Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Tag

An Epistle to Friends in Ireland   Leave a comment


This is from The Missing Cross to Purity:

[Note: Francis Howgill and Edward Burrough once traveled together to Ireland, according to the Lord’s instructions to both, to preach the true gospel. They were very successful, reaching many people, and then they were arrested and expelled back to England. This appears to have been written when they were in detention in Dublin, awaiting their transport back to England. He is writing to those who they had just convinced and set up in silent meetings in the weeks before their arrest. It serves as an excellent statement of what happens in the spiritual journey: from the touch, to the tribulation, and the kingdom, and then the union.]

To all of you who believed the report, and who received the testimony, and to whom the word of the Lord came in power, to the turning of you, in any measure, from darkness to light, our souls’ wish and desire the multiplying and abounding of the grace and love of God in you and among you; that thereby, you may grow in union and favor with God, and into the fellowship with all the Children of the Light; and may be nourished as newborn babes, by the milk of the word, which endures forever. And truly, though we are now separated from you in the body, we are present with you in spirit, not ceasing in prayer to God for you; but with heart breathings to Him, our souls are poured out at the throne of Grace on your behalf that your faith may not be made void, knowing your state and condition; being full sensible of your weakness to resist temptations of the enemy, but young and tender in the experience of the way and operation of God; and unacquainted with the wiles of Satan, who will not cease in seeking whom he may devour, and whom he may lead aside in the bypaths of iniquity, from the obedience and faith in Christ Jesus; that shipwreck may be made of those good desires now begotten in you, through the ministry of Christ sent to you; by whom a good work has begun in you, which will bring forth the redemption and salvation of your souls, if you abide in the patience, enduring the cross and sufferings unto the end.

And dear friends, this charge, in the name of the Lord, we lay upon you; that in the fear of the Lord, you meet together, waiting in the patient hope, in the Light which leads out of the night and out of all the works of darkness, unto the day, glory, and rising of the Sun of Righteousness that all clouds and veils may be removed and the night of darkness and stumbling may be wholly finished; that as Children of the Light, and of the day, you may walk, bringing forth fruits of righteousness, to the glory of God; being judged in the flesh, and condemned as men in the flesh, and changed, from its nature of transgression and disobedience, into the Divine nature of God, and into the likeness of the Father; that from this time forward, as a people redeemed by Him, and saved by Him, you may serve Him in newness of life, by the Spirit of his Son; who dwells in you, as you dwell in the Light.

May the Lord God Almighty preserve you, to the finishing of your course with joy, in the way of the Lord; that you may know as you are known; and victory may be given you over death, hell, and the grave; and that through the war you may partake of the crown immortal, which fades not away. Therefore be faithful in obedience to the will of God, made manifest in the Light, which condemns the evil, and chooses the good. Daily become subject to the cross of Christ, taking up his yoke and burden, which kills and crucifies the fleshly man, with his affections, desires, and lusts; that being slain to all mortal, you may reign immortality over all your enemies inward and outward; against which you are to war, even against spiritual wickedness in high places, and against exalting thoughts and imaginations. Therefore put on the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, and gird yourselves with his power; and be low in heart, and subject to the Father in all things; and be not high-minded, but fear; and stand in awe, and sin not; neither flee from the cross of Christ, but let it be your rejoicing; and let love abound among you, even the love with which you are loved by the Father; being of one heart, and like minded with one another, and forgiving one another, and humbly reproving one another, if any are overtaken with a fault.

Wait for discerning, to have salt in yourselves, to know and savor one another in the spirit, and operation, and working of it; that being sensible, and feeling one another’s conditions in the spirit, you may speak to the informing of one another, to the building up on one another, in the precious faith. But be slow to speak, and swift to hear; and do not feed each other’s sensual wisdom, which is the serpent’s seat. For words without knowledge darken counsel, and betray simplicity. But take heed to the measure of the Light of Christ, and be watchful in it; having the loins of your minds girded up, as obedient servants, waiting for the will of God; to be doers of his will from the simplicity and sincerity of the heart. Be watchful, for fear that the tempter by imaginations presents himself in a way and voice, like the way and voice of the True Shepard; and thereby the simplicity is ensnared, and your way and savor is lost, and darkness and clouds come over you; and so deceit strengthens itself; and takes an offence in Christ Jesus. The last end of which will be worse than the beginning, and the way of truth will be blasphemed; and the grace of God will be turned into lack of restraint; and the door of Life will be shut against them. But be upright hearted; and single minded unto the end; for he who overcomes shall eat of the hidden manna. Rev 2:17, John 6:31-35.

