish history with the aim of “rehabilitating” the memory of Britain’s colonial police force in Ireland, the detested Royal Irish Constabulary.

Historian Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc has a short but searing study over on The Irish Story, while Alfie Gallagher has a more personal examination on the Pensive Quill.

Below are the photographs of the bodies of Patrick and Harry Loughnane, aged 29 and 22, both Volunteers of the Irish Republican Army, detained, tortured and murdered by members of the RIC’s Auxiliary Division in November 1920. From Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc’s article with The Irish Story:

“The Loughnane brothers were arrested in daylight at their family home at Shanaglish, Co. Galway on the 26th November 1920. Their partially burned and mutilated bodies were discovered in a pond near Ardrahan on 5th December that year. The two brothers had been tied to the back of an R.I.C. lorry and forced to run behind it until they collapsed from exhaustion and were dragged along the road. Both of Pat’s wrists, legs and arms were broken. His skull was fractured and there were diamond shaped wounds, resembling the cap badge worn by the RIC Auxiliaries, carved into his torso. Harry’s body was missing two fingers; his right arm was broken and nearly severed from his body. Nothing was left of Harry’s face except for his chin and lips. A doctor who examined the Loughnane’s bodies stated that the cause of death was “laceration of the skull and the brain.” The attached photographs of the brothers’ bodies at the time of their discovery show some of the horrific injuries they suffered. The same month that the Loughnane brothers were killed, members of the RIC in Galway also killed a pregnant woman and a Catholic priest.”

The mutilated body of Patrick Loughnane, age 29, Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army, tortured to death alongside his younger brother Harry, age 22, by the Royal Irish Constabulary, Britain’s feared colonial police force in Ireland, 1920
The mutilated remains of Harry Loughnane, age 22, Volunteer of the Irish Republican Army, tortured to death alongside his older brother Patrick, age 29, by the Royal Irish Constabulary or RIC, Britain’s loathed colonial police force in Ireland, 1920

And these are the people certain Irish journalists, including former members of the Gardaí, wish to celebrate?

4 comments on “Cutting Through The Lies

  1. Branno's ultra-left t-shirt

    How do you know that was a ‘British-colonial landlord’ throwing people off the land? Do you know how many Irish landlords made hay in the post famine years? Ever wonder how the farm labourers and farm servants got on with the brave Land League farmers?


    • Very true, but the circumstances that gave rise to the Land War (and Irish agrarian resistance throughout the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries) were in large part due to Britain’s colonial history in Ireland. It is not unreasonable to caption the photograph with reference to the strong colonial element of “landlordism” in Ireland, or the RIC’s role in serving that. A “British colonial landlord” is accurate one way or another.

      Thanks for the Comment.


  2. Thanks for your endorsement of my essay ‘Of Fenians and Fairy-tales’, Séamas. If you are interested, here is shorter, more personal article that I wrote in 2011:


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