THE IRISH IN IOWA

IOWA NEWSPAPER ITEMS ON IRELAND

Davenport Times
Davenport, Scott, Iowa
Saturday, Jan. 27, 1900



Land Where the Shamrock Grows: Regeneration of Emerald Isle.
An Enthusiastic Celt Tells of the Influence for Good Exerted by America on
the Island Beloved by Its People.
BENEFITS RESULTING FROM YANKEE CASH.
Money Sent From the United States to the Old Folks at Home Has Rejuvenated
Farms and Rebuilt Homes for the Loved Ones.
IRELAND MAY BE SAID TO BE FOR THE IRISH NOW.

SEAUMUS MAC MANUS.
(Copyright 1900, by the Author)


     Public attention has been so absorbed in politics for the past decade
or two, so far as Ireland is concerned, that the social and industrial
regeneration which has been going on has been almost entirely overlooked.
Yet it has been so far reaching and rapid there have been such great changes
for the better- in the last 20 years chiefly- that we can no say, gladly and
truthfully, Ireland is a regenerated country.
     The changes in ways and means have been so radical as to surprise
outsiders. The picture of Ireland in the foreign mind today is that of the
Ireland of half a century ago. The real Ireland is different. It is now
comparatively prosperous and its people are comparatively happy. Except in a
few more remote and barren parts, the former hard struggle for existence is
not known today and the pinch of hunger is not felt. We have more ease, more
leisure, more of the comforts of life, and we look forward with less anxiety
for the morrow.
     Thanks to political agitation, the remodeled land laws though still far
from perfect have given to the poor struggling farmer a certain security to
which he was a stranger. His rent is lower and he is not withheld from
improving his land by the apprehension of an increased rack-rent. Partly as
a consequence of this and partly as a consequence of the possession of a
little more wealth, his land is better tilled and drained and he rears more
stock and of a better quality. The resulting ease of mind is conducive to
enlightment and moral progress. We have no system of compulsory education
but the Irishman's respect for learning amply fills its place. No matter how
much he needs his children's work at home or on the farm, they are sent off
every day, one or two or three Irish miles, to the little national school.
So, of the rising generation in Ireland, fully 95 per cent will be educated.

When Irishmen Fled from Ireland

     It would have been absurd even to dream of such a state of things 50
years ago. It has been variously estimated that from half a million to a
million people died of starvation in the years of 1846, 1847, and 1848,
although Ireland's shipping ports were thronged with ships laden with cattle
and corn for export. A futile revolution of young Irelanders gave the
English government the excuse to advocate the shipping of our people to
America and elsewhere, and the landlords concluded that bullocks and
Scotchmen would be more profitable on the green hills of Ireland than the
troublesome Celt. So scourged by three scourges of landlords, the government
and the famine, our people were driven to the ports and into the famine
ships, and hundreds of thousands swarmed westward over the ocean.
     The history of the emigration of these years was second only in its
sadness and fearfulness to the history of the famine itself, for untold
thousands of those huddled together in these plague ships perished on the
ocean. Ever since, from the old Ireland to the new, there has been a white
way under the ocean paved with the bones of myriads who were harried and
hurried from thei homes and their hills. Yet, in spite of it all Ireland is
today a country of Celts and prosperity, and because of it all, there is
today a greater and more prosperous Ireland in the new world
     Of the several causes which have united to bring prosperity, and
progress back to old Ireland, I believe there has been no more important
factor than the new Ireland-the Ireland that has grown up and flourished and
borne plentiful fruit in the United States of America.