Do not strive with each another, neither judge each other, in whatever you do not see in the Light; but keep at home in your own conditions, waiting until judgment is perfected in victory, and your redemption is brought forth. Though you have trouble in the world, and suffering and reproaches from it; yet in Christ shall you have peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For your present troubles, and sufferings, are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in you. Coming through the same entrance of tribulations with us, you shall be made partakers of the same life, and glory, and inheritance, to rejoice, and sing the song of the Lamb for evermore, over the beast, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.

All of you, whether masters or servants, parents or children; whatever calling or condition, walk as becomes the gospel of Christ Jesus, in all holiness, and purity, and humility in your conduct; and be examples of righteousness to each other, that in your several places you may honor Him who has called you, by works of faith and righteousness; that thereby the mouth of those who wait for your halt of progress may be stopped; and by your good works God may be glorified in the sight of your enemies. For the gospel preached to you was not to lead into words only, but into life and power, and our unity stands with those who are in the life and power; and we shall never be ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. Therefore dear children, be diligent in the Lord’s work, and steadfast in watching over your own hearts in particular; and watch over one another in general for good, and not evil; that you may grow up into one body, members of one head, joined by the Spirit to Christ Jesus, who is the Light of the world; upon whom you have believed to your salvation, if you continue in the faith. And your rock of defense and salvation, has become the stumbling stone, and rock of offence to the princes and to the rulers. Beloved, truly our bowels are troubled for you, not being ignorant of the very purpose of Satan; who has now stirred up his agents, thinking to make void your faith and belief, and even to slay the child [within] while he is young: but our confidence in the Lord in this is strong, that He will preserve you to his praise, and the little seed shall never be forgotten of Him; but though it was sown in weakness, it shall arise, and spring, and be raised in power to the torment of all the Lord’s enemies.

You whose hearts God has touched, and who have entered into the way, look not back at any glory left behind; but freely give up all, and press on in the straight way, through the death of the enmity upon the cross; and as you deny yourselves for Christ, so will your reward be from Him manifold. Dwell in the judgment until the ground of all unrighteousness is removed; and so eternal peace be manifested to the seed of immortality. Do not look back at hardships or at the multitudes of temptations; but mind the Light, which is the whole armor of God, whereby you will receive strength to overcome all your enemies; and the Covenant of God will be established with you, in which you will receive the blessing in all things, and will know how to use all things to the glory of God; seeing his pure presence in all his blessings. Stand always in the cross to the carnal, and your understandings will be kept open and clear, to receive the pure teachings of the Father; and his wisdom from above will grow in you; and the wisdom of the earthly will die. If you abide in the Light that is from the beginning, you need no one to teach you; but by the anointing which you will receive, you will be taught all things in the way of God perfectly; and so stand witnesses for the Lord, and against all the world and its deceits. Beware of the love of the world; and of the bad ground; and of the envious man, for fear that he sow tares among the good seed, and so you become corrupted, and the just principle in you is betrayed; and so Satan exalts himself above the measure of God’s Spirit revealed in you; and so you perish in the arguing. But our hearts hope better things of you, even your growth into the inheritance with Christ; to reign with Him over the world, in the incorruptible inheritance; that we may reign together in one heart and mind, one with another. And truly herein will our joy be increased, in the midst of our troubles and sufferings, to hear and understand of your faithfulness and obedience, in the faith of the gospel declared unto you.

To the Grace of God, upon whom you have believed, we do commit you, in the bowels of everlasting love and pity, with tenderness of soul and spirit, to be kept in the power of God unto the day of salvation. The eternal presence of the Lord God, the Everlasting Father be with you all. Amen, Amen.

