Category: Ireland

Who shot the Tiger?

In the following analysis, the given source will be examined and interpreted by the means of an appropriate working method and background knowledge.

In this visualisation which can be found on, alternatively taken from the Central Statistic Office Ireland or from the Central Bank of Ireland, the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as the gross national product (GNP) of Ireland are depicted in percental change according to the years of 1985 until the forecast of 2010. The gross national product is described by the line graph whereas the bar chart shows the course of the gross domestic product. Since both aspects are closely connected to each other, the course of theirs are rather similar so the differences are not considerable. Hence, the description below refers to both of them.

In 1985, no change of the GNP/GDP is remarkable. In the following years, one generally recognizes an increase of the GNP’s/GDP’s change up to 6,5% in Ireland until it declines to 0% in 1995. Within that period of time, the growth is not steady but inconstant. That means that the GNP’s/GDP’s change rose from 1985 till 1987 from 0% to 4% and drops to 2 % in the following year. It reaches its next peak of 6,5% change in the subsequent 3 years, in 1990. Fallen by 4,5% to 2% again in 1991, a barely rise to 3% in 1993 and a rapid one to 6,5% in 1994 is obvious before it reaches its low points of 0% in 1995.

In the years of 1995 to 2006 , a significant and rapid change to 10% is noticeable which drops to 6,5%. From 1995 to 1996, the GNP’s/GDP’s change goes through a sudden increase from 0% to 8%. In 1997, the change increases by 2% to 10% and drops at the same rate to 8% in the subsequent year 1998 which is followed by the peak of 10% in 2000. It falls sharply to 3% within 2 years, in 2002 but in 2003, it rises again to 6,5% . One year later, it falls to 4% and increases in 2 years to 6,5%.

From 2007  to 2010 (forecast), a steep decrease to the low point of -11% in 2009 is considerable which weakens to -2% in 2010.


With the help of background knowledge, this course of GNP’s/GDP’s change will be explained. The GNP/GDP shows indirectly the prosperity of a country so does it in this case. Since only its changes are depicted in that visualisation, the annual progress can be seen.

From 1985 until 1995 everything is normal but the short depression symbolizes the cause for the decrease in the latter half of that period. Reason for the increase of GNP’s/GDP’s change in the approximately following 11 years till 2006 is the Celtic Tiger, which represents an economic boom in Ireland. This economic development is based on several factors which mainly are the capital investment, the immigration, the lower labour costs, the pro business government and the membership in the European Union. Closely connected to this success are in general advanced prosperity and less poverty. The role of Ireland during the Lisbon Treaty may throw a bad light on its reputation probably causing the decrease in 2000. Aspects which lead to the drastic fall of the GNP’s/GDP’s change into the negative area, so the economic bust, are the excessive oil prices,the financial crisis, the liquidation, the inflation and the inappropriate dealing with money. The forecast of the year 2010 shows the data stabilizing  its economy by approaching 0% change.

IRA Dissidents

In the articles  1 , 2 , 3 the assassination of two soldiers and one policeman by dissident republicans is the central topic.

It states that those extreme and exeggerated actions are  counter-productive ones. These murders show their demand of a re-starting war and not to progress in democratic and peaceful compromises which have developed within the last decades and claimed many victims. Apart from that the reader is reminded of the events of the past to be conscient of what is right or wrong. Therefore, this happening is held as useless as well as unnecessary.

Nowadays the people all over Ireland show their interest in a peaceful compromise without the use of violenceby condemning these assassinations as cowardly ones.

Peace Process

In the three sources ” No More Terror ” , ” The Good Friday Agreement ” and ” A Farewell to Arms ” the Peace Process in Northern Ireland is in the thick of the things.

After 25 years,  the conflict apparently ends as the Belfast Telegraph publish the information of a ceasefire by the IRA . Though many see this happening with suspicion because of several similar events in the past which were no use , their relief and their hope of a permanent peaceful compromise is obvious. Considering all the victims and the damage  which were caused by the IRA’s use of violence, everybody being characterized by the Troubles and others, wants to achieve the purpose of a peaceful compromise although it is probable impossible.

This disunitiy was constant for decades. As a result of the many and different parties the people hardly find a consensus. That decision-making bodies are influenced by surrounding / governing countries. Each wants to put the own ideas through to be in advantage and to benefit and thereforea one is in a kind of situation of a Jigsaw Puzzle.

Although firsts steps towards peace are done as in the Good Friday Agreement which guarantees a more emphasized relation  between Northern Ireland and the Republich of Ireland. Apart from that, by this  agreement the values like tolerance, trust and respect get a more siginficant role.

All in all, one can not prospect the end because the conflicts between the parties will last and there always will be extremists who support the idea of bloodshed.

