Alternate History Blogfest for #StPatricksDay2013

Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day of the Festival of Patrick") is a cultural and religious holiday celebrated on 17 March, the anniversary of his death.
17th March
It commemorates Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the most commonly recognised of the patron saints of Ireland, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland.

It is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church and Lutheran Church. Saint Patrick's Day was made an official feast day in the early seventeenth century, and has gradually become a celebration of Irish culture in general.

The day is generally characterised by the attendance of church services, wearing of green attire, public parades and processions, and the lifting of Lenten restrictions on eating, and drinking alcohol, which is often proscribed during the rest of the season.

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland and Labrador and Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world such as Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.

Eileen O'Duffy
#onthisday reader Eileen O'Duffy says, please visit This Land is Ireland to see pictures of the St Patrick's Day celebrations from all around the world. Enjoy!

St. Patrick was an Engineer by Jeff Provine

In addition to being patron of Ireland, Nigeria, New York, and against snakebites, St. Patrick is the saint of engineers. According to many, it is for good reason as he helped introduce clay construction to Ireland, including the use of lime mortar for arches, which evolved into the ceramics industry.

The University of Missouri at Columbia, however, gives a different take: In 1903, it was "discovered" that St. Patrick was an engineer. During the construction for the expansion of the engineering building on campus, a stone covered in mysterious hieroglyphics was found.

The symbols were translated to say "Erin Go Bragh", which the engineers translated into English as "St. Patrick was an engineer" (though it more closely means "Ireland forever"). Despite the clear mistranslation, it was clear that engineering had a patron who endorsed the building's expansion. As further proof, the story of St. Patrick chasing the snakes out of Ireland was amended to say he did so with the invention of a machine.

Seeing that St. Patrick was an engineer and that the heavens had given another sign with Professor Greene being late to class, the engineers determined that they should celebrate his feast day by skipping class. While that tradition died with threats of a failing grade, many universities continue to hold festivities every March 17, often attended by a fellow student dressed as St. Patrick.

July, 1649
Cromwell never lands in Ireland

The Earl of Ormonde marched a combined force of English Royalists and Irish Confederates on Dublin, the last major foothold of parliamentary forces in Ireland. Ironically Ormonde himself had held Dublin two years prior when it was besieged by Irish Confederates, before abandoning it to English parliamentary forces.

The Confederate/Royalist coalition had been forged in blood, the years since the Irish Rebellion in 1641 had been years of bloody and ruthless wars. Even as a peace agreement had been reached in 1648, after a series of defeats for the confederates at the hands of parliamentarian forces, fighting continued against those catholics who could not stomach submitting to the protestants who had inflicted massacres on catholics only a few years prior.

In 1649 things were going well for the coalition, the parliamentary forces received almost no support from England, where Cromwell had his hands full with the second English Civil War. At the end of July Ormonde had camped his troops at Rathmines near Dublin, with the intent to besiege the city. On the second of August his troops started fortifying the half-demolished castle of Baggotrath on the outskirts of Dublin. Michael Jones, the defender of Dublin, decided to move against this danger with an army of 5.000.

Lord Ormonde
Although Ormond’s army had stood to arms for just such an eventuality Jones quickly captured Baggotrath, and turned towards the main Royalist camp.

Although the royalist forces were thrown in disarray, they were able to fall back on a line formed by Lord Inchiquin’s infantry. Despite suffering heavy losses Ormonde was able to hold the line long enough for Lord Dillon to march against the parliamentarian rear.

Chaotic fighting raged on throughout the day, until at the start of the evening the remaining Parliamentarians forced themselves past Dillon’s battered forces and retired to Dublin.

The parliamentarians had inflicted heavy losses on the Royalists, but at the cost of most of their own force. Lord Inchiquin who had been stationed in Munster with three regiments of horse had marched North upon hearing the news, and linked up with Ormonde the next day. With Ormonde´s troops occupying the countryside and his artillery dominating the harbour, the siege of Dublin continued for another 6 weeks.

Cut off from England and with no remaining allies in Ireland Jones surrendered Dublin and was allowed to return to england with his troops, leaving behind most of their weaponry.

With no port open to him Cromwell called of his planned invasion of Ireland until spring. But the intended invasion of Ireland was overtaken by events, as the Scots proclaimed Charles II their king. The bulk of the New Model Army marched north against the Scots, leaving only a small army to invade Ireland and attempt to gain a foothold there.

