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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

Mocollop Castle

This seems to be the name nowadays recognised for the place that Burke referred to as McCollop Castle, playing a significant part in the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and in what is coming to be called the War of the Three Kingdoms (England, Scotland and Ireland), of which the English Civil War was but a part, and which wasn't settled in Scotland or Ireland until Cromwell's New Model Army crushed all opposition in the 1650's.

I know little enough yet about all the political, religious and social intricacies of this tripartite conflict, but knew precisely nothing until a BBC television programme in Apr 2014 – which accorded it a timespan from 1603 (when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England) until 1651. It's got to be said that the Normans (expatriate Scandinavians), the Tudors (expatriate Welsh), and Stuarts (expatriate Scots), systematically wrecked any possibility that the English (expatriate Angles, Saxons and Jutes) could ever establish truly harmonious relations with the Welsh, Scots and Irish peoples. In fact I become more and more amazed that the United Kingdom (as finalised in 1801 with the inclusion of Ireland) actually managed to last a full century thereafter.

The union of Wales with England in 1536 created Britain, the union of Scotland with Britain in 1707 created Great Britain, and the union of Ireland with Great Britain in 1801 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

I think the union of 1536 simply legitimised what was already a cohabitation, whereas the union of 1707 was more of a marriage of convenience: as any fule kno, the Scots only consented to join in 1707 because the Darien Project had ruined their economy. I really don't know what induced the union of 1801. But in every case, I believe that the populace of the smaller partner concerned were far from unanimous in wanting to join, or having joined, in wanting to stay that way.

So in 1922 most of Ireland withdrew from the United Kingdom, becoming an independent republic, though part of Ulster opted to remain in the UK as the entity now known as Northern Ireland. The long campaign by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) to "get the British out of Northern Ireland" was in reality aimed at forcing a union of Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic – which was regarded with deep hostility not only by the majority of Northern Irish people but also, for economic reasons, by the government of the Irish Republic itself!

Though their 2014 referendum was unsuccessful, many people in Scotland think they'd like to become independent again (though some of them would like to retain the Monarch as Head of State) and are calling for another referendum to reflect the massive success of the SNP (Scottish National Party) in the 2015 UK General Election.

And the UK electorate is to vote in a 2016 referendum to decide whether to exit from the EU (European Union), admittedly an imperfect organisation but in which the German paymasters could at least help us to remain afloat until the financial follies of the Thatcher and Blair/Brown administrations can be rectified.

To complicate this further, if the UK does vote to leave the EU, an independent Scotland would like to remain in the EU, as indeed the Republic of Ireland already is. So Britain's economic isolation would become all the greater. And in an increasingly dangerous world, I see the dismantling of the UK and withdrawal from the EU as making us ever more vulnerable.

Having got that off my chest, let me cut to the chase, and point you towards the tale of Mocollop Castle!

Chapters 1, 2 = celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/2013/12/mocollop-castle-co-waterford-history-of.html

Chapters 3, 4 = celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/2013/12/mocollop-castle-co-waterford-history-of_23.html

Chapters 5, 6 = celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.ie/2013/12/mocollop-castle-co-waterford-history-of_27.html

Chapters 7, 8, 9 = celtic2realms-medievalnews.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/mocollop-castle-co-waterford-history-of_1552.html