Peelers And Sheep
Ep 4: Dubs, Dirty Shirts and World Revolution.
Where were the Irish regiments of the British Army in 1919‒21? This episode goes from Cairo and Constantinople to Iraq and India and puts the Irish revolution into its global context through some of the scribblings of Sir Henry Wilson - the Longford man who was Chief of the Imperial General Staff – the highest military position in the British Empire.
From January 1919 onwards the Empire was beset by strikes, riots and protests and so the agenda shifted from the expansion of the Empire to its defence — even to the defence of London. In 1919-21 the Dirty Shirts – the Royal Munster Fusiliers - were in Cairo, and the Dubs – the Royal Dublin Fusiliers - were in Constantinople. Other Irish units were in Iran, Iraq, and India.
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3. Dáil Courts and Cattle Drives34:41In this episode we have moved into the summer of 1920, agrarian protest has expanded and Sinn Féin are trying to put a halter on it with a new system of Dáil courts – supplanting London’s authority while doing so. We’ll have a deep dive into two court cases from near Mountrath – one in the Dáil system and one in the old U.K. system. Some of these conflicts have a long history — going back as far as the 1870s and we’ll get to see how the Dáil Courts related to earlier forms of dispute resolution.
2. April 1920 – Month of Revolution36:26In this second episode of the Divided Land series we’ll be looking at a ‘Land for the People’ demonstration that took place in Killeshin on the borders of counties Laois and Carlow in April 1920 – and broadening out to look at that month – a month of revolution that saw the burning of police barracks, a general strike in support of hunger striking political prisoners, and industrial action to restrict food exports. We’ll also hear something of the growth of a ‘peace party’ within Dublin Castle and we’ll have an overview of some of the political career of Patrick ‘Paudge’ Gaffney, a Killeshin man and a key activist in the ‘Land for People’ demonstration.
1. Cattle Driving Under The Tricolour25:06This first episode is on what happened when the First World War hit Irish farms and Irish kitchen tables, and we’ll be looking at the tillage movement of 1918 – a time with an intersection between the rise of Sinn Féin and agrarian social conflict and a grievous food crisis. This episode highlights a specific incident in the hinterland of Clonaslee at the foot of the Slieve Blooms in February 1918. We’ll end up then with the conscription crisis of April 1918 – an important turning point in Irish history but one often overlooked.
2. The Land for the People?21:221923 saw a new Land Act, with greater focus on the re-distribution of land as well as the Agricultural Commission which informed policy for what was the major industry of the new Irish Free State. This episode is on debates on agrarian policy within the Irish labour movement, particularly within the Irish Transport and General Workers' Union, the main union for agricultural employees, and looks at it from the bottom-up - foregrounding the words of local activists by drawing on branch resolutions, a survey of the branches, and a essay competition which ran in the pages of the union's newspaper. There was strong support for continuing compulsory tillage, but divergences of opinion around land division, collective ownership and cottage gardens. There will also be a quick look at the agrarian writings of James Connolly.
1. Red Flag in Kilmallock22:49In this episode after Truce & Treaty Irish separatists have assumed control over much of the country and we go to Ireland's dairying heartland and to the winter farm strikes of the winter of 1921-'22. Very different conditions to the harvest farm strike we looked at in episode one of season one, not only seasonality we are now in an economic slump and things are getting more militant: kidnappings, sabotage, the take-over of Mallow Mills by its workforce and the role of the Irish Republican Army in policing industrial disputes.
The Summer of 22 (Season Two Trailer)06:47A taster of what is coming in future episodes on popular struggles as the British state slowly withdraws from much of Ireland and a new Irish Free State is established, a wave of workplace occupations and land conflicts resume in late spring & early summer 1922 - a Third Revolution - a new cycle of revolt pushing back against the limitations of the revolutionary outcomes.
8. Ep 8: The Factory Farm and the Forest Frontier21:52All about habitat destruction, simplified eco-systems, declining bio-diversity and how this ties in the spread of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, AIDS, Avian Flu & Swine Flu – looking not just at human impact on nature but at particularly capitalist forms of agriculture & resource extraction and how that form of society determines environmental crises.
Ep 7: Landscape of Lyme.23:51All about landscape as a historic creation – how what we often think of as ‘nature’ has been shaped by generations of human activity – especially farming. Changing land uses impact on eco-systems and helps spread zoonotic diseases – that’s diseases that come to us from animals – like Covid, AIDS, Ebola, Avian Flu. This episode particularly focuses on lyme and the relationship between lyme and suburbanisation in the US.
Ep 6: In Dublin County In 1913.26:50Starting in the summer just before the famous Lock-Out of 1913 was a movement of farm workers in the rural parts of Dublin – back then the countryside went in as far as Crumlin. So this is Dublin in 1913, but not the Dublin of trams and tenements— this is the Dublin of bullocks and brassicas. Dublin had its own particular agricultural industry with a strong presence of market gardening. The main centres of the movement included Clondalkin and Swords. Also coming into the story is the farmers’ leader Andrew Kettle, who was the father of Tom Kettle, and who had a long career in public life going back to the Tenants’ Right League of the 1850s.