Because the English navy still commanded the Irish sea parliamentarian forces could land unopposed near Drogheda. Needing to to take Drogheda before the Royalists could send reinforcements the walls were quickly broken by artillery and the city taken by assault.

The royalist garrison was massacred to a man, along with hundreds of civilians.

The victory of parliament was short-lived as Ormonde marched the main royalist army against Drogheda, while Dillon marched troops from Dublin past Drogheda to block the parliamentarians from the north. With most defensible positions destroyed in the Parliamentarian attack the city was soon assaulted and it’s defenders given no quarter.

On this day in alternate history
The massacre of Drogheda did much to strengthen Irish resolve. The defense of Ireland was strengthened by new fortifications in coastal towns and a reorganization of the Royalist army into three armies tasked with guarding Ireland against any invasion. Although English Royalists remained in command of these armies, with Ormonde in overall command, the Irish nobility was incorporated into the army as well.

Parliamentary propaganda tried to make the best of it’s failure to recapture Ireland by casting Charles II as “the Irish King”, hoping to fuel anti-Irish and anti-Catholic resentment in England, even though the monarch did not so much as set foot on Irish soil during these years.

Upon the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 the Irish Confederacy was dissolved and the Irish Parliament instituted. The confederacy had achieved most of it’s goals, with self-government of Ireland assured and religious equality for Catholics (in Ireland) granted by Charles II.

In reality: Ormonde’s troops were routed at the battle of Rathmines and never really recovered. Cromwell was able to use Dublin as ann entry point to Ireland and marched quickly against other coastal towns, Drogheda was just the first of many massacres. In total the human cost of the conquest of Ireland is estimated at between 200.000 and 600,000 death (15-50% of the total population), another 50.000 Irish were taken to the West Indies as slave laborers.

Ireland was effectively colonized by the English under Cromwell, Charles II restored only part of the lands taken by Cromwell leaving the Irish almost completely disenfranchised.

The Day Of Patriclus by Robbie A. Taylor

1214 AUC
On this day the Brittanic fanatic known as Patriclus died while trying to incite the Celts of Eire to rebel against Rome.

Like many other members of the Christosian messiah cult, Patriclus chafed under Roman toleration of all gods, and secretly struggled to make his single god dominant in Eire and Brittania.

The Celts had little use for the Christosians, but often used them as fodder in struggles with Roman soldiers. Patriclus was a little different - he was charismatic enough to draw followers, which made the commander of the local Roman garrison nervous.

On this day in alternate history
On this day, the commander dispatched men to arrest Patriclus, who resisted along with 20 of his own followers. The Romans killed most of them in the fight, making Patriclus a martyr to his faith. The few surviving Christosians of Eire still celebrate The Day of Patriclus in vein hope of someday throwing off Roman rule.

Reagan, Begorrah!

On February 6th, future Taoiseach Ronald Willie Reagan was born in Ballyporeen, County Tipperary.

A mainstay of the Dáil Éireann, during the 1970s, he succeeded Fianna Fáil's Charles Haughey introducing sweeping economic changes that transformed Ireland into the "Celtic Tiger".
Taoiseach Reagan

Yet his transformative agenda was not limited to Reagonomics and he entered Stewards Lodge at a precipitous moment. He hosted a famous state visit from Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, the son of Irish Canadian Catholic parents. During the famous "Shamrock Summit" the two leaders sang "When Irish Eyes are Smiling".

On this day in alternate history
However that stunt was soon forgotten; during the cross-border negotiations of the Anglo-Irish accord in 1985, Reagan exclaimed "Prime Minister Thatcher, tear down this wall!". Unfazed, she replied she replied, "Mr. Reagan, I feel sure that if we tore that wall down, our Ulster subjects would soon put it up again".

Irish Rebels Take Dublin

May 24th. For centuries, the English maintained rule in Ireland. The two had been joined politically after the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 and 1171 under Henry II with permission of Pope Adrian IV (the only English Pope in Catholic history) to aid Dermot MacMurrough in retaking his lost throne in Leinster. Henry made further conquests in Dublin and created the Lordship of Ireland, making much of the island vassal states with relative independence.

Henry VIII, as part of his Protestantizing of England, was named King of Ireland to assure his political dominance over the vast Catholic majority. When Ireland supported the Catholic James II against the incoming Protestant Mary and her husband, William of Orange, and lost the Williamite War in 1691, rule became systematized through the Ascendancy, the Protestant minority who controlled the Church of Ireland.

New ideas of liberty came to Ireland in the Enlightenment just as they had America and France.