We are yours in the Lord and are fellow prisoners for the testimony of Jesus, which we hold, known to you, and not to the world.

From the house of the Sergeant at Arms in Dublin, the 24th of the 12th month 1655

Francis Howgill

Edward Burrough

Revival in Ireland?
William Edmundson, The Irish Hammer

Revival in Ireland?   6 comments


Dreams from the LORD 2011-2015
9 April 2015

Last night I had two dreams.  In the first dream, it looked like I was in Ireland.  I met these people while I was walking down this country road.  I talked to them about the Gospel.  One of these was a Catholic priest.  The priest then had a profound salvation experience and was filled with joy.  He started running down the road and told everybody he could about Jesus Christ.

In the second dream, I met these two guys.  They were very evil.  It looked like they wanted to do me harm.  I then walked up to the older guy and said, “I rebuke you, Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ!”  I kept saying this until this surprised, confused look came over his face.  He started acting very strange, walked away from me, knelt down and vomited.  He then had this big smile on his face.  He had been delivered of a demon or demons.  The same thing happened to his friend.

The first dream:  I believe it means that there could be a revival in Ireland in the near future.

Obedience to the Promptings of the Spirit (1904 Welsh Revival)
William Edmundson, The Irish Hammer
The Revival Hymn
Athy, County Kildare, Ireland
Patrick of Ireland
Dream of God’s grace over all Ireland

Posted April 9, 2015 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Hitchhiking in Ireland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales   6 comments


Back in September or October of 1980, I took a train and left Carlow, County Carlow in Ireland and headed north towards Dublin.  I had been working on a farm near Carlow for the past two months for Jim Foley and his family.  I got to Dublin and took a bus across the city center to this train station on the north side.  From there I took a train to Dundalk and then caught a bus to Kingscourt, County Cavan.

I had been told by some relatives back in the States that there was a Fr. Mackin who lived in Kingscourt.  He was staying at the Mackin Hotel.  Fr. Mackin was the priest at my grandparents’ parish in Red Oak, Iowa.  After he retired, he moved back to Ireland.

I arrived in Kingscourt and walked to the Mackin Hotel.  I met Fr. Mackin and he was very happy to see me and glad to hear that I was related to Dan and Bertha Shey of Red Oak.  (Grandma Shey died in Pharr, Texas in 1977; Grandpa Shey died in Houston in 1978).  His nephew and wife owned the Mackin Hotel and Fr. Mackin said that it would be all right if I stayed the night.

Later that evening, Fr. Mackin showed me a photograph of my grandparents when they were living back in Iowa.  I thought that was a nice detail:  I had travelled all the way to Ireland and met someone who knew my grandparents—and he still had a photograph of them.  Fr. Mackin spoke highly of my grandparents.

(A little side note:  Dan Shey’s grandfather (O’Shea) came from County Kerry; Bertha (Cruise) Shey’s father came from County Roscommon.)

So I stayed the night, packed my backpack the next morning, said goodbye to Fr. Mackin and hit the road.

I walked a few miles and this guy picked me up.  He said that maybe I shouldn’t be hitchhiking so close to the border with Northern Ireland.  Just a week before, this IRA (Irish Republican Army) gunman hijacked a car and drove into Northern Ireland.

We drove several miles and we stopped at this place where a construction company had its office—there was some road construction in the area.  The guy told me that the managing director of the construction company was there and that he might give me a ride into Northern Ireland.  A few minutes later, the managing director walked outside.  I was introduced to him by the other guy and I now had a ride towards Belfast.

I don’t remember the managing director’s name, but we had an intense talk about a lot of things.  He was raised in Wales and went to college at Cambridge.  He told me that he had played a lot of rugby as a young man and had hitchhiked all over England and France playing rugby.

Driving through Northern Ireland, I saw this military helicopter land near this farmhouse and these armed soldiers jumped out of the helicopter and ran towards the farmhouse.  I had a surprised look on my face.  The guy told me that you see the British Army a lot in Northern Ireland.

