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category national | history and heritage | press release author Friday May 21, 2010 13:25author by Jack Lane - Aubane Historical Societyauthor email jacklaneaubane at hotmail dot com Report this post to the editors

Coolacrease Revisionism

RTÉ’s discredited 2007 documentary on the 1921 execution of two Protestant farmers in Coolacrease, Co. Offaly, features in a UCD summer course in Irish history starting Tuesday June 8 2010, 11am – 1.30pm, in Room Q005 of the Quinn School of Business in UCD.

RTÉ atrocity propaganda in UCD History Course

The highlight of this five-day overview of Irish history for foreign students comes on the last day of the course:

Day Five, Monday, June 15 2010 : 10am – 1.30pm
Topic: The Two Irelands: 20th & 21st century Ireland
The Irish Revolution, 1916-1921, resulted in the birth of the Irish Free State in 1922. This class will examine how Ireland finally won her Independence and the immediate impact that had in the shape of a Civil War. It will also examine the two Irelands, looking at developments North and South of the border that still divides the island.

Afternoon Monday, June 15 2010:
A screening of The Killings at Coolacrease
@ 2.30pm. (Location To Be Announced)
The Killings at Coolacrease is the bloody tale of a bitter land dispute, involving a family of Protestant farmers in County Offaly, which came to a deadly conclusion during the War of Independence. The documentary calls into question the idea of patriotism. When it was aired in October 2007, it proved extremely controversial and provoked much discussion and debate in the media.
Assessment:
Write a review of The Killings at Coolacrease.
Some questions you might consider when approaching it.
(Note: these are only guidelines & are not exclusive)
Which version is more credible?
What consequence does it have for our understanding of the ‘four glorious years’?
As this assignment is to be written during, and submitted at the end of, class,
please ensure that you bring pens and paper as they will not be supplied.


The above is an extract from the official course description. For more, see:
http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:dNe415LYHYEJ:scho...=2000
http://www.arcadia.edu/abroad/default.aspx?id=28744
http://www.ucd.ie/quinn/studyabroad/

The UCD history course culminates in RTÉ’s flawed version of the 1921 Offaly events, suggesting that this version of a relatively insignificant incident is the essence of the “Four Glorious Years”, or indeed of 800 years of Irish history.

The “two sides” mentioned in the course publicity above are to be the “two sides” tendentiously presented in the RTÉ documentary: “Few dispute the central facts of this event but, nearly a century on, the one story continues to divide itself into two – two sides, two sympathies, two truths” (Narrator, The Killings at Coolacrease, RTÉ).

Never mind that the documentary conceals and distorts the real evidence and invents fantasy evidence as it deliberately and skilfully undermines “one side” and props up the other. As they view the film, the novice students of Irish history will hear the cream of the academic history profession confidently assert the message of this documentary’s working title:
“Atonement: Ethnic Cleansing in the Midlands”.

Dr Terence Dooley of NUI Maynooth said: “The Revolutionary period was used essentially as a pretext to run many of these Protestant farmers and landlords out of the community, for locals to take up their land.” This message was reinforced over and over again in the documentary by QUB Professor Richard English, and by a UCD alumnus now lecturing in the Mater Dei Institute in Dublin.

Before the documentary was ever broadcast Professor Roy Foster and Professor Lord Paul Bew, doyens of the Irish historical profession, referred to Coolacrease as proof that the Irish independence movement was sectarian rather than democratic. And revisionist hubris continues to attract academic historians to Coolacrease, like moths to a flame. Professor Marianne Elliott’s book When God Took Sides: Religion and Identity in Irish History – Unfinished History (Oxford University Press, 2009) still peddles the Coolacrease sectarian murder thesis, long after it has been comprehensively debunked.

The ivory towers may be reluctant to let go of their discredited myths, but the real world has moved on. The Broadcasting Complaints Commission (BCC) which dutifully supported the RTÉ propaganda has been abolished and replaced. Plans for a feature film on Coolacrease by director Perry Ogden, subsidised by the Irish Film Board, were also quietly dropped. And the droves of media types who descended on Offaly in search of Irish ethnic cleansing have packed their bags and gone home empty-handed.

The UCD history course’s introductory synopsis above includes a direct – but unacknowledged – extract from the RTÉ publicity material: “The Killings at Coolacrease is the bloody tale of a bitter land dispute, involving a family of Protestant farmers in County Offaly, which came to a deadly conclusion during the War of Independence.” But in spite of the RTÉ propaganda it is now widely accepted that this issue had nothing to do with land or religion. The execution of two Loyalist combatants after they attacked a local IRA unit was a legitimate action by the forces defending the elected Irish government against the war waged on it by the imperial power.

It seems the UCD history students will be given little if any opportunity to critique the RTÉ documentary objectively, to investigate how the “two sides” of the argument fared after the documentary was broadcast. They will not even be able to do what many students do these days – search the internet to see what material they can download for their coursework assignment. The instructions above say: “this assignment [a review of the RTÉ documentary] is to be written during, and submitted at the end of, class” – directly after watching the documentary.