Professor Jeff Provine
These ideas came later, as thousands of Irish were quick to join the Volunteers against the Americans in the 1770s, and, in the 1780s, most were pleased with the gradual freedoms won by politician Henry Grattan such overturning Poyning's Law that forced approval from London and granting Catholics of property voting rights (though they would not be able to hold office).

An alternate history by Jeff Provine
By the 1790s, however, the Irish were ready for a rebellion to win their freedom.

In 1791, the Society of United Irishmen was founded in Belfast by liberal-minded Protestants who sought togetherness through Irish nationalism and an end to religious divisiveness. The success of the revolution in France excited the Irish in Ulster to find unity, which was a stark difference to the typical thinking that inspired sectarian warfare such as that between the Protestant Peep o' Day Boys and the Catholic Defenders. Loyalists fanned the flames of violence between them and contributed to founding the Orange Order as another society to counterbalance the efforts of the United Irishmen. When it became obvious that the goal of universal suffrage was not to be found politically, the United Irishmen looked for help in 1794 from revolutionary France, who dispatched an army of 14,000 soldiers in 1796 that never landed due to inclement weather and poor leadership. Uprising continued in Ireland without them, and the British reacted with violent measures such as execution, arson, torture, and pitchcapping. Martial law spread over much of the island, and loyalist spies among the rebels led to the capture of much of the Irish leadership.

On the night of May 23, the British military received late notice of an Irish march on Dublin. Samuel Neilson and Lord Edward FitzGerald, two of the remaining Irish leadership, decided to capitalize on the unrest born from martial law. British soldiers marched en masse to capture rebel meeting places, but they found them already held by the Irish. In furious firefights throughout the city's alleys and squares, the cunning and local knowledge of the rebels won out over superior British firepower. The city fell along with hundreds of British dead and thousands captured. Rebels intercepted mail-carriages, which was the secret signal to alert their allies in the surrounding counties.

While the British stopped a similar uprising at Carlow, the rebellion won out at Tara Hill and spread to the north, where it turned into guerrilla warfare among those seeking independence and those loyalists and Catholics who had come to distrust revolution after the French's capture of Rome three months before. Wexford (where the Normans had come into Ireland some 600 years before) became the center of Irish success, and the rest of the island became embroiled in war. In September, France finally made good on its promise of support, sending thousands of troops by sea into County Mayo on the northwest, giving all but Ulster to the revolution. The British, now wary of French intervention, began a blockade of the island, and a second expedition in October was intercepted. While the French were scattered, a few made it to shore, including Theobald Wolfe Tone, one of the original leaders of the United Irishmen who had been in exile since 1793 after the first discovery of communications with the French.

Wolfe soared through the ranks of the Irish with great promises, using to his advantage his theatrical leanings and firsthand knowledge of the French Revolution as well as interviews with General Napoleon (who himself did not much believe in the success of an Irish movement). Among some of his first actions were to remove the strength the Anglican Church, and then to weaken the Catholic church, placing as much property and money into government hands loyal to him. Wolfe dispatched Robert Emmet to the newly crowned Emperor Napoleon for additional aid, which was supplied, though the British redoubled their efforts to find a foothold among loyalists frustrated with Wolfe's rule. Napoleon was dubbed the greater enemy, however, and the fighting in Ireland grew into a stalemate until 1812 with Allied success in the Peninsular War and Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia.

After forced abdication in France, the British turned on Ireland, where Wolfe was hastily overthrown. The chaos continued until the newly made Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, an Irishman, was made military governor. While he was very popular in London because of his war service, he became immensely popular in Ireland after championing reforms, particularly Catholic Emancipation. With a better balance of political rule, reinforced by groundbreaking social services instituted during the Great Famine of the 1840s. Wellington's liberal nature, applauded by the Tories, would prove too much for British sensibilities, hamstringing his chances of a prime ministership.

Since its turbulent, short-lived republic, Ireland has been a key member of the British Commonwealth. It aided greatly in many of the Empire's international concerns including both world wars, although a renewed independence movement out of the Lost Generation in the 1920s that came mainly as social reforms and literary marvels.

In reality, the capture of Dublin was foiled. While gains were made in Wexford over the summer of 1798, Britain put down the rebellion, albeit with substantial violence. Ireland would go through further rebellions in 1803, 1848, 1867, and 1913 until finally winning its independence in 1921. Ulster remained with the United Kingdom and would be the site of additional violence through the 1990s.

Famous historical figures

Jonathan Swift - Irish priest, satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer and poet most famous for writing Gulliver's Travels. Born in Dublin.

