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Archive through 7 May, 2005Noel F.Jones50 5-7-05  1:23 am
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Senan Molony
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 9:02 am:       

Jeez, Noel, give it a rest.

You have a bee in your bonnet. Wanna know something? I went on hunger strike marches in 1981. Do you consider me an IRA man? There were hundreds of thousands inflamed by Margaret Thatcher's attitudes, as you experienced in Britain in 1984 and at other periods during her illustrious reign.

There were demonstrations everywhere. The Lusy memorial may have been used because it was central, and they could stand up on it.

It is not a case of the monument being perceived as English. That is so jingoistic as to be ridiculous.

An Phoblacht, the mouthpiece of the IRA, is reviewing my Lusitania book this month. It will be interesting to see what they say about it.
Maybe they will not be as narrow-minded as you suppose.

Martin Ferris, named by our Minister for Justice as a member of the Army Council of the IRA, had a grand-uncle who died on the Lusitania.

I sit down and have lunch occasionally with Martin, who was jailed for donkey's years for spiriting huge shipments of arms across the Atlantic for the IRA in the Marita Ann.

He is a very nice bloke, as many of these individuals are. Martin McGuinness is a lovely man, as it happens. They just believe, or did believe, in killing people for political ends.

So Noel, I regret you introduced this note into the discussion. You seem to feel the need to prove you are right. I have no doubt that they stood on the steps and waved their silly placards - but I have been living in this country for over 40 years and I say for the last time that the Lusitania memorial was not "desecrated" for "months and years" by the IRA.

So your specific allegation remains untrue, and I wish you had the good grace to withdraw it.

Regards OM,

Senan
Senan Molony
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 10:26 am:       


quote:

I would surmise that according to the limited reasonings of the IRA at the time, the structure and its message would have been perceived as "English" and therefore fair game.




I too, remember seeing media coverage of an event in the 1980s. Arthur Scargill addressed NUM members in Trafalgar Square by megaphone during the Miners' Strike.

There were miners sitting astride the great lions at the base, defacing this historic monument with their "Coal Not Dole" placards. I'm not sure if it went on for months or years, but I very much doubt it.

Why did the NUM single out this centrepiece of a central square in central London? Was it because it was, ahem, central?

Why no, it must have been because of their "limited understanding" of what Lord Nelson signified. It cannot have been Nelson's Englishness, as they were English also.

He must obviously have represented the Establishment. I conclude therefore that the Miners were anti-Establishment, anti-Monarchist, traitorously pro-French, anarchist, nihilist and all the rest of it. So when the police cracked miners' heads, they were acting in defence of our most basic freedoms.
They were standing up for Lord Nelson.

Am I right? Or do I have the "limited understanding" that I ascribe to agitators in another country?

I can quite see why a photo of hunger strike placards on a Lusitania memorial would be printed in a British newspaper at the time. It is a lovely piece of supremely subtle spin. The type of thing that would stick in the mind. It is a true image, but everything it conveys is untrue.

Much better than a picture of demonstrators outside an embassy or circling the street. As I say, subtle.

The careful truth that tells the blacker lie.

Meanwhile, to address points raised in your quote, above:

Was the structure perceived as "English"?

It was designed by an Irish sculptor who also did a famous realisation of Irish rebel Robert Emmet of 1803, and, separately, American patriots.
For this latter reason Jerome Connor was commissioned by an American fundraising committee to carry out the work. The money had to be supplemented by the townspeople of Cobh and the Irish Arts Council to enable it to be completed. Nobody else paid for it.

Could the monument's message be perceived as English?

The monument shows the Angel of Peace surmounting a representation of two anguished fishermen. The main message says "Siochain in Ainm De" - Peace in God's Name. There is an inscription in Latin under the fishermen saying "Laborare Est Orare," to work is to pray, reflecting their practical efforts at assistance.
A further inscription is seen above the fishermen's heads in the photo posted above. It is in memory of ALL who died on the Lusitania, "and in the cause of universal and lasting peace."

On this 90th Anniversary, putting all politics and sectional viewpoints aside, it remains the noblest of sentiments.
Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 10:51 am:       


quote:

I went on hunger strike marches in 1981.