The students will view, perhaps in a darkened auditorium, an hour-long film which won an international TV award for clever camera-work. Editorial chicanery, emotional musical accompaniment and striking cinematography presents powerful footage of hate-filled assassins brutally gunning down pacifist Amish-type farmers in front of their mother and sisters; the motive being sectarian murder, land grab and ethnic cleansing. Ireland’s top history academics dutifully endorse RTÉ’s message.

And then, according to the official course description above, the students are advised to declare, without any further investigation or evidence, “which version [which side] is more credible”.

No doubt most of these overseas students, having written their assignment and received their marks, will heave a sigh of relief and get on with the business of enjoying the summer. And their exposure to the RTÉ Coolacrease propaganda, endorsed by UCD, will be their parting take on Irish history.

They will have little reason to investigate further – for instance to examine the information and evidence in
https://docs.indymedia.org/Local/IMCEireCoolaCrease
or the wide-ranging discussions in
http://www.drb.ie/more_details/09-09-19/A_House_Built_o....aspx
http://www.drb.ie/more_details/09-09-20/Frank_Gallagher....aspx
or in
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84547

The students may never discover that, in a desperate and duplicitous defence of the documentary against Broadcasting Complaints, RTÉ recklessly claimed its flimsy thesis was proven by historical Land Commission documents vouched for by their academic “experts”. A claim which was later proven (NOT by the now-abolished Broadcasting Complaints Commission, needless to say) to be an audacious lie. RTÉ never examined the documents in question.

These documents were published in the book
“Coolacrease: the true story of the Pearson executions, an incident in the Irish War of Independence”,
Aubane Historical Society, 2008,
(€20 /Ł18, from http://aubanehistoricalsociety.org/ )


In fact the documents prove conclusively the opposite case – there was no sectarian murder, land grab or attempted ethnic cleansing.

RTÉ’s Coolacrease travesty exposed the methods of academic history. Far from its purported aim of removing misconceptions the academic history profession is avidly engaged in creating destructive myths. Public trust is eroded. Were it not for the role of conscientious citizens and local historians RTÉ’s Coolacrease myth, endorsed by academic “experts”, would now be the accepted version of an unremarkable incident in the War of Independence.

It is difficult to imagine that Irish academic history could sink lower than the depths plummeted by Dr Dooley, Professor English and Dr Murphy. But this UCD history course indicates that we have yet to hit rock bottom.

For further information and copies of the true account of what happened at Coolacrease contact:
Jack Lane
Aubane Historical Society
Aubane, Millstreet, Co. Cork
jacklaneaubane@hotmail.com

Read:
The true story of the Pearson executions- an incident in the Irish War of Independence
by Paddy Heaney, Pat Muldowney, Philip O’Connor and others
Aubane Historical Society, 2008

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84547
author by Ashling Gerepublication date Fri May 21, 2010 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

See also:
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/85285

author by non-voterpublication date Fri May 21, 2010 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Coolacrease lecture is on Day Five of the summer school according to the link for the course. Below is what the same link says about the field trip to the The Life and Works of William Butler Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland that the organizers have scheduled for Day Three:

"This exhibition has been described by the Irish Times as ‘one of the most important literary
exhibitions yet staged internationally’. It opened to unanimous acclaim on 25 May 2006 and
shows the life of the Anglo-Irish writer W. B Yeats, most famed for his works Ulysses and A
portrait of the artist as a young man. Yeats played a prominent role in the cultural nationalist
movement, was a founder-member of the Abbey Theater and was later a liberal senator in the
Irish Free State."

author by bookwormpublication date Fri May 21, 2010 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ooer...wasn't it Joyce, not Yeats, who done Ulysses and Portrait of the Artist?

author by Portiapublication date Fri May 21, 2010 22:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No surprise there then as this distortion of truth is very common in Irish History.

author by earlyschoolleaverpublication date Fri May 21, 2010 23:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well spotted "non-voter". Maybe at some point in the future I will be able to attend UCD and find out more about the Irish writers "William Butler Joyce" & "James Yeats".

author by Sean Ogpublication date Sun May 23, 2010 08:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are conflicting " comments " but I would define an execution

as killing carried out after some form of court hearing .

Killings in cold blood are murder

Deaths caused in the course of a battle or fire fight are casualties

The term "Execution " has been a much misused word in Irish media esp.

since 1969

Even "gangland killings "have often been termed " executions " if carried out

in cold blood - but they were not in my leaving cert English days .