Ernest Walton - Waterford-born physicist, winner of the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physics. The only Irishman to win a Nobel Prize for science.

Brian Boru - High King of Ireland from 1002 to 1014. Born near Killaloe (modern County Clare).

John Hume - Born in Derry, former SDLP leader respected by friend and foe alike for his role in the peace process. Co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998.

W.B. Yeats - Dublin-born poet and later Senator who was a driving force in the Irish Literary Revivival and who co-founded the Abbey Theatre. Received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923. Was featured more than any other poet in the Irish Times' top 100 Irish poems.

James Joyce - was an Irish novelist and poet, considered to be one of the most influential writers in the modernist avant-garde of the early 20th century. Joyce is best known for Ulysses (1922), a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer's Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he perfected. Other major works are the short-story collection Dubliners (1914), and the novels A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) and Finnegans Wake (1939). His complete oeuvre also includes three books of poetry, a play, occasional journalism, and his published letters.

Brendan Behan - was an Irish poet, short story writer, novelist, and playwright who wrote in both English and Irish. He was also an Irish republican and a volunteer in the Irish Republican Army.

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde - was an Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams and plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment which was followed by his early death.

Patrick Kavanagh - was an Irish poet and novelist. Regarded as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century, his best known works include the novel Tarry Flynn and the poems Raglan Road and The Great Hunger.[1] He is known for accounts of Irish life through reference to the everyday and commonplace.

Seán O'Casey - was an Irish dramatist and memoirist. A committed socialist, he was the first Irish playwright of note to write about the Dublin working classes.

Samuel Beckett - was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

Kevin Moore - was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.

C.S. Lewis - and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland. He held academic positions at both Oxford University (Magdalen College), 1925–1954, and Cambridge University (Magdalene College), 1954–1963. He is best known both for his fictional work, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Space Trilogy, and for his non-fiction Christian apologetics, such as Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Problem of Pain.

George Bernard Shaw - was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

Abraham "Bram" Stoker - was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 Gothic novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.

Harry Ferguson - was an Irish engineer and inventor who is noted for his role in the development of the modern agricultural tractor, for becoming the first Irishman to build and fly his own aeroplane, and for developing the first four-wheel drive Formula One car, the Ferguson P99. Today his name lives on in the name of the Massey Ferguson company.

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, CVO, OBE, FRGS - was an Anglo-Irish polar explorer[1] and one of the principal figures of the period known as the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

George Best - was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968 he won the European Cup with United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year. He is described by the national team's governing body, the Irish Football Association, as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".

Favourite Other Figure (from the reader's choices)?

Favourite Literary Figure (from the reader's choices)?

Sleeping under the Cross by Ruairi James Heekin

For nine years the Irish chiefs fought Elizabeth, to lose everything at Kinsale. What if they had not gone to Spain, what if they had gone to the New World? Not alone, but with their armies at their back?

I studied Herodotus at high school. There is a discussion between two Persians. I believe it was Mardonius and King Darius. Mardonius asked why the Persians masters of the world. Still lived in there small rough land. Why did they not move somewhere, where the ``living was easy''
I was always interested by the thought.
So the Premise of this story is simple.

The Spanish intervene successfully, in the nine years war. The O Neill, and the O Donnell, backed by Spanish guns and gold. Sweep across Ireland.
Ruairi James Heekin

The excitement in the Highlands leads to a great host against King James. The Irish-Spanish-Highland Army.Known now as the Army of Ireland Kill King James in Battle. There high tide.
With the line of succession broken. Ireland under Spanish protection and the Highlands afire. Elizabeth, takes the crown of the Spanish netherlands on her death bed. Passing it to a Regent.
Under the Regent Anglo Dutch Kingdom, goes on the offensive. Driving across the Highlands, and Ireland. The Irish are evacuated to Spain. Think the Flight of the Earls, and the Wild Geese.
On this day in alternate history
After some more years of fighting. The Haspburgs and the Regent sign a truce. One clause of the treaty states the Army of Ireland cannot be settled in Europe. They are to go and stay gone.
So the Army of Ireland ragtag and hungry accompany the expedition to the great river, below the tropic of Capricorn. A place we would call Buenos Aires..
Far away, from Europe, Far away, they sweep the indios afore them.... continues at Rurr's blog Sleeping under the Cross.