America's Magnificent Influence

     How has America benefited Ireland? In several ways. It has benefited
Ireland, primarily by the vast sums of money which have been flowing in a
steady stream eastward over the ocean in the last half century; it has
benefited Ireland by relieving its congestion, and it has benefited Ireland
by its moral influence.
     The flow of cash from America to Ireland cannot be easily realized. It
has been far greater than any person only superficially acquainted with the
facts could suspect. To get an adequate idea of it, one must have lived
amongst the peasantry in remote parts where every family is represented by
one, or two, or three or five in America, and where the Americans letter
with its unfailing money order is ever coming. When the boy or girl leave
home for the new island (as it is put in our Gaelic), the one thought ever
present in their minds is, not how they will benefit themselves, but how
they will benefit the father and mother and the brothers and sisters they
leave behind. And of all those, the number is very, very small that ever
forget or neglect the loved ones at home, who, night and morning on their
knees pray a "Pater and Ave" to God and Mary, for the absent ones.
     The sums remitted by these boys and girls furnish those at home with
the means to till and to stock their land much better than they did before,
and to live in much greater ease and comfort. There is no more touching and
beautiful phase of this question than that presented by the Irish servant
girls of America, who toil sorely and perseveringly with the one hope ever
in mind-that of remitting the monthly five, ten or fifteen dollars to their
poor father at home, the thought of whose struggles often make them cry over
their work in the kitchen.
     Ten days before last Christmas I dropped into some of the postoffices
of New York to watch the long lines of poor Irish girls, each with a yellow
application blank in her hand, patiently waiting her chance to obtain the
little money order which was to bring cheer and joy at Christmas tide to the
cabin hearth in the little isle beyond the sea. The goodness and the
faithfulness and devotion of these poor girls impressed me so that I said to
myself:-"Surely God will not forget a country that produces such women."

Many go Back With Their Cash.

     But over and above the sums of money sent home by the emigrant boys and
girls, there is a great amount taken to Ireland by returning emigrants-men
and women who have saved a certain portion of their daily wage with the
ultimate idea of taking it back to Ireland, and by its means spending the
remainder of their lives in comfort in the glen, for which, since they
quitted it, their hearts have ever yearned." Just now there is more money
going back in this way than ever before; for the increased prosperity of
Ireland and its increased comfort and the good reports they hear from it,
induce more and more among those having means to return.
     If a servant girl has amassed from $250 to $500, she returns a rich
woman, marries a small farmer, and stocks his farm or adds a new field or
two to it by its purchase. The male emigrant who returns is not satisfied to
go home with so small an amount. His father's farm does not await him. He
will not quit America until he can reckon a couple of thousand dollars his
own. When he goes home he casts about to find a little farm for sale. He
purchases it; builds a house, marries a neighbor's daughter,and the returned
"Yankee" becomes an institution in his town land.
     This "Yankee" is henceforth a missionary. During his sojourn in America
he has gathered- as the Irish quickly do- a notion of American life, of
progressiveness and originality. And he takes this notion back with him into
the land of dreamers. With the aid of other "Yankees" who have returned to
the same districts, he impresses these characteristics to a greater or less
extent upon those around him. Having little money and a good deal of
knowledge, he sets about working his land in a systematic fashion and shows
his neighbors that capital put into the land is not always lost.
     He drains and crops in a manner new to them and swells his returns by
raising stock on imported food. His success stimulates others to follow his
example, and the countryside has practical demonstrations of the fact that
the old ways are not always the best. So that the man who, having gathered a
small sum of money would naturally have been inclined to put it in the bank
for safe keeping not sees the benefit of putting it into a more productive
bank, his little farm. Thereby he not only benefits himself but also the
struggling laborers and cottagers who depend chiefly for their living upon
the day work given to them by this farmer and by that. So as was to be
expected wasges are now higher in Ireland than they were and the laboring
man is able to live at home in greater comfort and therefore more willing to
stay.

The Spread of Enlightment.