A belated round of applause, Senan - somewhere around 24 years too late, but heartfelt nonetheless.

Who knows - if I'd been a wee bit older in 1981, or on the other side of the Atlantic, I might have been displaying placards in the middle of Cobh at the Memorial, or in Trafalgar Square against the Nelson column. Doesn't mean I bear any personal grudge against either Nelson or theLusitania victims, but that these are community focal points (as monuments in D.C. have been the focal point for various demonstrations in the US without any malice being felt against Lincoln et al).

Perhaps clambering up on the base of the Nelson memorial during the 2003 World Cup, with hundreds of other jubilant Brits, also qualifies as a 'desecration' of the monument to a man I deeply admire.
Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 10:58 am:       


quote:

Owen, I will be attending the ceremony at the Old Head tomorrow and I will post photos when I get an opportunity during the next week or so.



Looking forward to seeing the photos, Peter. I hope you have a great day for it...not unlike the day she went down.
Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 11:17 am:       

Lusitania memorial, Old Head of Kinsale

Old Head of Kinsale Memorial
Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 11:18 am:       

View of memorial top:

Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 11:21 am:       


quote:

Alfred Scott Witherbee Jr

Born June 27th 1911
Died May 7th 1915

A Victim of the "Lusitania"
Foully Murdered by Germany



Inger Sheil
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 11:23 am:       


quote:

In Tender Memory of
Inez and George Ley Vernon
Both Young, Beautiful and Gifted
Victims of the Lusitania Crime
May 7th 1915


Michael Poirier
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2005 - 11:45 am:       

Hello Inger-
Nice to see you in 'Lusitania Land'. I didn't realize you were interested? Is it more the ship or the people. The picture of the top of the memorial is great- I have never seen that before. Thank you very much for sharing that and the pictures of the stones for Alfred Witherbee, Jr and George Butler Vernon. Believe it or not, had George and Alfred survived and Inez not died shortly afterwards- they all would have been related when Alfred's mother Trixie married Inez's brother! Ironic!
Mike
" God will get you for that Walter! "
Jim Kalafus
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 12:38 am:       

Odd too, how Alfred ended up buried at the foot of the grave holding George's body and Inez's cremains....forming a family plot, so to speak,
before they were family

For those reading along at home who might not know the story, Inez Vernon was the older sister of Rita Jolivet and a classical violinist of some repute-she had performed at the Met in NYC, did recitals in Paris and Vienna, and became friends with Nicholas II of Russia's younger brother Michael after she appeared in St. Petersburg. Her husband George, whom she had met in 1902 when she was about 19, was a tenor turned
arms merchant aboard the Lusitania en route to Russia to complete an arms transaction involving the sale of 3,000,000 (I believe)rifles, engineered by himself, Inez and Michael. He died in the disaster, and Inez returned to NYC from London where she had been staying. She shot herself to death in her Greenwich Village apartment on July 22, 1915, and the position of her body led some members of her family to suspect homicide rather than suicide for she was kneeling beside her bed in a prayer position holding her face in her hands. She was also kneeling atop the gun. She had recieved a "bad news" telegram from someone named Adams on the afternoon of her death. Homicide, although possible, is improbable. In early 1917, just before the fall of the Romanov Dynasty, the bulk of the money owed for the 1915 arms deal was paid into Inez's estate. It seems that a large chunk of the financing for Rita Jolivet's Lusitania movie Lest We Forget may have come from the Romanov funds- the story of which will be in the next part of our article on ET.
Noel F.Jones
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 3:39 am:       

Senan:

"Jeez, Noel, give it a rest. You have a bee in your bonnet...."

There are no bees in any bonnets here but I do perceive someone apparently in denial of their own history.

"I have no doubt that they stood on the steps and waved their silly placards..."

From the contemporaneous photographs I observed that the placards in question were not the insubstantial ephemera of a passing day that you infer, rather they were substantial panels of some permanence which had been lashed together all round the structure with wire rope or similar. Because of the reluctance of its custodians to take appropriate remedial action, tourists and visitors returning to the mainland from Ireland were writing letters to the papers about it.


