Even as this chronicle of daring deeds and daring doers is being penned, in the ranks and as commanding officers on the side of the allies in the far-flung battle lines of the great European war, are men of Irish birth, and, let it not be forgotten, not a few of the opposing side are the descendants of the Irish military geniuses who, in days gone by, fought so gallantly across the continent “from Dunkirk to Belgrade”. They are all, every man of them, bearing bravely, as of yore, their own part amid the dangers and chances of the fray.
If the inspiring story is of necessity here barely sketched in outline, it nevertheless clearly indicates that, as it has been for two thousand years of Irish history, so it will be to the end of the human chapter—the Irish race is the Fighting Race, and willing, even eager, to risk life itself for vital issues.
Keating’s, MacGeoghegan’s, Mitchel’s Histories of Ireland; J.C. O’Callaghan: The Irish Brigades in the Service of France, The Green Book; Lossing: Field Book of the Revolution, Field Book of the War of 1812; Several Mexican War Histories; Battles and Leaders of the Civil War; The Irish at Home and Abroad (New York, 1856); Canon O’Hanlon: Irish-American History of the United States; O’Hart; Irish Pedigrees; Martin I. Griffin: Life of Commodore Barry; John D. Crimmins: Irish Miscellany; Joseph Denieffe: Fenian Recollections; Plowden: Historical Review of the State of Ireland (London, 1803); Hays: History of the Irish (1798) Rebellion; Macaulay: History of England; J. R. Young: Around the World with General Grant; several valuable articles and records of research by Michael J. O’Brien of New York.
By JOHN JEROME ROONEY, A.M., LL.D
“The sorrows of Ireland”! What a vision of woe the words conjure up. The late Goldwin Smith, himself an Englishman and a Unionist, in his Irish History and the Irish Question, finds that “of all histories, the history of Ireland is the saddest. For nearly seven centuries it was a course of strife between races, bloodshed, massacre, misgovernment, civil war, oppression, and misery.”
The first of the great scourges of Erin was the coming of the Danes, the bloodthirsty and conquest-loving Vikings of the North, the worshipers of Thor and Odin, the gods of thunder and of strife. These warriors, in never-ending invasions, had for four hundred years overrun Britain and finally conquered the northern provinces of Gaul. Until the end of the eighth century Ireland had been free from the Scandinavian scourge. About this time the invaders made lodgments along the caasts, passed inward through the island, burned and looted religious houses and schools of learning, levied tribute upon the inhabitants, and at length established themselves firmly at Limerick, Waterford, Dublin, Wexford, and Carlingford. Fortified