Padraig lenihan consolidating conquest


11-Jul-2016 07:46

Cromwell is easily Irish history’s most resistant figure to a favourable re-evaluation.

A member of a long-standing Drogheda family, I grew up close to where the walls of the town were breached on 9/11 1649. As a young adult I joined the Old Drogheda Society and a short glimpse into local history later I began to question the truth about the massacres.

About 3,000 men, women and children were killed.’ No ambiguity there.

The teacher then picks up a second history book, published by Harper Collins in 2002, where the veracity of the civilian atrocity stories is debated at some length and alternative interpretations presented. The name ‘Cromwell’ is so talismanic that its very invocation still causes Irish hearts to stir.

The documented evidence for the period is fraught with inconsistencies as contemporary writers sought to convince with motives that were either genuine or ulterior.

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My study was published in 1999, the 350th anniversary of the ‘massacres’.

Many Irish historians of the 17th-century refuse to accept the arguments outlined in my book and insist that its methodology is flawed and that therefore its thesis is rendered useless.

Jason Mc Elligott (, 2008) still take the view that large numbers of unarmed civilians, men, women and children, were deliberately slaughtered under Cromwell’s orders at Drogheda and Wexford.

Here I read about the activities of hundreds of Drogheda people who went about their daily business in the days immediately after Cromwell’s visit.

So it couldn’t have been the ‘entire population’ of Drogheda then.was the organised colonisation (plantation) of Ulster – a province of Ireland – by people from Great Britain during the reign of King James I.