      Because of reasons for which we are not to blame-and our excuse is
written large over the last few centuries of our history- we were not
recently as a people so enlightened as we might have been but today
enlightenment is gaining wonderfully among us.
     After the public school system the returned Yankee has been the
principal educator in all the remote districts. By the winter fireside, at
the wake and the wedding, or the gatherings on the hillside or the roadside
in summer, he draws around him a circle of neighbors who hang upon his words
whilst he scatters the seeds of knowledge and of broader views which he has
gained beyond the seas.
     An emigrant who came here from a remote district in Ireland 30 or 40
years ago, tells how when he emerged from a railway depot in Chicago three
or four carriages swept by him like a whirlwind drawn by great horses that
struck fire from the pavement at every leap, the whole keeping up a terrific
ringing, whistling and din. They were fire engines rushing to a
conflagration, of course, but he did not know this. He said he stood calmly
by while they passed. He had become quite steeled against wonder and looked
quietly upon what he supposed be the native Chicagoan driving to his
business. Such a mistake would not occur with the emigrant of today.
     A further good lesson that our people have learned from the Yankees is
that of independence and democratic equality. Two decades ago it was a rare
treat to observe the returned one pass his landlord on the road with chin in
the air, a look of calm indifference in his eye and his hat seemingly glued
to his head, now a mere stay-at-home can act the part nonchalantly.
     He has learned well the lesson that it should be in Ireland as it has
always been in America, where one man is as good as another and a d--d sight
better.
     Finally, the steady heavy drain of emigration, which went on
unceasingly for 40 years, relieved the congestion of the country and left
more ease and elbow room for those at home. Where formerly the parent had to
divide his already too small patch of farm land between three or four sons,
he later needed to divide it between two only, the others had gone to the
states and since their father had paid their passage money and thrown them
in the teeth of fortune, they could not think of holding claim on the land
at home and were far from grudging the farm to his brethren who remained
behind.
     The altered state of things in Ireland was brought forcibly home to the
casual observer when a year or two ago our Registrar General's returns
showed for the first time in 50 years a positive increase in the population
of the Emerald Isle. Later returns have likewise been cheery for whilst
emigration has very materially decreased, the reflux from America has
increased.
     To the heart of every Irishman this information was glad tidings,
showing that the turn of the tide, which had been bearing heart and hope
away from Ireland, had at length set in; that the era of prosperity was well
begun, and giving good promise that at length the time had been reached when
the Irishman could remain in Ireland for a better reason than he had not the
wherewithal to leave it.

Davenport Daily Times
Davenport, Scott, Iowa
Wednesday, March 6, 1901

     TO BE TAUGHT BY IRISHMEN.
Sacrifice of Their Rights to be a Sacrifice of Parliamentary Character and Dignity.

     Dublin, March 6- The forcible ejection of 16 Irish members from the house of commons leads the Freeman's Journal to remark in approval of their conduct:
     "For too long a time, absolutely unrepresented in the alien government, we have at last an Irish party at Westminister, which will teach parliament that it the rights of Ireland are to be sacrificed, parliament's own character and dignity will accompany the sacrifice."
     The Irish Times pro-English, denounce the members' behavior as disgraceful and says it is a bold advertising dodge preparatory to a begging tour in the United States.

Excitement was Intense.

     London, March 6- There was much excitement over the scene last night in the house of commons, when the Irish members were forcibly carried out.
     When the commons opened at noon today there were large crowds outside and two divisions of police were held in readiness. John Redmond, the Irish leader, immediately after the opening, raised the question of privilege that members had been reported for disregard of the chair without proper efforts to identify them. He was called out of order but managed to secure a statement from the speaker that if any member had been wrongfully reported he should write to the speaker regarding it and the matter would be placed before the house.
     John Dillon took up the suspended members' cause and reached the same result as Redmond.
     The 16 Irishmen mentioned were carried bodily from the floor of the house by policemen. So desperately did the members resist that to carry each one out of the chamber required the combined efforts of from six to eight officers and the recalcitrants were almost stripped of their clothing in the battle.
     A.J. Balfour, the government leader, caused the outburst of rage by applying the closure law on the educational estimates. Indignant Irish protests were ignored and then the Celts, under the leadership of Eugene Crean of Cork, resolved to do their utmost to prevent action.
     The demonstration is in line with the expressed determination of the united Irish parliamentary party to block legislation as much as possible unless they are given a fair hearing and are granted remedial legislation for Ireland.
     Never before have such scenes been enacted in parliament.

Iowa Recorder
Greene, Butler Co, IA
December 7, 1904

IRISH FACE A FAMINE
Potato Crop in West of Island a Failure This Year.