In the course of centuries there existed a tension between the Catholics and the Protestants. In Northern Ireland, the population mainly consisted of Catholics.

The Protestants and Unionists refused to listen to them and were insensitive to Catholic grievances. October 1968, the civil rights movement in the USA encouraged  the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association to publicize the gross ill-treatment of Catholics in local housing. Those marches took place in Londonderry ( Derry to the Catholics ) and the route, the people took, provoked the opponents to react. As the police, The Royal Ulster Constabulary, ceased the match by using batons and water cannons, these actions were broadcasted world-wide on television.

Although there had been some reforms introduced in order to calm the campaigners’ demands, other risings of sectarian confrontation in November 1968 and in January 1969 could not have been prevented. The participants were ambushed and attacked by 200 Protestants in the south of Derry.

Those occurences led to the reappearance of the Irish Republican Army in the form of the Provisional Irish Republican Army or also called Provisionals supporting the renewed use of terrorism. That was a reason why the Protestant paramilitary groups or also Loyalists came into being.

Because of violence from both sides, the British government was to send troops to the province in order to maintain order.

Over the next two years, riots and terrorism proceeded in the two main cities, Belfast and Derry.

I receive a piece of paper

There’s a name

I read the name

I kill the person

I can’t help it

It is impossible to stop


I receive a piece of paper

There’s a name

I give it a short view

Strangely, I do it again

But I can’t help it

It is hard to resist


I receive a piece of paper

There’s a name

I notice it is there

I still assassinate the person, it is a habit

I’m conscious about everything

I know what I do

I see the cause

I can help it


I receive a piece of paper

There’s a name

I remove the cause


There’s no paper anymore

Padraig Pearse, the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Harp

  1. Outline how Henry characterises Pearse and the Irish Volunteer.


    • wears a full uniform, pistol, provision, sword (p. 99 ll. 6-7)
    • sweating like a bastard (p.99 l. 10)
    • little brother, sister (p.99 l. 10, p.101 l. 13)

    • soft voice (p.103 l. 26)

    • reads out proclamation (p. 103 ll. 16ff.)  important person in the Easter Rising


    • Jesus, I hate the Volunteers.” (p. 110 l. 35)
    • Henry is ready to shoot Volunteers (p. 122 ll.14-16)

task 2:Explain the significance of Irish harps and rosaries.

harps: The harp is probably the most popular national symbol of Ireland. With the Easter Rising the Irish wanted to take over the whole country and that the british soldiers would leave.It is emphasized by the sentence ʺWe´ll put harps on everythingʺ (p.96 l.38) and this should also express that the Irish identify with the harps and that everything will be under irish control.

rosary: The rosary is in the novel a kind of symbol for hope during the Easter Rising. When the irish rebels are surrounded by the British they are scared to die and that the fights will be over and they don´t have a chance to win against them.

Because of so many attacks by the British the hope is failing which is expressed by the words ʺthe rosary had broken into a sprintʺ (p.126 l.20). The rosary is also a symbol for religion (especially the roman catholic one) and for the belief in god.

3.Interpret how Henry comments on the Volunteers,their efforts and their

ultimate failure.

-sorry-looking (p.100 l.8)

-detests the Voluteers, being rich and detesting the slummers

(p.110 l.35ff)

– class differences> ready to kill them (p. 122 l.14ff)

> He cannot stand them because of their origin and their opinion about class differences

  1. Henry´s relationship to the Volunteers:

– fights together with them (p.100 ll. 6-7)

– thinks that they are richer and do not know anything about poverty (p. 121 ll. 10-11,122; ll. 7-16, 20-28)

– does not agree to the Volunteers´ view of justice at all > is ready to kill them (p. 122 ll. 20-29)

  • thinks that they are used to rich circumstances because they are do not eat meat on Fridays but when he eats their food it is the best meal he ever ate (p. 138 ll. 15-24) > ungrateful

Hai, Hannah, Merle


The Wind that shakes the Barley is a 2006 published film, made by Ken Loach set during the Irish War of Independence. Its deals with two brother’s developement of the attitudes towards Ireland’s independence.

Like many other Irish, both, the younger Damien O’Donovan  and Teddy O’Donovan can not stand the contemporary supression by the British. In order to express this detestation, a willfull friend called Micheál Ó Súillebheán refuses to tell the British troop his name in English but only in Gaelic whereas the others who are brutally asked do so. This action is not tolerated by the British soldiers and that is why they catch Micheál Ó Súillebheán to take his life in a savage way while the others are forced to witness that murder.


Micheáil was killed because he wouln’t say his name in English. That you call a martyr, is it Teddy?

The video also contents the quote above. =)

This quotation presents two perspectives towards the martyrdom.