It may have been that the British authorities were characteristically reluctant to pursue the matter because of the delicate political situation obtaining at the time. The British press were less reticent.

"It is not a case of the monument being perceived as English. That is so jingoistic as to be ridiculous."

I merely opined that in the shallow revisionist paramilitary psyche the torpedoing of the Lusitania may have been perceived as an "English" affair and that by extension the memorial was some kind of territorial intrusion. Why else would it have been targetted?

Apropos your attempt at analogy: Nelson's column is a monument not a memorial and as such it may be defaced but not desecrated. If the demonstrations, placarding etc. you refer to were inflicted upon the Cenotaph in Whitehall that would be a different matter.

Reverting to Cobh: the statement to be rebutted was to the effect that throughout Ireland graves and memorials were respected even by paramilitary organisations.

And I consider it duly rebutted by the information I provided and the routes to provenance I have indicated. The matter rests with you as you are geographically nearer to the matter than I. If you do not wish to go down these routes so be it but please do not substitute political posturing for inaction in that regard.

As the record will show, I have eschewed political stance beyond that minimum needed to respond to your attempt to peremptorily dismiss the information I was providing. And I see you're still at it, viz.:

"So Noel, I regret you introduced this note into the discussion. You seem to feel the need to prove you are right. ... and I say for the last time that the Lusitania memorial was not "desecrated" for "months and years" by the IRA. So your specific allegation remains untrue, and I wish you had the good grace to withdraw it."

I am quite unable to meet you on that. However, having duly provided the requisite rebutting information, you will find me quite amenable to a mutual agreement to let the matter rest.

Noel
Jim Kalafus
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 4:49 am:       

Insubstantial ephemera?
Shelley Dziedzic
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 4:53 am:       

Wow, Jim- and I thought Rita had a story! I think our Inez deserves at least a made-for-t.v. epic. This has it all from gun running to crowned heads. It's a script for Hitchcock with plot better than fiction!
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 5:56 am:       

Hi Martin,

I don't know if this photo will assist you, but here is one I took of the Old Head of Kinsale coast:

Old Head of Kinsale coast
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 6:01 am:       

Eleven miles out

Approximately eleven miles out, is where the Lusitania went down.
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 6:08 am:       

Lusitania graves sign
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 6:14 am:       

J.F. McDermott
Surgeon, MM
S.S. "Lusitania"
7th May 1915 Age 38


J.F. McDermott's grave
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 6:53 am:       

Lusitania Memorial

Fireman T. Cain
Fireman P. Casey
Fireman J. Coady
3rd Cl. Waiter C. Driscoll
Matron A. Enderson
Fireman J. Ford
2nd Cl. Waiter W. G. Gardner
2nd Cl. Waiter C. S. Gilroy
Waiter T. Hannan
Cook J. B. Hine
Stewardess J. E. Howdle
Able Seaman J. P. Huston
Served as Robb
Stewardess M. E. Jones
3rd Cl. Waiter C. Lapphane
Fireman D. Lee

1914-1918

In honoured memory of those named who serving on the RMS Lusitania died when the ship was sunk by enemy action on 7 May 1915 and are buried nearby.

Fireman I. Linton
Fireman J. Madden
Waiter K. McKenzie
1st Cl. Waiter J. H. Murphy
Greaser O. O'Hare
Able Seaman W. E. Quirk
Fireman J. Roach
Stewardess A. J. Roberts
Asst Butcher G. Ronnan
Asst Steward T. E. Stewart
Steward W. S. Thomas
Fireman J. Toole
Stewardess M. Weir
Trimmer C. Welsh
Steward H. E. Wood

"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 7:06 am:       

This memorial was unveiled by Hugh Coveney to Minister for Defence and the Marine on 7 May 1995

Lusitania Memorial
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Senan Molony
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 11:43 am:       

Noel,

I am going to say this: Your contention is that the Cob Town Council and the townspeople of Cobh engaged in prolonged xenophobia.

The council were either pusillanimous or tacitly supported the hijacking over "months and years" of their central monument. That charge is bad enough.

The police, of course, stood idly for the same period by during this strange vigil by malcontents.