_________________________________________________________
Coolacrease Revisionism

RTÉ’s discredited 2007 documentary on the 1921 execution of two Protestant farmers in Coolacrease, Co. Offaly, features in a UCD summer course in Irish history starting Tuesday June 8 2010, 11am – 1.30pm, in Room Q005 of the Quinn School of Business in UCD.

author by Sean Ogpublication date Sun May 23, 2010 09:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who ordered or authorised the 1921 killings ?

murder - unlawful premeditated killing of a human being by a human being
slaying, execution

homicide - the killing of a human being by another human being

assassination - murder of a public figure by surprise attack

bloodshed, gore - the shedding of blood resulting in murder; "he avenged the bloodshed of his kinsmen"

contract killing - a murder carried out on agreement with a hired killer

carnage, mass murder, massacre, slaughter, butchery - the savage and excessive killing of many people

lynching - putting a person to death by mob action without due process of law

shoot-down - murder by shooting someone down in cold blood

tyrannicide - killing a tyrant

author by Sean Ogpublication date Sun May 23, 2010 09:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

""The execution of two Loyalist combatants after they attacked a local IRA unit was a legitimate action by the forces defending the elected Irish government against the war waged on it by the imperial power. "

qoute un qoute

Who gave the order for the "executions " ?

author by eaglepublication date Sun May 23, 2010 13:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here is Webster's legal definition of Execution:

Main Entry: ex·e·cu·tion
Pronunciation: "ek-si-'kyü-sh&n
Function: noun
1 : the act or process of executing; execution of the will>
2 : a putting to death as fulfillment of a judicial death sentence
3 : the process of enforcing a judgment (as against a debtor); also : a judicial writ (as fieri facias) by which an officer is empowered to carry a judgment into effect —see also LEVY

I think the IRA, then fighting against British rule, decided that the Pearsons had shot at IRA volunteers manning a blockade and executed them. The war of independence had been authorised by the secretly meeting Dail Eireann that met at the Mansion House after the 1918 elections.

author by Sean Ogpublication date Sun May 23, 2010 15:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for info . but who was running what and

which version of the IRA was operating in Offaly in 1921 ?

I suppose there was no time for a trial in the heat of guerrila warfare

but there seems to have been a form of official shooting / firing squad

but no court .

author by francis hughespublication date Sun May 23, 2010 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why didnt them blooming paddy upstarts looking for independence give these informers, touts, spies like these a nice pat on the back and ask them to cease setting them up for assisanation or ruining operations. tut tut

author by Ashling Gerepublication date Sun May 23, 2010 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Offaly Command of the Republican Army, under the authority of the Minister of Defence Richard Mulcahy, held a Court of Enquiry into a report by C Coy. (Kinnitty) 3rd Battalion about the Pearson attack, and ordered the execution of the Pearsons.

Related Link: https://docs.indymedia.org/pub/Local/IMCEireCoolaCrease/Burke.pdf
author by Sean Ogpublication date Sun May 23, 2010 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for that clarification

author by Confuciuspublication date Fri Jun 04, 2010 22:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

US students will pay top dollar for a trashy ‘history’ course. Yet another UCD money spinner. Tom Garvin’s scathing Irish Times opinion article comes to mind.

“A grey philistinism has established itself in our universities, under leaders who imagine that books are obsolete, and presumably possess none themselves.”

“It should be dawning on us that one of the nation’s most valuable assets, third-level education, has been taken over by non-academic forces by means of a gigantic and very expensive hoax.”

“UCD, an historically respected Irish university, increasingly resembles an English provincial college, run on authoritarian top-down lines, profligate financially, and anti-intellectual. What is referred to with surrealist humour as “intellectual leadership” in UCD is in the hands of medics masquerading as businessmen (they’re nearly all men; welcome to 1961) and practitioners of non-subjects such as “management” and “teaching and learning”.

“These people are truant academics, running universities while having no idea what universities are for. Anti-intellectualism automatically leads to the glorification of ignorance, and this country is well on the way from the former to the latter.”

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2010/0501/1224269475580.html
author by wolfhoundpublication date Mon Aug 02, 2010 02:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could I suggest that students examine why Protestants had " estates " and Catholics had "farms " with special reference to Muldowney, Martin and Meehans use of the word in their justifications for the the boycotting of the Pearson family prior to the shooting of two of their sons, the forced eviction of the rest of the family and the burning of their home.
Could they also debate the hyperbolic nonsense of local historian Paddy Heany who wrote that the sight of the burnt-out shell of the house represented years of oppression while failing to provide a single bit of evidence that any of the previous owners of the house had indulged in anti-catholic behaviour and how now that no-one lived there peace reigned over the valley and the birds sing again ?

author by Munster Manpublication date Tue Aug 03, 2010 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two points:

(1) The Pearson family were not boycotted before the shootings.

(2) They were not evicted from their farm.

This thread concerns the malaise in academic standards. If you wish to challenge hyperbolic nonsense and fiction peddling surrounding Coolacrease start with Terence Dooley. The man has serious questions to answer.

author by Zebrapublication date Fri Mar 11, 2011 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wolfhound? Sounds like a Freudian slip by Dooley. He published two books with the Wolfhound Press. Now he posts comments on Indymedia maligning Paddy Heaney. Everyone knows Dooley cowered in an ivory tower refusing to engage in any debate after the 2007 travesty. Why? His contribution to the RTE pseudo documentary was a profound embarrassment so riddled with errors it was historically worthless. He again plays fast and loose with the facts even including the programme on his NUIM webpage. “Guns and neighbours: the murder of the Pearson family at Coolacrease in Hidden History series, RTE, 23 October, 2007.” Terry,
at least get the programme title correct.

Related Link: https://history.nuim.ie/staff/dooleyterence
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