Реферат: The Irish and South America

The Irish and South America

After the defeat of Napoleon and his armies in Europe, thousands uponthousands of soldiers and sailors found themselves demobbed and at a loose end.From 1817 onwards, for a number of years, many Irish volunteers so dischargedelected to serve the newly emerging states in South America, such as in thearmies of Simon Bolivar in the fight for the freedom of Colombia. Of thethousands who setout for South America, only hundreds arrived, as shipwreck anddisease took a heavy toll. Of the hundreds, many were trained seamen, officersand other ranks, who had volunteered for — or had been press-ganged into — the British Navy. Long before the first arrivistes came to join in the SouthAmerican wars of freedom from centuries of Spanish oppression, there werefamous leaders of Irish stock who had helped put the coountries of theiradoption on the map.

The links between Ireland and South America have frequently been forgedthrough soldiers or sailors of fortune offering their services to the emergentSouth American republics, and yet there have been many links in peacetime. Inour time there are many individual Irish missionaries who have volunteered todevote their lives to work among the poor and oppressed in the slums of SouthAmerican capital cities, and in remote rural areas, where the peasantry areunder constant threat of starvation, or worse, laboring under oppressivemilitary regimes. In the years following World War II, the lead was given tonewly ordained priests in Cork to go out to serve the poor of South America bythe Reverend Archdeacon Canon Duggan of Cork, who was later to die in the SouthAmerican mission field at the age of seventy-five.

Many purely commercial links were forged by the men and women of CountyMeath who went out to South America, notably to the Argentine, because of theirexpert knowledge of cattle and cattle breeding. William Bulfin, in his workRambles in Erin, first published in 1907, about his three-thousand-mile cycleride throughout the length and breadth of Ireland, recalls the ties betweenBuenos Aires and Mullingar. On the road to the great cattle town of Mullingarhe says: «I was told by a truthful man up the road that one could not seea soul in this part of the country who has not a relation in Argentina. „When the local people heard he had been in Buenos Aires, they crowded aroundhim; “I stayed with them for more than two hours. A few of them rememberedtheir Spanish and plied me with it. There were brothers and sisters of men I hadmet on the pampas, and nieces and nephews and even parents as well. „Bulfin had emigrated to Argentina &om Galway at the age of seventeen, andhad worked as a range hand on the pampas. He became a journalist and edited TheSoouthern Cross of Buenos Aires. He returned to Ireland in 1902.

South America was a haven of refuge for John Devereux, who fought inthe Irish Wexford Rising of 1798, was taken prisoner, and was allowed to go toFrance. Napoleon offered to create him a general, but he declined, and formedan Irish Brigade, which served in Simon Bolivar's Army of Independence. In histime he was known as the “Lafayette of South America, » and became ageneral in the army of Venezuela. Simon Boliv~s aide-de-camp and personalsecretary was Daniel Floerence O'Leary, who was born in Cork in 1800. He joineda regiment of hussars and fought in the Bolivian War of Independence. He wasmade minister for Peru for his services, to Brazil, Chile and the CentralStates of America. He died in Bogota in 1877. While Irishmen fought in SouthAmerica in support of the new Republics against the old Imperial order ofSpain, and fought on both sides of the American Civil War, one of thestrangestbattles ever foughtby Irishmen was in the service of Mexico, againstthe «Imperial» might of the United States of America. This was in1847, before Mexico found oil and earned the respect of her northern neighbor.Today, because of an educational system which owes much to the Irish ChristianBrothers, many Mexicans are aware of Ireland and her history and every year, onthe feast of Saint Patrick, they pay tribute, in Mexico City, to the«mernory of the Irish soldiers of the heroic Saint Patrick's Battalion,martyrs who gave their lives for the cause of Mexico during the unjust NorthAmerican invasion of 1847. » It is a curious story, and a plaque on thewall in the Plaza San Jacinto, a suburb of Mexico City, names seventy-oneIrishmen of the Mexican Saint Patrick's Battalion who were either hanged orimprisoned by the invading United States Army. The names are there for all toread: «O'Reilly, Hanly, Sheehan, Hogan, Delaney, 0'Connor, Nolan, Dalton,Fitzpatrick, Casey, McDowell, Cavanaugh, Cassidy, Daly, Kelly, Murphy....» More than 50 were to die by the old-fashioned hangman's rope of the UnitedStates Army.

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