     There is no doubt whatever that an extensive area of the poorest district in the west of Ireland is threatened with famine. The potato crop has failed badly, the tubers, where not actually diseased, being wretchedly small. To these people, eking out the barest subsistence at the best of times on pitifully meager and unproductive holdings, reclaimed by their own slavish toil from the bog and barren hillside, the potato is the staff of life. They never get a meat meal more than two or three times a year, living on maize, potatoes and dried fish chiefly. The weather, with prevailing damps, has been worse than usual, and from July 15 to Sept. 10 there was not a single fine day. In Castlereigh, County Roscommon, one of the most severely affected districts, last spring the local authorities, foreseeing the possibility of a bad potato crop, as the preceding years' seeds were inferior, asked permission from Dublin castle to spend a small sum distributing new seeds, but this demand was curtly refused. The potatoes are also the principal food of the pigs, out of which the peasants make a living, and owing to the potato shortage they have been compelled to sell their pigs, with the result that prices have fallen disastrously. Every year the men go to England for harvesting work, bringing back the wherewithal to pay rent and occasionally something over. Owing to the depression in England, this year was the worst for these men in a quarter century.

 

Davenport Democrat
Davenport, Scott, Iowa
Tuesday, March 21, 1916

SERIOUS RIOTS IN IRELAND
Sinn Fein Members Fired Upon the Police in Tullmore, Kings County
OBJECT TO RECRUITING
Situation in Ireland Serious for England on Account of the Sinn Fein Society's Activities.

     London, March 21, 12:35 p.m.-Sinn Fein rioters fired on the police last night. Three of the police were wounded.
     The rioting occurred at Tullamore, King's County, Ireland. A police sergeant was wounded seriously and a county inspector and a district inspector received slight wounds.
     Tullamore is a town of about 5,000 inhabitants, 58 miles west of Dublin. It has a considerable trade in agricultural produce.
     There have been intimations of disturbed portions in some parts of Ireland in several recent dispatches. On March 14 the police of Cork raided the residence of the principal officials of the Sinn Fein party and seized arms and documents.
     The London Post last week said the situation in Ireland was serious on account of the activity of the Sinn Fein society. It asserted a vigorous campaign against recruiting being carried out without serious hindrance in the west and south and that several persons had been indicted and tried but have been acquitted.

Davenport Democrat
Davenport, Scott, Iowa
January 5, 1921

WILL TELL OF WOES OF IRELAND
Lord Mayor of Cork Comes to Testify Before Committee of 100.
CAME AS STOWAWAY
State Department Has His Case Under Advisement

     Newport News, Va., Jan 5- Daniel O'Callaghan, lord mayor of Cork, who arrived yesterday as a stowaway on the American steamer West Cannon in company with Peter MacSwiney, brother of the late Terence MacSwiney, declared today that the editors of the New York Nation had invited him to testify before the commission of the committee of 100 at Washington investigating the Irish situation. The statement was in answer to that of Frederick C. Howe, chairman of the commission, who said last night the mayor had not been asked to appear before the commission.
     "The invitation was extended by the New York people several months ago," Mayor O'Callaghan said.
     Immigration inspector L.R. Parker, in charge of this port, said today he was still waiting word from Washington on whether to admit the Irish official.

     Washington, Jan. 5- Investigation of the circumstances surrounding the entry into this country of Daniel J. O'Callaghan, lord mayor of Cork, who arrived at Newport News yesterday as a stowaway and without a passport, was ordered today by the state department. Officials of the department intimated that unless some extraordinary basis for extenuation was found it was probable that no distinction would be drawn between his case and that of any other stowaway.

     Washington, Jan. 5- Daniel O'Callaghan, lord mayor of Cork, who arrived at Newport News yesterday as a stowaway, will be held until the immigration authorities can determine whether he is admissable, It was said today at the department of labor. Should O'Callaghan be found to be admissable, officials said his case would then be referred to the state department to determine whether that department was willing to waive the absence of a passport.
     Mayor O'Callaghan's statement that he had been invited to testify before the commission of the Committee of One Hundred investigating Irish conditions was confirmed today by William McDonald secretary of the committee. Chairman Howe of the committee had been in ignorance of the fact when he denied it last night, McDonald said.

ATTACKERS SHOT DOWN BY TROOPS
Sixteen Killed in Waylaying Soldiers in County Cork.

     London, Jan. 5- Sixteen members of a party that waylaid a detachment of troops at Meelin, northwest county Cork, Ireland, were killed by the soldiers attached and the others in the attacking party were captured with all their guns and ammunition, says a Dublin dispatch to the Exchange Telegraph company today. None of the troops was injured.
     This is the first time, it is declared, that an ambush on a large scale has been effectually beaten.


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