Irish Blog Whacked

Monday, May 13, 2013

Irish Wild Geese Still Fly

308,000 people have left Ireland in the four years before April 2012, with close to half of those, under the age 25, a new survey demonstrates.Some 87,000 people emigrated from Ireland in the year up to April 2012 alone with numbers still rising. Ireland is now among the top 10 source countries for migration to Australia, the authorities there have noted.

A poll for the National Youth Council of Ireland, found that half of those aged 18-24 are considering leaving Ireland. The primary motivation for 43 percent of those leaving, is the potential of better employment opportunities, while a further 41 percent said they would leave due to unemployment in Ireland. Over 83 percent, said the Irish Government was not addressing the issue of youth unemployment adequately, while 85 percent said, not enough was being done, to tackle the emigration.of Irish youth.

The vast majority, wanted to return home to Ireland, once the economy improved. NYCI assistant director James Doorley said; “Over 300,000 people have left the country over the last four years since the latest crisis, most of them young. We need to support them to make informed choices if they are going to places like Australia or Canada, or other parts of the world. It shouldn’t be the case that once they leave the airports here in Ireland, that they are forgotten about.”

Flight of the Wild Geese 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Flight of the Wild Geese refers to the departure of an Irish Jacobite army under the command of Patrick Sarsfield from Ireland to France, as agreed in the Treaty of Limerick on October 3, 1691, following the end of the Williamite War in Ireland. More broadly, the term "Wild Geese" is used in Irish history to refer to Irish soldiers who left to serve as mercenaries in continental European armies in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

The first Irish troops to serve as a unit for a continental power formed an Irish regiment in the Spanish Army of Flanders in the Eighty Years' War in the 1580s. The regiment had been raised by an English Catholic, William Stanley, in Ireland from native Irish soldiers and mercenaries, whom the English authorities wanted out of the country. (See also Tudor conquest of Ireland). Stanley was given a commission by Elizabeth I and was intended to lead his regiment on the English side, in support of the Dutch United Provinces. However, in 1585, motivated by religious factors and bribes offered by the Spaniards, Stanley defected to the Spanish side with the regiment. In 1598 Diego Brochero de Anaya wrote the Spanish King Philip III:
"that every year Your Highness should order to recruit in Ireland some Irish soldiers, who are people tough and strong, and nor the cold weather or bad food could kill them easily as they would with the Spanish, as in their island, which is much colder than this one, they are almost naked, they sleep on the floor and eat oats bread, meat and water, without drinking any wine."[1]
The unit fought in the Netherlands until 1600 when it was disbanded due to heavy wastage through combat and sickness.
Following the defeat of the Gaelic armies of the Nine Years' War, the "Flight of the Earls" took place in 1607. The Earl of Tyrone Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrconnell Rory O'Donnell and the Lord of Beare and Bantry, Donal O'Sullivan, along with many chiefs, Gallowglass, and their followers from Ulster, fled Ireland. They hoped to get Spanish help in order to restart their rebellion in Ireland, but King Philip III of Spain did not want a resumption of war with England and refused their request.
Nevertheless, their arrival led to the formation of a new Irish regiment in Flanders, officered by Gaelic Irish nobles and recruited from their followers and dependents in Ireland. This regiment was more overtly political than its predecessor in Spanish service and was militantly hostile to English Protestant rule of Ireland. The regiment was led by Hugh O'Neill's son John. Prominent officers included Owen Roe O'Neill and Hugh Dubh O'Neill.
A fresh source of recruits came in the early 17th century, when Roman Catholics were banned from military and political office in Ireland. As a result, the Irish units in the Spanish service began attracting Catholic Old English officers such as Thomas Preston andGarret Barry. These men had more pro-English views than their Gaelic counterparts and considerable animosity was created over plans to use the Irish regiment to invade Ireland in 1627. The regiment was garrisoned in Brussels during the truce in the Eighty Years' Warfrom 1609–1621 and developed close links with Irish Catholic clergy based in the seminary there, creating the famous Irish Colleges — most notably, Florence Conroy.
Many of the Irish troops in Spanish service returned to Ireland after the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and fought in the armies of Confederate Ireland - a movement of Irish Catholics. When the Confederates were defeated and Ireland occupied after the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, around 34,000 Irish Confederate troops fled the country to seek service in Spain. Some of them later deserted or defected to French service, where the conditions were deemed better.
During the 18th century Spain's Irish regiments saw service not only in Europe but also in the Americas. As examples, the Irlanda Regiment (raised 1698) was stationed in Havana from 1770 to 1771, the Ultonia Regiment (raised 1709) in Mexico from 1768 to 1771, and the Hibernia Regiment (raised 1709) in Honduras from 1782 to 1783.[2]
At the time of the Napoleonic Wars all three of these Irish infantry regiments still formed part of the Spanish army. Heavy losses and recruiting difficulties diluted the Irish element in these units, although the officers remained of Irish ancestry. The Hibernia Regiment had to be reconstituted with Galacian recruits in 1811 and ended the war as an entirely Spanish corps.[3] All three regiments were finally disbanded in 1818 on the grounds that insufficient recruits, whether Irish or other foreigners, were forthcoming.[4]