But your wider charge is most grievous:

That the population of Cobh, whose immediate forbears went selflessly out to the rescue, would allow such a phenomenon to occur in their midst. Would deny their own families...

It is absurd.

It is preposterous.

It is untrue.

The only reason I am sensitive to it is because it amounts to a complete calumny on a whole town.

Russians, Jews, Poles, French, Americans, and yes, British, walked along those streets in 1915.
They do so today.

And the real truth is this:

The people of Cobh are the most welcoming on earth.

No-one there is anything less than wholeheartedly embracing of all nationalities. As anyone who has been there will vouch.

In short it is a great town to visit, and I do not recognise this suggestion that it is some kind of "valley of the squinting windows."

Regards OM,

Senan
Michael Poirier
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 12:36 pm:       

Hello Mama
I know, the story of George and Inez Vernon (Butler) as told by Jim, is a terrific one and is so full of twists and turns. Since Hitchcock is dead(or is he? HAHAHA) I can't imagine who would have the subtle nuance for the dark side if human nature to produce such a film. Any ideas?

Jason
Thanks for posting pictures. They came out very nice.
Mike
" God will get you for that Walter! "
Jim Kalafus
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 12:43 pm:       

Mike: Two words in answer to your query: Linwood Boomer.
Senan Molony
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 2:11 pm:       

Noel wrote:

>...visitors returning to the mainland from Ireland....<<

A lapsus calami Noel?

.
Monica Hall
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 8:53 pm:       

I was "blown up" twice by the IRA in London in the 1970s.. Once by a postbox, which I happened to be passing, and once in an hotel, in which I happened to be having a drink. Apart from tearing my dress, I was very lucky. I was also subjected to at least three other bomb alerts - we just took our drinks out onto the roadside, and waited for the authorities to finish their investigations. Not much else we could do because really, the arguments were not of our generation, going back as they do for a few hundred years. I'd be quite interested to hear the views of anyone who has actually experienced these things personally, other than just thought about them from a very, very great distance... in either time or philosophy.
Inger Sheil
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 11:44 pm:       

Perhaps that's a conversation for another time, Monica. I know at least one other participant in this thread had a close brush with paramilitary violence during the revival of the Troubles - when Loyalists inflicted the bloodiest single day on the Irish people since the end of the Irish War of Independence/Civil War.

quote:

The people of Cobh are the most welcoming on earth.



Amen
Inger Sheil
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2005 - 11:54 pm:       


quote:

Nice to see you in 'Lusitania Land'. I didn't realize you were interested? Is it more the ship or the people.



A bit of both, Mike - you can blame Eric Sauder and Senan Molony for most of my sneaking interest! Also work like your own and some others like Ben Holme. I've done a bit of work on some of the deck officers, partly for comparative purposes and partly for their own innate interest. Not much, though - I'm strictly a dabbler.

Great photos, Jason! I still remember getting up there into the cemetery and seeing the old sign. And the yew trees around the mass graves, with the late sunlight filtering through. We were gone much longer than expected, hunting through long grass for the graves, but arrived back in town after dark to find that the townspeople in one of the pubs had kindly taken my father - who was in poor health - under their wing and kept him entertained and well looked after.
Martin Owen Cahill
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 12:04 am:       

Jason

many thanks for the photos.
two questions my friend...

photo1 How high are those cliffs? I think about 100 feet please correct me if I am wrong.

Photo2 Is that land part of Galley or Seven heads?

many thanks

Martin
Michael Poirier
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 1:39 am:       

Hello Inger
Dabbler or not, glad to see you here. Yes, it is nice when your friends interests are infectious.
My desire to do research and share it with others in the form of a post or article comes from people like Jim Kalafus, Peter Kelly, Shelley, Mike Findlay, Craig Stringer et al who have such an enthusiasm for tracking down info. The research process, to me, is very exciting. I can't imagine how other people find it dull!
If I helped, in some small way, cultivate your interest in the Lusy and her people, it makes me very happy.
Mike
" God will get you for that Walter! "
Noel F.Jones
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 4:26 am:       

There's none so blind....

