And here’s the other side of the WW1 gender-specified propaganda coin; recruitment posters aimed at men.

My absolute favourite is the first one, the Ploughman & St. Patrick.

A lot of these are similar to propaganda posters used elsewhere in the British Empire at the time - HEY LADS ARE YOU COMING TO THE SPECIAL EXTENDED SCOUTS MEETING IN BELGIUM? BE THERE OR BE SQUARE/UNMANLY.

At the same time, some of them are shrewd enough to try to appeal to Irish men who felt the war was Britain’s business & had nothing to do with them; TRIBAL BAGPIPES GREEN HILLS DOES ANYMAN DREAM THAT A GAEL CAN FEAR? PROVE IT.

Note the Irish Hero is named ‘Michael O’Leary’, lol anyone? 

Lol also @ how awkward Gizza Hand Auldfella looks written on that poster.

And, like the ladies’ posters posted earlier, not a ginger freckled brat among these noble warriors. 

[source for most of these images]

WW1 recruitment posters targeting Irish men with depictions of Irish women entreating them for help.

One of many variations on the personification of Ireland as a woman, Ireland as Motherland, as put upon, persecuted, vulnerable, weak but beautiful & worth saving (or taking). More of which to come.

Also interesting how the women themselves are portrayed in most of these posters; dark haired with light skin & eyes. This is noticably different to the ‘Flame-Haired Cailín’ trope seen later in the 20th century & still alive today. While it is indeed a massive generalisation & idealisation of a significant number of individuals, & probably reflects the fashion & taste of the era, speaking from personal experience, it does seem a more accurate depiction of the majority of Irish women, even today.




GRN Live corespondents Audrey Carville, Colin Murphy, Conor Neville and Deaglan de Breadun are available in Dublin.

In context it wasnt just that diplomat being mental it was a justification of our government supporting the nazis

Ireland was founded as both nationalist and socialist and considered the Nazi party an ally, supporting their nationalism in full knowlege of what was happening in concentration camps. We sent condolences to hitler and gave asylum to Nazi war criminals responsible for mass murder after WW2.

That history is one of the many reasons I prefer contemporary celtic studies stuff. There was a focus on proving the existance of an Aryan celtic race as a part of independance and placed in context with the history of that time its fairly sinister. If you read things from that time like Eoin Macneills Celtic Ireland he openly discusses Celtic identity in terms of Aryanism.

Then once you start looking… Myles Dillon, T W Rolleston, Alfred Nutt, Douglas Hyde all published in support of the idea of an aryan celtic race in Ireland… its this undercurrent in the society of the day and its in all the translations and folklore collections.

The Free State/early Republic’s relationship with Fascism never ceases to intrigue & embarrass me. 



With the Olympic morass getting underway over in Londinium at the moment I just thought I’d interrupt our usual broadcast to post something slightly off-topic (off-topic for this blog, anyway).

The Tailteann Games was an Irish sporting festival held in what is now Telltown in Co. Meath. The legend goes that they were founded in  632 BC by Lugh Lámhfhada in honour of his (foster) mother Tailtiú, after she died of exhaustion after clearing the land of Ireland for agriculture. This is what the Book of Invasions tells us, anyway. The games were probably held every year for one week, beginning on the 1st of August (Lughnasadh). The last one was held in 1169 AD - the year of the Norman invasion.

In 1924, 1928 and 1932 the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA or d’Gahh if yer from my part of the country) decided to revive the games and open them to all athletes of Irish birth or ancestry - there were various reasons for this, but all of them can be filed under the category of ‘Nation Building’. Ireland had only recently declared independence from Britain in 1919 and therefore had quite the inferiority complex to deal with (still does, in many ways, but let’s not open that can o worms). Think of it as the short-lived sporting equivalent of the Rose of Tralee. Lots of lovely bottoms.

Rather than give you an extensive history and analysis on the subject (you can find a good one here) I’ll just post a photo set nabbed from the National Library’s online catalogue. What attracted me to the photos were mostly the ceremonial parades of people dressed as early-20th century interpretations of Celtic warriors, complete with wolfhounds. It’s all very Berlin Olympics really, there’s even a winged helmet in there.

The model of élite participation in popular culture is a threefold process: first immersion, then withdrawal, and, finally rediscovery, invariably by an educated élite, and often with a nationalist agenda. ‘Rediscovery’ usually involves an invention of tradition, creating a packaged, homogenised and often false version of an idealised popular culture – as, for example, in the cult of the Highland kilt.