An ancient battlefield artefact recovered in 1867

The Editor of #Onthisday Dirk Puehl writes - When Sir Benjamin Guinness began to combine lands in Clontarf and Raheny to form St Anne’s estate (now St Anne’s Park) in 1867, workmen, excavating the foundations for one of the follies near the Holy Well, made a strange discovery. The antiquarian John Grainger was called to the spot from Trinity College and recorded a well-preserved wooden box, a foot long and four inches wide. The box was locked with a device of ancient design – Roman, as Grainger assumed – with a small key fitted to it.

Once Grainger had opened the box, the content baffled the antiquarian – an approximately 12’’ baglike object made of some animal’s skin, the beast’s hair still attached on one side, an obviously Greek inscription sewn in on the other:

An alternate history by Dirk Puehl
“Ιωάννης Καμινιάτης της Θεσσαλονίκης έκανε αυτό το διάταξη για Υψηλός βασιλιάς Brian Bóruma mac Cennétig. Καλά Ημέρα του Αγίου Πατρικίου, παλιός φίλος.“ Unfortunately, the excavated hole in the ground had already been filled in with cement.

Brian Boru
Grainger could not make head nor tail of it and returned to the construction site to finally have a look at the surroundings of the find.

When asked about the content of the box by the curious workmen, Grainger described it and was met, to his dismay, with roaring laughter. The baffled antiquarian left the place without having achieved anything and the ominous box disappeared in the college’s archives.

However, a rather bawdy song went around soon after to the tune of "Old Rosin the Beau” called “The Ancient and Old Irish Condom” The lyrics of the song are still preserved to this day and can be found here: Sniff.

Favourite Political Figure (from the reader's choices)?

Gregory Peck's Great Adventure

April 19th, on this day the actor Eldred Gregory Peck was appointed United States Ambassador (Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary) to Ireland.

Needless to say the appointment of a lifelong supporter of the Democratic Party would have been unthinkable had the Republicans won the recent Presidential election. The GOP nominee, Richard Nixon had actually placed him on his enemies list due to his liberal activism. This was primarily due to his opposition to Hollywood blacklisting; in 1947 he signed a letter which deplored a House Un-American Activities Committee investigation of alleged communists in the film industry.

An intensely private man, Peck had only accepted the "great adventure" because of his Irish ancestry. That flowery description of the new role was his own phrase, but surely the timing of his arrival in Ireland on the eve of the sectarian violence surrounding the "Battle of the Bogside was precipitous.

Peck had not sought political office. He had politely, but firmly declined, offers to run against Ronald Reagan for State Senate in 1964, and later the Governorship of California in 1968. After the elections, Democrat supporters (including the defeated incumbent Governor Edmund Brown) were convinced that his charisma, and celebrity status, could have defeated his fellow actor.

Gregory Peck
A political confrontation between the two actors finally occurred in 1987 when Peck did the voice over on television commercials opposing Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of conservative jurist Robert Bork.

Bork's nomination was defeated to the disgust of many, including another actor Charlton Heston who registered his protest by formally joining the Republican Party.

In reality, in an interview with the Irish media, Peck revealed that former President Lyndon Johnson had told him that, had he sought re-election in 1968, he intended to offer Peck the post of U.S. ambassador to Ireland - a post Peck, due to his Irish ancestry, said he might well have taken, saying "[It] would have been a great adventure". Author Michael Freedland, in his biography of Peck, substantiates the report and says that Johnson indicated that his presentation of the Medal of Freedom to Peck would perhaps make up for his inability to confer the ambassadorship.

Nixon Appoints Irish Ambassador

President Richard Milhous Nixon appoints the former 35th President of the United States, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland.

It is an appointment that barely surprises anyone, Kennedy was long rumoured to be keen for the role following his visit to his ancestral home in 1963 during his sole term. (Kennedy relinquished the Presidency to his Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson in early 1964 due to serious health concerns).

In a statement to the press, Kennedy said: "Though Ireland is not country I was born in, it is the one I hold dearest in my heart. It will be both a tremendous honor and privilege to to serve both countries in the utmost capacity, I am deeply grateful for President-elect Nixon for this opportunity".

The irony of his praise for Nixon is noted by many in the press, given their close election battle in 1960 - and Kennedy's gratefulness was later seen during his support for Nixon during the Watergate crisis.

In his memoir The Education of a Public Man: My Life and Politics, Hubert Humphrey, the defeated Democratic candidate of 1968, would say he had it on "good authority" Kennedy believed Nixon would win the election, and as such, Nixon promised him the post if Kennedy made barely any campaign appearances on behalf of Humphrey. (It was then-rumoured Kennedy was bitter Humphrey defeated his brother, Robert, in the bitterly-fought Democratic primaries).