From the mid-17th century or so, France overtook Spain as the destination for Catholic Irishmen seeking a military career. The principal reason for this was that France was an ascendant power, rapidly expanding its armed forces, whereas Spain was a power in decline.
France recruited many foreign soldiers; Germans, Italians, Walloons and Swiss. André Corvisier, the authority on French military archives, estimates that foreigners accounted for around 12% of all French troops in peacetime and 20% of troops during warfare.[5] In common with the other foreign troops the Irish regiments were paid more than their French counterparts. Both Irish and Swiss regiments in French service wore red uniforms, though this had no connection with the redcoats of the British army.[6]
The crucial turning point came during the Williamite War in Ireland (1688–91), when Louis XIV gave military and financial aid to the Irish Jacobites. In 1690, in return for 6,000 French troops that were shipped to Ireland, Louis demanded 6,000 Irish recruits for use in the Nine Years War against the Dutch. Five regiments, led by Justin McCarthy, Viscount Mountcashel formed the nucleus of the French Irish Brigade. A year later, after the Irish Jacobites under Patrick Sarsfieldsurrendered at the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, they were allowed to leave Ireland for service in the French Army. Sarsfield's "exodus" included 14,000 soldiers and 10,000 women and children. This is popularly known in Ireland as the Flight of the Wild Geese.
The main difference between the Irish Brigade and the Wild Geese was that the Brigade was already formed up and serving in France by 1691, but the Wild Geese comprised a disparate group of individuals with similar aims that served in the armies of several countries, not just France. In time the distinctions became blurred, as Irish recruits joining the Irish Brigade in the 1700s were sometimes known as Wild Geese.
In 1718-20 the Wild Geese in the French service found themselves allied with their arch-enemy Hanoverian Britain during the War of the Quadruple Alliance.
Up until 1745, Catholic Irish gentry were allowed to recruit soldiers for France in Ireland. The authorities in Ireland saw this as preferable to the potentially disruptive effects of having large numbers of unemployed young Catholic men of military age in the country. However, after a composite Irish detachment from the French Army (drawn from each of the regiments comprising the Irish Brigade and designated as "Irish Picquets") was used to support the Jacobite Rising of 1745 in Scotland, the British realised the dangers of this policy and banned recruitment for foreign armies in Ireland. After this point, the rank and file of the Irish units in French service were increasingly non-Irish although the officers continued to be recruited from Ireland.
During the Seven Years' War efforts were made to find recruits from among Irish prisoners of war or deserters from the British Army. Otherwise, recruitment was limited to a trickle of Irish volunteers who were able to make their own way to France, or from the sons of former members of the Irish Brigade who had remained in France. During the Seven Years War the Irish Regiments in French service were: Bulkeley, Clare, Dillon, Rooth, Berwich and Lally. Additionally, there was a regiment of cavalry, Fitz James. By the end of the 18th century even the officers of the Irish Regiments were drawn from Franco-Irish families who had settled in France for several generations. While often French in all but name, such families proudly retained their Irish heritages.
Following the outbreak of the French Revolution the Irish Brigade ceased to exist as a separate entity on 21 July 1791 when the 12 non-Swiss foreign regiments then in existence were integrated into the line infantry of the French Army, losing their distinctive status, titles and uniforms. Many left the service in 1792 when Louis XVI was deposed, as their oath of loyalty was to him and not to the French people. Napoleon Bonaparte subsequently raised a small Irish unit composed of veterans of the Irish Rebellion of 1798. This "Irish Legion" was primarily composed of Cavalry units. Count Paul Francois O'Neill, the French 5th Comte de Tyrone and his two sons, Jacques and Francois, all joined the Legion for four years.