He originally was going to drop me off on the outskirts of Belfast, but we had such a great talk, he said that he would drop me off at the docks in Larne instead.  I told him that my plan was to take a ferry across to Scotland and travel to Dundee and look up the relatives of the Jim Foley family of Carlow.

He dropped me off in Larne and I got on a ferry to Stranraer, Scotland.

When I got to Stranraer, I met this guy from France.  He asked me, “Do you speak French?”

I shook my head and  said, “No.”

Then he asked, “London?”

I replied, “South.”  Then I pointed south.

The Frenchman walked to the highway and began to hitchhike.  I walked to the bus station and sat there for a while.  I walked outside an hour later and the Frenchman was gone—he had gotten a ride.  I went back inside the bus station and slept there that night.

The next day I got a bus to Glasgow.  From there I got on a bus to Stirling, Perth and then to Dundee.  I stayed at a motel that night in Dundee.  I then phoned the relatives of the Jim Foley family.  They said it would be all right to stay with them for a short while.  I stayed there a week and then got on a bus from Dundee to London.

I arrived at Victoria Station in London and then got on another bus to Southampton.  In Southampton, I walked around near the docks and visited four shipping companies.  I asked them if I could work for my passage to South Africa.  I wanted to eventually end up in Tanzania where a friend of my family, a Catholic priest, worked at a mission.  All four shipping companies turned me down; they said that they didn’t let people work for their passage anymore.

By that time, it was getting dark and I didn’t know where to go.  I went to this St. James Shelter for homeless men, but they didn’t let me in because I told them that I had some money on me (they only allowed men who were penniless).

I walked and walked all over downtown Southampton.  It started to rain and I was getting cold and wet.  I started to get down in the dumps.  I then walked to the police station and asked a policeman there if I could stay in the jail overnight.  He said absolutely not; the jail was for criminals only.  Then I really became dejected.  The jailer later told me that I could go to the Salvation Army and they would put me up for the night for five pounds.  I thanked him and walked to the Salvation Army where I had a warm bed to sleep in that night.

The next day after breakfast, I walked to the edge of this highway on the west side of Southampton.  I waited an hour and got a ride.  We drove through Salisbury and stopped at this pub where the guy bought me a pint of beer.  He told me that he had been to America before and thought that the beer in America tasted terrible.

We then drove through Bath, past Bristol and into Wales.  He dropped me off and then I got a ride with this guy and we went through Abergavenny, Llandovery, Llandeilo and Carmarthen.  I got another ride to Haverfordwest and then got dropped off around fifteen miles from Fishguard.

It was raining and past sundown and I sat at this bus stop for awhile and tried to sleep, but couldn’t.  I saw this little shed behind the bus stop, so I walked to the shed, found some hay and covered myself up with the hay and slept there that night.

The next day I walked to Fishguard and then to the docks.

I had a little money on me, but not enough to take the ferry across to Ireland.  At the docks, I met this Englishman and this Irishman.  The Englishman asked me if I could help the Irishman.  The Irishman hitchhiked from London to Dover thinking that he wanted to go to France.  He changed his mind and then hitchhiked to Fishguard.  He had no money on him.  Well, to make a long story short, the Englishman, the Irishman and myself put our heads together, put our money together and we all three were able to get on the ferry to Ireland.

The ferry took us from Fishguard to Rosslare Harbor in County Wexford.  The Irishman thanked me and thanked me and thanked me for helping him out.  He said that I could stay with his family in Wexford for the night, but I declined the offer.  We shook hands and I began walking down the highway.

I walked several miles and it was way past sundown.  I saw this shed in a pasture, so I jumped over the fence and slept in the hay bales of that shed that night.

The next day I hitchhiked back up to Carlow and phoned the Foley family.  I stayed there with the Foley family and helped with the sugar beet harvest.  I then flew back to the States around the 1st of November.

May 1981:  Northern Ireland and Bob Jamieson of NBC News
Setting Sail:  Irish Immigration During the Potato Famine
Born Fighting:  How the Scots-Irish Shaped America
Athy, County Kildare, Ireland
Revival in Ireland?
Hitchhiking Stories from Digihitch


County Carlow



Posted September 22, 2014 by Tim Shey in Uncategorized

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Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America   4 comments


Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America 
By James Webb

Page 121:  “Call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch Irish Presbyterian rebellion.”