Kennedy and his wife Jacqueline bring tremendous glamour to Irish public life, residing in the American embassy in Dublin but his unprecendented nine-year tenure is best remembered for Kennedy bringing his brilliant diplomatic skills to the table during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
His willingness to engage politicians and representatives of parliamilitaries on both sides draws praise from all quarters, and only heightens the worldwide perception of Kennedy as a peace-maker.

With the Irish peace process having been cemented with the passing of the historic Anglo-Irish Agreement, many rightfully feel it is Kennedy's achievements during that turbulant era that inspired - and ultimately led to - lasting peace and the permanent ceasefire of terrorist activities that remains in place today.

In this scenario, a real-life desire of JFK during his Presidency comes true. Though no doubt it took some unprecedented lobbying of a certain Presidential successor for the post.

Fiftieth Anniversary of Joyce's Bad Date

June 16th, in an event that was part-literary pilgrimage and part-pub crawl, Envoy founder John Ryan and novelist Brian O'Nolan led writers Anthony Cronin and Patrick Kavanagh, James-Joyce-cousin Tom Joyce, and Registrar of Trinity College AJ Leventhal on a horse-drawn carriage ride through Dublin, Ireland, to recreate the day described in Ulysses now nicknamed "Bloomsday".

Written expansively by James Joyce from shorter stories in 1907 to its full publication in 1922, the experimental novel broke new literary ground with its usage of stream of consciousness in narrative and, along with T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land, stood as the pinnacle of Modernist literature in the English language.

Taking place in Dublin on June 16, 1904, the story details a number of point-of- view characters including young writer Stephen Dedalus (who appeared earlier in Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man), Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly, and various Dubliners. While including fantastical events and hallucinations, the narrative largely displays the lives of the average people, complete with difficulties and happiness. Over the course of the story, however, Joyce's overall despondency toward the world is displayed. Dedalus begins his day leaving his apartment over tension with his roommate and ends it accidentally beaten to blindness by an English soldier over a perceived anti-Royalist remark, which is covered up by police. Bloom, who witnessed the crime, determines to believe it never happened and instead continues his day, which he had spent meandering across Dublin, attending a mass, visiting the baths, going to a funeral, attempting to sell an ad, having lunch at a pub, ogling nude statues at the National Museum, dinner at a hotel, another visit to another pub, dropping by the maternity ward, and finally returning home, peeking at various women along the way.

Molly Bloom, however, proved through history as the most provocative character and perhaps the villain, though the protagonist-antagonist standard of literary theory hardly is followed in the piece. Joyce later wrote that he used elements of a girl he dated once (on June 16, 1904), but that the date had gone sour due to a spat over art versus life with him believing her thinking of him merely as a toy. The topic is explored in Ulysses as Molly has an ongoing affair with her manager, "Blazes" Boylan, who is not given a perspective but is displayed as something more pet-like than human. In the final episode of the novel, nicknamed "Molly Bloom's Soliloquy", her stream-of-consciousness is shown as she and her husband retire for the night, concluding with her reflection that he is furniture to their marriage, "a useful hat rack" or "a door".

Scholars to this day debate whether the work is pro- or anti-woman, featuring both vivid and humanistic portrayals of female thought in "Episode 13, Nausicaa" and the conclusion "Episode 18, Penelope" as well as jovial discussions of misogyny in "Episode 16, Eumaeus" and throughout. While on his self-exile to Europe, Joyce married a student from Trieste, Amalia Popper, but fled the marriage to Paris when he took up a week-long invitation from Ezra Pound that became a stay for a lifetime.

James Joyce
He came under the patronage of feminist and publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, who took his female characters as greatly human. After the success of Ulysses, Joyce wrote Finnegans Wake, which he began after a year break and continued unfinished until his death in 1941.

Joyce commented on Ulysses as being "immortal" and that he "put in so many enigmas and puzzles that it will keep the professors busy for centuries arguing over what I meant". However, what gave the work great notice was its perceived obscenity. It had been serialized in The Little Review in the US until 1918, when it came under legal accusation of obscenity due to vividly displaying human sexuality. In the resulting bans in both the US and Britain, the book gained notoriety, surging the readership. Molly Bloom was picked up as a champion among Flappers of the era, inspiring gold-digging and establishing oneself as the dominant role in relationships as a matter of philosophy. Literary minds disagreed whether the portrayal of Molly is negative or positive as a strong figure. Whatever the case, "Mollies" began organizing, disrupting social norms and causing reprisals among conservatives. The Bloomsday celebration in 1954 would soon be joined by numerous latter-generation Mollies, and the festival would spread to dozens of other cities.