I'll not trouble myself to deconstruct your latest partisan perorations other than:

"It is absurd.

It is preposterous.

It is untrue."


If I may borrow a quote from the great Anna Russell (it's not everyone who has their own street) — "I'm Not Making This Up, You Know!"

Ever helpful, I'll give you a possible handle on the information you are so very evidently fighting shy of. Try:

http://www.irishexaminer.com/pport/web/Contact_Us/index.asp

Des O'Driscoll might be your man there. Ask him if he can give you contemporaneous photographic evidence and text on the hi-jacking of the Lusitania memorial in Cobh by the IRA for propaganda re Bobby Sands circa 1985.

And when you've done that Senan — and only then, — come back here and tell us about it.

Noel
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 4:43 am:       

"The people of Cobh are the most welcoming on earth."

I agree and I'll second what Inger said. They are absolutely wonderful people and very hospitable. No doubt about it.

Hi Mike,

You're welcome for the photos. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Hi Ing,

Thanks, glad you enjoyed them. Your photos are great as well! It says a lot about the townspeople when they did something, as kind as that. I'm sure your father appreciated it.

Hi Martin,

You're welcome, I'm glad you also enjoyed them. As far as your questions go, I'm not exactly sure how high the cliffs are, but I wouldn't be surprised if they are one hundred feet. That land may be part of Seven Heads, but again I'm not quite sure.
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
John Clifford
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 5:22 am:       

Great pictures, Jason.
The pictures bring back wonderful memories of trips to Cobh & Kinsale.

For the victims of the Lusitania, and those they left behind: their stories need to be remembered, and their memories retained; my prayers for all of them, that such an tragedy will never be forgotten.
John Clifford
Inger Sheil
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 5:33 am:       

If there's one person on earth who does not need tips on Irish newspaper contacts and archival research, it's Senan Molony (he is, after all, a senior correspondent for the largest newspaper in Ireland, as well as the one man who has done perhaps more work than any other in Irish newspaper archives).

quote:

I'll not trouble myself to deconstruct your latest partisan perorations...



And there speaks the pot, having a word to the kettle.

quote:

Your photos are great as well! It says a lot about the townspeople when they did something, as kind as that. I'm sure your father appreciated it.



He did :-) Like just about everyone else who has spent time in Cobh, he thought the people there were wonderful, their hospitality unmatched. Even later that night in the Mauretania pub, when Oz beat Ireland in the RU World Cup we were all watching on TV, the genuine warmth and cameraderie were unabated.

I need to find the rest of my Cobh/Old Head photos.

quote:

I can't imagine how other people find it dull!



Welllllll...to be fair...I can understand why others don't all share my enthusiasm for building biceps by hauling out GRO index volumes, covering decades at a time. Or willingly submit themselves to the blinding headache that arises from an afternoon with the microfiche. But then, they'll never know that very particular thrill arising from finding a missing piece of the puzzle.
Senan Molony
Posted on Monday, May 9, 2005 - 10:45 am:       

Hi Ing, and God save all others here,

I am glad, Ing, that you tramped through the long grass. The Old Church has plenty more to offer.

It also includes the graves of Napoleon’s physician at St Helena (maybe the wallpaper did for him too), that of Jack Doyle, the “Gorgeous Gael” boxer who had a colourful life to say the least, and Charles Moore, who wrote that splendidly martial poem, The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna:

Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note
As his corpse to the ramparts we hurried
Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot
O’er the grave where our Hero we buried


You may have passed the impressive edifice to Admiral Sit Robert Stokes, who died of pneumonia within a few days of his arrival in Queenstown. That necessitated the recall of the superannuated Vice Admiral Coke, who was thus in charge at the time of the Lusitania emergency. Stokes might have made a better fist of it.

There are some powerful maritime connections, besides the Lusy. Just in front of Mass Grave A, row 22, is the memorial to those lost on the Mars.



You can see the stone has survived very well its 100-odd years here. There is a bouquet of poppies from the Royal British Legion (Republic of Ireland branch).

The Mars tragedy occurred exactly ten years before the Titanic hit her iceberg. On April 14, 1902, a 12-in round jammed in the breech of the port gun of the Battleship’s foreturret.