People should be aware of the fact that this was a kind of senseless death because if Micheáil Ó Súillebheán had said his name in English, his life would not have been taken in this inhuman murder. This was just a routine control by the British and if he had been concious, nobody would have been hurt in any matter. To protect his family and his friends, the 17-year-old Micheál should have bowed the Birtish command. Apart from that, there is no need to put oneself that out for that aim. It is possible to compromise in a peacefully manner.

In contrast to that, Micheáil Ó Súillebheán believed in that aim and without any doubt, he was prepared to resist every kind of British supression. Thus, the will of Ireland’s independence and freedom was shown as interminable. It seems to me that this expresses the former determination of many Irish during the oppression by the British. Those were sure about what they did and thought that only absolute resistance could lead to the targets. In order to achieve the purposes, those even sacrificed their lives.

Therefore, I am convinced that this was a considerable and justified act of martyrdom by Micheáil Ó Súillebheán.

The Easter Rising 1916

The Historical Background:

• too little influence by the Irish on local affairs

• discontent in Ireland

• Home Rule League

• Local Government Act 1898

• Land Purchase Act of 1903

• Parliament Act 1911

• >improvement of society

• demand of Home Rule still existed

• 1915 foundation of the Military Council and the Provisional Government

• Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) planed insurrection (military manoeuvre) on 23rd April 1916. England in WWІ – “England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity”

Imortant Persons:

James Connolly

• *1868 in Edinburgh

• leader of the socialist idea at this time

• was in the British Army/stationed in Dublin until 1896

• founded thi Ierish Socialist Republican Party

• participated in the foundation of the Irish Citizen Army (1913)

• decided on a connection between Irich Citizen Army and Irich Republican Brotherhood

• was commandant at Easter Rising

• punished/executed on 12th May 1916

Patrick Pearse

• spent his whole life in Dublin (1879-1916)

• 1895: member of the Gaelic League ( one of its leaders)

• 1913: one of the founders of the Irish Volunteers/ joined the IRB in 1914

• was author of the proclamation of the Irish Republic and leader of the Easter Rising

• sentences to death and killed (3rd May 1916)

Thomas James Clarke

*1857 at Isle of Whight/ moved to Ireland

• when he was 18 years old he became member of the IRB

• 1883: plans to destroy London Bridge > prison for 15 years

• stayed in America for some years then came back to Ireland 1907

• worked again in the IRB

• became member of the Irish Volunteers/ helped organizing the Easter Rising

• imprsionment/ execution(3rd May 1916)

Eamon de Valera

*1882 in New York City

• grew up at his grandparents in Ireland

• studied mathematics after finishing school

• became member of the Gaelic League

• was one of the founders of the Irish Volunteers in 1913

• participated in the Easter Rising in 1916 and was sentenced to death

>punishment was reduced to life imprisonment because of his American origin

The Insurrection:

• 21st April: – Shipment of arms from Germany captured.

• owing to the capture of shipment and the refusal of the military manoeuvre insurrection postponed until 24th April – Chance of success? “None whatever”

• about 1500 ill-equipped insurgents occupied buildingsto be in advantage

• Proclamation: independence – equality – right for freedom and sovereignty- political, economic and social change- insurrection as a part of a long-established action

• Michael Collins dominant figure” most effective and efficient officer in the place”

• British came with artillery- destroyed Dublin- civilian victim of insurrection

• unconditional surrender with the duty to save the Irish civilians

• 450 killed (250civilians)- about 2600 injured- 9 missing- about 3000 arrests- 16 executions

Consequences of the Easter Rising:

• Leaders were executed except for Eamon de Valera

(had an American origin and the Bristish did not want to risk a fight with the USA)

• Irish population was scandalized by executions,arrests and brutality

/fighters became martyrs/number of members in Sinn Féin increased.

• After other revolts( e.g: Civil War/ Anglo-Irish-War): Ireland became independent in 1949

• Easter Rising : foundatio of the IRA

Even today they fight for unity between the Republic and Northern Ireland.

• Easter Rising as exanple for the Bengali who started the Chittagong revolt

to drive the English out of India.


By Hannah Knopf and Hai Nguyen

September 3rd, 1729

Wanna have some of the roasted children’s leg?

The text ‘A Modest Proposal’ was published by Jonathan Swift in 1729 and deals with an inhuman suggestion to the Irish population in order to prevent the contemporary mass starvation and abortion.

To achieve the purpose of less starvation and abortion Jonathan Swift proposes the children breeding. These fat and well breeded ones shall be sold in order to serve as delicious dishes for the wealthier landlords. Apart from that, their skins would serve as lovely gloves or summer boots. Because of this method women would not be prevented to work. In addition to that the poor families would have something of value and could improve their living standards. The behaviour of men and landowners would be less aggressive and savage. Then, an enormous  improvement of society, economy and moral will result due to that measure. Ireland would progress and overcome the grievances on its own. Furthermore,  Swtifts emphasises that this is the only chance for a change and that his intention is the public good.

