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It is a bit late to be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day but such is the Irish presence on the world stage it seems every day is an occasion for an Irish celebration. Despite being one of the world’s smallest nations the Irish presence punches well above its weight.
The Irish loomed large in English literature. Many great literary figures, commonly thought of as English are Irish. Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Bram Stoker. Listening to Chopin’s nocturnes is one of life’s greatest reveries but it was Irishman, John Field is the father of the piano nocturne.
As a young sailor, I was bemused to discover when visiting Chile that their national hero is Bernard O’Higgins. He was Chilean but was the illegitimate son of Irishman Ambrosio O’Higgins. Ambrosia settled in Spain and later served Spain. He militarily consolidated much of what the conquistadores had won. He must have been a wise dad; his son is revered as the father of Chilean Independence.
In the Great War 37 Irish fighters were recipients of Britain’s highest war honour, the Victoria Cross; in the following war, eight recipients were Irish nationals. Not bad for a neutral country.
Off the field of battle the Paddies entertain us: Gay Byrne, Dave Allen, Peter O’Toole, Pierce Brosnan, Richard Harris, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, and need I go on.
Most nations’ have a reputation for inclinations one way or another. When it comes to orchestral music the Germans strut their stuff. The Italians are untouchable where opera is concerned and in ballet, the French are without equal. The Spanish, like the British, have certainly left their mark on history.
Their talent when it comes to stealing that which isn’t theirs is truly the stuff of legends. Between the 12th Century and 1925, the Spanish spent 67% of their time at war England could manage only a piffling 56% of their time at war. There’s nothing much new there then. America’s playing catch-up.
The Swedes find war revolting but have grown fat on manufacturing arms for warrior nations. It’s just that the Irish quietly go about penetrating and running everything and don’t make a River Dance spectacular out of it. They are even running the airlines. Ireland’s Willie Walsh was Chief Executive of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia.
Michael O’Leary runs Europe’s most popular airline. Qantas boss is Irishman Alan Joyce and they’re joined by Irishmen in senior positions in Brunei, Singapore and Mexico national airlines. Guinness Peat Aviation’s CEO, Tony Ryan founded Ryan Air and heads the world’s second-biggest airline leasing company.
Joyce puts it down to something in the water – or the Guinness. The Irish don’t have it all their own way. In 2009 German Christoph Mueller was appointed CEO of Irish national airlines Aer Lingus. ~ Michael Walsh.
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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, broadcaster and the author of RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, TROTSKY’S WHITE NEGROES, MEGACAUST, DEATH OF A CITY, WITNESS TO HISTORY, THE BUSINESS BOOSTER , THE FIFTH COLUMN VOLUME I and II, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, IMMORTAL BELOVED, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II , SLAUGHTER OF A DYNASTY , REICH AND WRONG, THE RED BRIGANDS, RANSACKING THE REICH , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: ARNO BREKER AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD RIECH: JOSEF THORAK AND REICH SCULPTORS , SCULPTURES OF THE THIRD REICH VOLUME III Porcelain and Reich Sculptors, The Exiled Duke Romanov Who Turned Desert Into Paradise , THE DOVETAILS , SEX FEST AT TIFFANY’S, THE AMOROUS GHOST AND ENCOUNTERS and other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
MICHAEL WALSH NOVELS
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MICHAEL WALSH is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. His 70 books include best-selling RHODESIA’S DEATH EUROPE’S FUNERAL, AFRICA’S KILLING FIELDS, THE LAST GLADIATORS, A Leopard in Liverpool, RISE OF THE SUN WHEEL, EUROPE ARISE, FOR THOSE WHO CANNOT SPEAK, THE ALL LIES INVASION, INSPIRE A NATION Volume I, INSPIRE A NATION Volume II, and many other book titles. These illustrated best-selling books are essential for the libraries of informed readers.
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MEGACAUST Michael Walsh. R. J. Rummel, Power Kills: Genocide and Mass Murder (Journal of Peace Research) 164 million people have been killed in cold blood this century by Capitalist / Communist governments.
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Categories: Great Europeans