In reality, Joyce happily spent June 16, 1904, with Nora Barnacle, with whom he would soon elope to Europe. The two were married until his death in 1941, like all people, faced their ups and downs.

James I, King of Ireland

October 14th, on this day the last Roman Catholic monarch of the combined Kingdoms of England, Scotland & Ireland James Stuart was born in St. James's Palace, London.

He succeeded to the throne only because his brother Charles had no legitimate children. And after a truncated reign from 6 February 1685 - 11 December 1688 he was ousted by William of Orange who ruled jointly with his wife (and James's daughter) Mary II.

James Stuart
Yet only three months later, he landed in Kinsale with six thousand French soldiers and set about establishing Jacobite Rule in the Kingdom of Ireland.

Although he might he hoped to build a platform for an English restoration, he was forced to be content with his new Kingdom, a Catholic Stuart Ireland. He died at his official residence at Dublin Castle in 1701. His son James Francis Edward Stuart would make a dramatic bid for power but only after the death of Anne Stuart when George I, Elector of Hanover looked set to inherit the British Crown.

In reality, her half-brother was pretender's in the French court, and he was overlooked by the British authorities.

Robbie A. Taylor writes -

The St. Patrick's Day Revolt swept across Ireland as Great Britain joined with the German Underground to fight the Greater Zionist Resistance. The Irish, who had been treated well by the G.Z.R., felt that the British would use their loyalty as an excuse to suppress many of the freedoms they had been granted. Irish leaders began a revolution against British rule on this most famous of Irish holidays.

Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh begins a tour of Ireland. The artist had been saved from a severe depression by a Mlosh doctor, and had created many paintings that held a Christian theme of salvation, which he thought went well with the legend of St. Patrick and Ireland.

Irish soldiers serving in New York City march to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and their own heritage. The British governor of New York decides that this display of nationalism is unseemly and orders them stopped. After a bloody riot, known as the St. Patrick's Day Massacre, the Irish soldiers are imprisoned and Irish immigrants in the city are forbidden from celebrating the holiday.

A selection of alternate histories by Robbie Taylor460
The Speaker's Line lost several of their Irish family as they converted to Christianity. The new converts lost interest in fulfilling the dreams of Telka, and Ireland became less hospitable to those of the Line who were traveling in Europe. In a few generations, though, the Speaker's Children would recover much of what they had lost, due to the general spread of Christianity through their ranks.

Robbie's Tweets from Alternate History now available on Twitter and his latest e-book "The Tree Of Knowledge (The Chelsea Perkins Trilogy)" on Amazon.
Patrick, a wealthy British Christian who had single-handedly converted the whole of Ireland to Christianity, died in his adopted homeland. In a few centuries, the Holy British Empire would use the legend of Patrick to convince the Irish to bow to their rule; the Irish became very loyal subjects of the Holy British Empire because of St. Patrick.

Patrick I, King of Eire, died in his castle in Dublin. With his influence, the Irish had been able to conquer England and Wales, and started spreading across the world over the following centuries. Today, everyone is Irish.

1213 AUC
A Brittanian slave attempting to escape to Eire was put to the death. The slave had been part of the underground cult of Christos which still had some few adherents even after 4 centuries of suppression by the Roman Empire. This slave, Patriclus according to some documents, had wanted to convert the people of Eire to his religion.

Irish Rebellion Gains Momentum into Revolution

July 29, 1848
An alternate history by Professor Jeff Provine
1848 was a year of revolt all around Europe. France's King Louis-Philippe had fallen to the Second Republic, Germans overthrew many of their local lords, and even the stalwart Austrians gained a constitution to balance the power of an absolute monarch. In Ireland, times were especially hard. The Potato Blight, beginning in 1845, had caused famine to last for years. The British government did very little to aid them, and now was the time for them to aid themselves.

Under the Union Act of 1800, Ireland had been joined with Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Since its passing by Parliament, there had been men working against it in Ireland known as the Repeal Association. The political movement remained marginal before stepping up to fame as the Young Ireland movement in 1839. Along with new powers granted to the Catholics in the 1832, the movement gained force all over the country. A splinter group, the Irish Confederation, began the push for all-out independence and a wholly Irish parliament.

Professor Jeff Provine
After the success of the French revolution in February, the Irish began to make their moves. While leader William Smith O'Brien hoped for a bloodless revolution, the government was more fearful and suspended habeas corpus on July 22. O'Brien and his followers decided to act to oppose this force of politics.