When the order was given to open the breech, air rushed in, re-ignited the smouldering charge, and blew the whole turret off, taking the lives of two lieutenants and six men.

The memorial was paid for by sailors of the Mars and the Jupiter.

Also right alongside here are the remains recovered from the British submarine A-1. The A-1 was the first British submarine ever to enter service (leaving aside prototypes).

She was on an exercise here on March 18, 1902, when she submerged to practise an attack on the Juno, of Lusitania fame. She never resurfaced.

The passenger Berwick Castle heard some clunking under her keel, and it is supposed she ran over the unfortunate A-1, the first in a very long list of British submarine casualties.

Among the Lusitania private graves, at row 16, close to the perimeter path, is a rank of stones erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to commemorate the Captain and several crew of the freighter Anglo-Californian.



This is one of my favourite stories. The Anglo-Californian, like the Lusitania, was attacked by a German submarine in 1915. Her Captain, Frederick Archibald Palstrow, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for gallantry, and lies here.

From my copy of the Illustrated London News, from which I also obtained the pictures:

“One of the bravest deeds in the annals of the British merchant service was told when the London steamer Anglo-Californian, reached Queenstown on July 5, [1915] with Captain Archibald Parslow and eight men dead, and eight others wounded, after an encounter with a German submarine off the Irish coast.
The Anglo-Californian, which belongs to the Nitrate Producers Steamship Company, was homeward bound from Quebec when the submarine overtook her, and began firing at her wireless apparatus. ‘Our Captain,’ said a survivor, ‘was a brave man, and kept on the bridge smiling at the enemy as shot and shell were discharged at his vessel.’



Eventually the gallant Captain was killed. His son, the Second Mate, who was by his side, was knocked down, but bravely took the wheel and steered the ship, lying on the bridge, with shells bursting around him, ‘until assistance arrived’ and the submarine disappeared.
Our correspondent states that over thirty horses on board were killed. The submarine, he adds, fired mainly at the bridge and at the boats being lowered. The ship was hit about twenty times.”

We honour all these British dead. We honour their noble foes of the Deutsches Kiegsmarine. And we salute all men who do their duty.
Noel F.Jones
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 2:29 am:       

"If there's one person on earth who does not need tips on Irish newspaper contacts and archival research, it's Senan Molony (he is, after all, a senior correspondent for the largest newspaper in Ireland, as well as the one man who has done perhaps more work than any other in Irish newspaper archives)."

So what the hell's he doing questioning my veracity when he presumably has the requisite provenance at his fingertips?

"And there speaks the pot, having a word to the kettle."

In my reluctance to deconstruct the aforesaid partisan perorations, my intention was merely to spare the rest of you the tedium of reiterative prolixity. Your dutiful impartiality is appreciated.

And Senan,

Should you encounter the Great Historical Airbrush at the Examiner you could of course consult the contemporaneous proceedings of the local town council. I doubt anyone's got round to 'redacting' them.

And if that fails, give Bill Howie a call at Rushbrooke just up the road from Cobh itself. Just mention my name and the m.v.Accra. He was resident at the material time. Furthermore he's a Scotsman and therefore immune to the political amnesia that you give me to believe proliferates thereabouts.

Noel
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 3:11 am:       

Thanks John. Yes, it sure does bring back wonderful memorials of the trip.

"Even later that night in the Mauretania pub, when Oz beat Ireland in the RU World Cup we were all watching on TV, the genuine warmth and cameraderie were unabated."

That's of the great things about them. They are so genuine and warm.

Very interesting stories and photos, Senan. Thank you for sharing them. The memorial to the Mars is quite impressive. I would imagine it stands well against the rest, in that area.
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Inger Sheil
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 3:16 am:       


quote:

So what the hell's he doing questioning my veracity when he presumably has the requisite provenance at his fingertips?



Senan at no point has questioned whether placards were placed around the Lusitania memorial. The issues you differ on are whether these constitute a 'desecration', and whether these were targeted specifically at the Lusitania because of a perceived Englishness.