In a kind of dystopia the reader is shown the grievous position we, the Irish, are in. Therefore, the exaggerated, ironic proposal shall be an appeal to the English. Indeed, the inactivity of the ‘ leading ‘ government contributed to this contemporary misery. The Irish folk needs economic and political aid to overcome the disaster. Within this published article, officially,  the Irish shout for help again. It would be such a shame if no encouragement to change  is caused by those ‘calls for aid’ and the English keep on ‘killing’ us, a part of its population, with conscience!!!

Text Analysis

Seosamh Mac Grianna – ‘On the Empty Shore’

The short story  ‘On the Empty Shore’ written by Seosamh Mac Grianna deals with the grievous life during the Great Famine in Ireland.


(ll. 1 f.) It was cold on the barren ridge, for it was within three weeks of All -Hallowtwide. The air was cold, and the grey crags and the potato field under the lee of the hill were cold. And Cathal O Canann was cold as he traversed the field, hoking here and there. Cold, hungry, ragged, his old clothes torn and patched, hung in tatters around his big bare bones. It was an avid search he was making, like the wind ravenous search of an animal, and in spite of that, his movement was sluggish.

It conveys a feeling of poverty because the protagonist is in a grievious position with no food close to the subsistence level. The situation is described as cold, dark, hopeless and stifling supported by the miseries the protagonist is in.

(ll.25 f.) He felt himself a little colder, a little emptier than before, and his heart a little sorer in his breast. If he and the man that was gone had ever spent a while happily in each other’s company, he had forgotten it. He did not recall any of the old man’s peculiar ways, his laugh, or the sound of his voice, or any word he had said, or any deed he had done, such as a friend would like to recall, the little remembrances which sadden the one that is left. He did not think of saying a prayer for the soul which had just torn itself painfully out oft hat wasted body. He had forgotten God, for it seemed that God had forgotten him a long time ago, ever since the blight came on the potatoes, since the beginning of the bad times. He sat there bruised in sorrow. His soul inside him was like a dark pool, which no stream entered of left, but lay there in a numbing stillness, under a sout coat of slime.

This quote backs the impression of silence and the dark, sad and stifling atmosphere. Apart from that the hopelessness is strenghtened by the loss of the belief in God.

(ll.40 f.)Loneliness came on him now, the loneliness that comes on one who has a corpse in the house, this shiver of cold that comes from death, and makes people gather to wake the departed. But the time for wakes was no more. For as life was hardening, people were becoming distant with one another. In happy times people rejoice in their neighbours. In evil times they keep to themselves, and huckster up all their strength to fight the world. And of late people were dying in hundreds, melting away with hunger, falling to fever. Some of them were getting Christian burial, some of them were lying in heaps in unhallowed clay.

The poverty, loneliness, death and the change of society are expressed in this part considerably.

(ll.102 f.) More deeply crushed, more painful, weaker, he walked on. The world was blacker than ever. The cold was keener.

The increase of negative attitudes is refered.

(ll. 126 f.) A white seagull sailed on its wings above his head,crying and crying piteously. The sun came out from behind a cloud, and spread a weak watery light, that was like the spirit of fire and the spirit of frost commingled. It spread around over the covering of the dead, over the fields of undug potatoes, over the road that were lonely, over the houses where silence reigned.

The recent quote upholds the silence and loneliness in the course of this short story.


The short story  ‘On the Empty Shore’ written by Seosamh Mac Grianna deals with the grievous life of Cathal and the solitude.

In the course of the plot the silence and the loneliness play a major role. Furthermore, here and there the atmosphere is expressed in a negative way for example with the adjectives dark, cold, stifling and others. There is a progress in worsening taking place until the silence and the loneliness lead to the denouement. The monotony of these aspects are supported by the rhetorical devices. Moreover, the atmosphere are backed by them as well.

In general you can state that the everyday life during the Great Famine is made up of grievances and solitude.



In the preceding quotes many elements of particular language style are used. They are distinguished by the quotes’ bold parts and influence the atmosphere’s monotony. Another meaning is to make it easier for the target group to understand/ read and to make it easy to identify with the protagonists by emphasising the lively.


– reader is thrown into the action


– open end

Auctorial narration

– knowledge about everything (character’s feelings)

– inactivity

Rhetorical devices:
– repetitions

– parallelism

– enumerations

– parataxis

> monotony

– comparison

– adverbs

– metaphors

– adjectives

– visual comparisons

– variations in length of sentences

– direct speech

– personifications

>relief to identify with the protagonist