Battles erupted around County Tipperary, culminating on July 29 in the village of Ballingarry. O'Brien and other Young Irelanders had fortified The Commons and awaited the approach of police and military troops. A group of 46 under Sub-Inspector Trant had been spotted, and the rebels pursued them into a two-story farmhouse where the police set up defense and took the family hostage. O'Brien approached the house and explained to the police that if they were to surrender their arms, they would be allowed to return home as fellow Irishmen. After a long moment of thought, Trant surrendered.

A few hours later, a band of one hundred more police under Sub-Inspector Cox appeared, being met by the surrendering police as well as a crowd of hundreds of pike-wielding, jubilant rebels. In shock, these police surrendered, too. All through the night, word spread of the victory, and O'Brien worked to harangue his people to never give up the fight for independence.

On July 30, the British army approached the fortified Young Irelanders. The commanders were slow to assault such a massive, poorly armed but publicly acclaimed band, but at last the battle ensued. Tactically, the battle became a draw, and the army retreated for the night. O'Brien, however, called the battle a great victory and spread word of the success of the revolution in more-than-literal terms. All over Ireland through August, revolts would begin, and the British landowners and Loyalists would be chased from the island. On August 23, O'Brien and his followers of men, women, and children would take Dublin and call for elections to an Irish Parliament. O'Brien was named Prime Minister, a position he would hold for fifteen years until his death in 1864.

In September, while the Royal Family retired to Balmoral in Scotland, Prince Albert would come to Ireland with a massive force of British troops. He suggested an armistice, to which O'Brien agreed, and the two would begin to mastermind a fair treaty that would grant Ireland its own parliament, but still keep the emerald isle as part of the British Empire. Seeing the forces willing to fight to maintain conquest, O'Brien agreed. The Act of Irish Parliament passed narrowly in 1849, with many Loyalists crying out against it. With renewed Irish loyalty, however, the empire would blossom.

Loyalists and English would gradually leave Ireland while the Catholic Irish stayed and worked to improve their country with O'Brien's reforms over the rest of the nineteenth century. Industry, especially manufacturing, grew with economic incentives from the Irish Parliament and a workforce of millions (many scholars predict these men may have emigrated to America). The Irish would be instrumental troops in World War I as well as the counter-invasion of the Continent against Hitler's soldiers in 1941, leading to the downfall of Germany in early 1944.

Moreover, the Irish Parliament would give Britain a model for treatment of its colonies and creating productive home-rule. Fending off the Communist incursions of the 1950s and '60s, the British Empire would continue to dominate the world along with its ally and former colony, the United States of America. With the fall of their competitor the Soviet Union in 1992, Britain would lead the world into its next millennium as an empire upon which the sun would never set.

Ireland, meanwhile, would be a land of marginal success. Its industrial heyday was long over, with crime and unemployment rampant, though the 1990s would cause a renewed surge of economics in technology as the Silicon Isle of Europe.

In reality, someone (thought to be a policeman, though it is not known who) shot at O'Brien at the Ballingarry farmhouse. A gun battle would begin lasting hours, which the vindictive rebels would win. When Cox and his men appeared, the bloodthirsty rebels would spring upon them and slaughter dozens despite their begs of mercy.
As the army arrived the next day, there seemed no more want of battle, and the Irish would give up their weapons. O'Brien and other leaders would be arrested and sentenced to hanging, drawing, and quartering as traitors. Petitions with upwards of 80,000 signatures would appear against them, and HM's government would commute the sentences to exile in Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania).
Ireland would not gain independence until 1927, still under the crown, and its republic would not appear until 1949.

Robbie Taylor, Creator of Today in Alternate History Eric B. Lipps, writer for Today in Alternate History Dirk Puehl, Editor of #Onthisday Professor Jeff Provine, Editor of This Day in Alternate History
Haleh Brooks, Guest Reader of #Onthisday Marko Bosscher, tours Natural History museums at Eruditorum Alternate Historian, Editor of Today in Alternate History Eric Oppen, writer of Today in Alternate History
Jackie Rose, novelist for Extasy Books Andrew Beane, Editor of Voice of the Christian Worker Gerry Shannon, Freelance Film-maker Ruairi James Heekin, web master of Sleeping under the Cross.

Today's six-way post includes contributions from the Reverend Robbie A. Taylor, Professor Jeff Provine, Haleh Brooks, Eric B. Lipps and the Editor.

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