You have indicated that you are operating from a memory of something you read 24 years ago. Can you tell me exactly what those placards said? Verbatim? You are the one making the allegations - the onus of proof is upon you, however high-handedly you demand that Senan research your remembered observations.

Senan has already pointed out the very apt analogy of the Nelson memorial and its role in a range of protests, and I would further extend the analogy to include D.C. memorials in America. The memorial/monument distinction is completely specious - these structures are both memorials and monuments. If you had been to Cobh - and I assume you have - you would be aware that the Lusitania memorial occupies a central place in a square off the high street. It is the most prominent local site suited for a protest or demonstration, including the civil rights demonstrations of 20 odd years ago. It is a natural focal point for protests.

Have you been to Cobh and asked local people what their memory of placards that went up 25 years ago is? If not, why do you presume to anticipate their reaction?

quote:

In my reluctance to deconstruct the aforesaid partisan perorations, my intention was merely to spare the rest of you the tedium of reiterative prolixity



'Reiterative prolixity' - exceedingly tedious at that - pretty much sums up what your repetitious posting on this subject has become.

Everyone else who has participated in this thread - Senan Molony included - has being trying to discuss the Lusitania commemorative ceremonies. You have shown no interest in doing so. You, instead, focus on your own disputed interpretation of a past incident, basing your posts on something you remember reading about decades ago.

If anyone here is dishonouring the memory of the Lusitania, it's not the civil rights demonstrators of the early eighties. It's you, Noel, by your insistant harping on this issue.

Get over it and move on. As matters stand, you are dishonouring both the dead and the living.
Inger Sheil
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 3:34 am:       

Cheers for posting that image of the Mars, Senan. It is remarkable that the stone has survived in that condition - has there been any restorative work done on it, do you know? Anchor and chains are a popular graveyard theme, but this was a particularly fine and detailed example of the type. It caught my attention as well when I visited, and I think I have some photographs of it among my misplaced images.

The saga of the Anglo-Californian reminds me somewhat of the fate of the Addah, one of the Elder Dempster vessels Harold Lowe had served aboard in earlier years. The captain had ordered his crew to abandon ship, but then had his gunner open fire with the stern gun. She hit the U-boat but failed to inflict serious damage. When the captain and gunner jumped overboard and made it to a liveboat, the U-boat commander rammed and sank it.

I remember seeing the CWGC stones in Cobh - like so many of them in military and civilian battlefields around the world, they are deeply moving.

Apparently the HMS/M A1 is still in remarkably good condition.

http://www.submarineheritage.com/gallery_a1.htm
Jim Kalafus
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 3:36 am:       

Amen and well said, Inger.
Michael H. Standart
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2005 - 5:49 am:       

I'll second that. Very well put, Inger.
Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon
Jason D. Tiller
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 2:49 am:       

I'll third that. Bravo, Ing.
"To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
Noel F.Jones
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 4:46 am:       

"Senan at no point has questioned whether placards were placed around the Lusitania memorial."

Well that's news to me Inger. Get this:

"I'm sorry, but this is a wild, nonsensical and
untrue claim."


And:

"It is absurd. It is preposterous. It is untrue."

When I am assailed in such manner what to you expect me to do? Capitulate? Sorry Inger, I'm not of that kidney.

"The issues you differ on are whether these constitute a 'desecration', and whether these were targeted specifically at the Lusitania because of a perceived Englishness."

I couldn't disagree more. Mr Moloney was clearly seeking to deny that the primary desecration, (the hedging about of the memorial with substantial IRA propaganda placards over a period of time) ever took place, never that the rationale you now put forward obtained. Go back and read the posts.

And if you want deconstruction and prolixity, Mr Moloney put to me the following:

"........Your contention is that the Cob Town Council and the townspeople of Cobh engaged in prolonged xenophobia.

The council were either pusillanimous or tacitly supported the hijacking over "months and years" of their central monument. That charge is bad enough.

The police, of course, stood idly for the same period by during this strange vigil by malcontents."


Exactly. Those were PRECISELY the consequent allegations made in the British press at the time. As to whether the inaction of the municipality and/or the police stemmed from "xenophobia" or intimidation, you must enquire locally. The consensus favoured the latter.