Throughout this period, there were also substantial numbers of Irish officers and men in the armies of the Austrian Habsburg Empire, many of whom were based in Prague. The most famous of these was Peter Lacy, a Field Marshal in the Imperial Russian Army, whose son Franz Moritz Graf von Lacy excelled in the Austrian service. General Maximilian Ulysses Graf von Browne, the Austrian commanding officer in the Battle of Lobositz, was also of Irish descent. Recruitment for Austrian service was especially associated with the midlands of Ireland and with the Taaffe O'Neillan and O'Rourke gentry families[citation needed]. However, Count Alexander O'Nelly (O'Neill) came from Ulster. He commanded the 42nd Bohemian Infantry Regiment 1734-1743. Much earlier, in 1634, during the Thirty Years' War, Irish officers led by Walter Deveraux assassinated general Albrecht von Wallenstein on the orders of the Emperor. In the 19th century, further Irish officers served in the Habsburg Empire, so Laval Graf Nugent von Westmeath and Maximilian Graf O’Donnell von Tyrconnell, who saved the life of Emperor Franz Joseph I during an assassination attempt. Gottfried von Banfield finally became the most successful Austro-Hungarian naval aeroplane pilot in the First World War.
In 1609, Arthur Chichester, then Lord Deputy of Ireland, deported 1300 former rebel Irish soldiers from Ulster to serve in the ProtestantSwedish Army. However, under the influence of Catholic clergy, many of them deserted to Polish service.
The Catholic Irish troops in Protestant Swedish service changed sides during a battle[clarification needed] against largely Catholic Poland, the only European country with statutory freedom of religion at the time.[citation needed] The Irish then served in Polish service for several years during the Polish–Muscovite War (1605–1618), until their wages went unpaid.[7]
Despite being less studied, the ancient and traditional "mestiere delle armi" in Italy was also a well-known profession by the Irish. The "tercio" of Lucas Taf (around 500 men) served in Milan towards 1655. The Army of Saboya included also Irishmen, but in Italy the Irish were organized basically by the Spanish administration. In 1694 another regiment in Milan was exclusively composed by Irishmen. Around the 3-4% of a total of 20.000 men were Irish in the Spanish Army of Milan. It is not a high figure, but it was important as regards quality. In this context, James Francis Fitz-James Stuart (1696-1739), Duke of Berwick and of Liria is just one example of this success. He began to serve the Monarchy in 1711 and succeeded in becoming General Lieutenant (1732), ambassador in Russia, in Austria and in Naples, where he died.[8] In 1702 an Irish grenadier company led by Francis Terry entered Venetian service. This company ofJacobite exiles served at Zara until 1706. Colonel Terry became the Colonel of a Venetian Dragoon Regiment, which the Terry family mostly commanded until 1797. Colonel Terry's Dragoons uniforms were red faced blue in the Irish tradition. The Limerick Regiment, of Irish Jacobites, transferred from Spanish service to that of the Bourbon king of Sicily in 1718.

Irish recruitment for continental armies dried up after it was made illegal in 1745. In 1732 Sir Charles Wogan indicated in a letter toDean Swift that 120,000 Irishmen had been killed and wounded in foreign service "within these forty years",[9] with Swift later replying:
"I cannot but highly esteem those gentlemen of Ireland who, with all the disadvantages of being exiles and strangers, have been able to distinguish themselves by their valour and conduct in so many parts of Europe, I think, above all other nations."[10]
It was some time before the British armed forces began to tap into Irish Catholic manpower. In the late 18th century, the Penal Lawswere gradually relaxed and in the 1790s the laws prohibiting Catholics bearing arms were abolished.
Thereafter, the British began recruiting Irish regiments for the Crown Forces — including such famous units as the Connaught Rangers. Several more Irish units were created in the 19th century. By 1914 specifically Irish infantry regiments in the British Army comprised thePrince of Wales's Leinster Regiment, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Irish Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles, the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Connaught Rangers and the Royal Munster Fusiliers. With the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922 five of the above regiments were disbanded, with most of the remainder undergoing a series of amalgamations between 1968 and 2006. The United Kingdom still retains three Irish regiments: the Irish Guards, the Royal Irish Regiment, and the London Irish Rifles.