It hurts me to congratulate author of Cromwell book!
So Mattie MCGrath has a problem with the British Government holding a commemorative service with regard to Oliver Cromwell (last week's Letters Page). Naturally enough he raises the old argument about whether Cromwell put every man, woman, child, cat and dog to the sword.
The historical records, with regard to Drogheda at least, have shown this to be untrue. Phillip McKeiver in his book "A new history of Cromwell's Irish Campaign" makes a new claim that while Cromwell's soldiers did even according to the rules of war, at that time, behave badly with regard to enemy troops, they left the general population to their own devices. The actual slaughter at St. Peter's Church may have been Parliamentary supporters killed by the Royalist supporters of Charles II, Charles I having died of separation of head and body in January 1649.
It is my humble opinion, with no proof what so ever, that the native Irish Drogheda people as distinct from the posh Royalist Droghedeans, is that a word? had legged it to Clogherhead or some such place. They were not idiots.
Tom Reilly in his various publications has done history and historians a favour by having the courage to stand up against the accepted view of Irish history.
1: The English invaded Ireland, no the French-speaking Norman descendants of the Vikings were invited in. There were more Irish Kingdoms than T.Ds. in the Dáil.
2; There were almost as many Vikings in Brian Boru's army as there were Irish.
3: The only time there was a United Irish Republic was under Oliver Cromwell.
4: Parliamentary Democracy is Cromwell's legacy.
Finally, as much as it hurts, allow me congratulate Tom Reilly on his new book on Cromwell, the Lord Voldemort of Irish History.
A well written and researched tome. Naturally there are parts I disagree with, it's in my nature.