On a detail: the plinth of Nelson's column has provided a convenient podium for issues contentious and otherwise ever since it was built. That does not categorise as a desecration (the structure is rather large for that in any case!).

As the record will show (if anyone should care to go back and actually read it), all I originally did was provide some contextual countervailing information without any political 'side' to it. This being Ireland, I knew there was a risk that some would rise, as to a bait, and seek to politicise it but I did not expect to encounter such irrational vehemence. Or indeed — and regrettably — from a quarter that I hitherto regarded as accruing some gravitas.

All-in-all I consider I have shown commendable restraint in responding to an unprovoked attack upon my veracity and integrity. As the matter clearly remains unresolved I'm minded to spend the money (you'll have to go back and look that one up an'all).

For the time being I look forward to receiving Mr Moloney's meet apology in due course.

Noel
Inger Sheil
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 6:58 am:       


quote:

I couldn't disagree more. Mr Moloney was clearly seeking to deny that the primary desecration, (the hedging about of the memorial with substantial IRA propaganda placards over a period of time) ever took place, never that the rationale you now put forward obtained. Go back and read the posts.



I have read the posts - again - from begining to end. Doing so makes it quite clear to me that you do not understand the point Senan is disputing(and, incidently, why others are so resoundingly of the opinion expressed here publicly and privately that enough of your axe grinding is quite enough). As your own cites make clear, Senan made no claim that placards were never erected in, on or near the vicinity of the memorial. What he did dispute is the view put forward by you that this consituted a prolonged 'desecration' of the memorial, and the implications of xenophobia on the part of the local population, continuing to this day.

Again - you are operating from something you remember reading about decades ago, regarding a highly contentious political point that polarised public opinion not just in Ireland or England, but around the world. While you desire to present yourself as having no 'political side' to your posts, a side is most certainly discerned by many who have read this thread. The very characterisation of the placards as a 'desecration' rather than as 'a protest', and your interpretation of their placement indicate that there is most certainly a 'side' to your comments. You compound this by your theorising on the present-day reactions of Cobh residents to questioning on the matter of the placards might be, without proferring any evidence as to this being the case (but then, of course, coming from 'the mainland' and 'this being Ireland' your own entrenched biases are such that I wonder if you're even cognisant of the calumny that is so clearly evident to others).

The analogy of Nelson's column (as with other memorials, such as those located in DC) is an excellent and apt one. All of these, because of their location, have been convenient focal points for demonstrations. There were demonstrations all over the world over the events that took place in 1981. You compound this by your theorising on the present-day reactions of Cobh residents to questioning on the matter of the placards might be, without proferring any evidence as to this being the case (but then, of course, coming from 'the mainland' and 'this being Ireland' your own entrenched biases are such that I wonder if you're even cognisant of the calumny that is so clearly evident to others).

quote:

All-in-all I consider I have shown commendable restraint in responding to an unprovoked attack upon my veracity and integrity.



You're a one-man band in that regard - I don't think you have shown any restraint at all, but rather considerable self-indulgence and not a little self-congratulation in your posts. As responses in this thread indicate, people want to talk about the Lusitania - and that is difficult to do with your resounding and deafening axe-grinding. Your contribution to this thread has been neither constructive or instructive.

quote:

For the time being I look forward to receiving Mr Moloney's meet apology in due course.



If anyone has shown admirable, commendable and, indeed, quite noble restraint in this thread, it is Senan Molony - whose name you apparently can't even spell correctly. If an apology is owed by anyone, it is your own to the people who have tried to participate in this thread, only to have the discussion derailed by your decision to introduce a highly contentious political issue and to continue pushing it, ignoring all efforts to turn the flow of discussion back to the anniversary commemorations.

It is clear that your view is so narrow and so blinkered you have no idea why members of this board have made their views that 'enough is enough' known. Rather than continuing your personal vendetta on this issue, igniting further bitter political controversy, I suggest you contribute something constructive to the discussion about the Lusitania.
Paul Rogers
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005 - 8:39 am:       

This discussion has more than run its course, and everyone has had ample opportunity to state (and re-state) their views.

Time to move on, I feel.
It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.
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