–A Hessian officer, writing home during the War of the American Revolution.

Page 149: “They built churches, the Scots-Irish first following the Presbyterian faith, but over time becoming more and more inclined to adopt the evangelical Baptist and Methodist denominations, again possibly to draw a line between their communities and the tamer form of Presbyterianism being brought directly from an increasingly enlightened Scotland.”

Page 150: “The Tidewater Aristocracy that had allowed such settlements looked askance at these new Americans, often snidely belittling them for their coarseness and their backward, nonintellectual ways. But their ferocious performance against a variety of Indian attacks that began in 1754 and continued even after the seven years of the French and Indian War gained them not only respect but also an enduring legitimacy. They fought and played by their own rules, expecting no quarter from any enemy and giving none in return. And by the eve of the American Revolution in 1775, they had become a political force in their own right.”

Page 152: “But the migration to America was raising far more dangerous concerns in political circles. The English ruling class, which had begun the century seeking strong people to settle in the colonies, slowly began to see unintended consequences. The Ulster Scots had brought with them not only a desire for a better life, but also a determination to live under their own rules. The democracy of the Presbyterian Kirk, and ancient mistrust of higher authority, and a burning resentment of the English hierarchy that had given them so much trouble in Ulster all fueled their interactions with other cultures from their first days in America. Seasoned observers on both sides of the Atlantic began watching the dynamic of the Scots-Irish migration with increasing concern. The out-migration was causing economic troubles in Ireland, but an even greater problem was percolating across the seas—the very survival of the British colonial system on the new continent. Trouble had almost immediately been set loose in the colonies as a result of the Scots-Irish arrival in America for although political disagreements had been building in the colonies for some time, the ever disagreeable Ulster Scots were injecting a new and violent tone to the debate.”

Page 153: “The first Great Celtic Migration from Ireland [by 1775] was complete, and the people who had traveled to America were now largely positioned in a broad swath of mountains that marked the geographic—and political—boundary between an aristocratic, colonial past and a future so wide and promising that its dimensions were unfathomable. And although it was mainly the English-American aristocracy that framed the intellectual arguments for the movement toward independence, it would be the Scots-Irish who would bring the fire of revolution to the pulpits of almost every frontier church and also would provide a disproportionate share of guns and soldiers to the battlefield once war broke out.

“As the eminent English historian James Anthony Fronde put it in 1872, ‘The resentment which they carried with them continued to burn in their new homes; and, in the War of Independence, England had no fiercer enemies than the grandsons and great-grandsons of the Presbyterians who had held Ulster against Tyrconnell.’”

Page 156: “Just as important, the churches became vital centers of religious, social, and even political activity. From those pulpits, decade after decade, strong men preached about the power of the individual, decried the evil of a government that sought to interpose itself between man and God, and reminded parishioners of the two centuries of discrimination by the Anglican English aristocracy against their people, a discrimination that in many ways still existed in America.”

Page 157 & 158: “The power of numbers and the strength of the rhetoric began to tell. In the late 1740s and early 1750s a wave of religious tolerance swept the region, becoming known as the Great Awakening. This movement was led not so much by the Presbyterians as by the Baptists, who slowly gained great favor in Scots-Irish communities by echoing the strongest edicts of John Calvin that no government had the right to stand between God and His people. Evangelical revivals filled the backcountry. Governments themselves softened, slowly allowing religious freedoms. Transitional figures such as the legendary orator Patrick Henry, whose Scottish father was ‘properly’ Anglican but whose mother was an ardent Presbyterian, took up the cudgel and worked to remove ‘established religion’ from the realm of government. This issue, forced heavily by Scots-Irish and other ‘dissenting’ mountain communities, was a major factor in the creation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which begins ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’”

Page 161: “As the American colonies moved toward declaring independence from Great Britain, the Scots-Irish were all but unanimous in their desire to be free of the English government. Although the trained minds of New England’s Puritan culture and Virginia’s Cavalier aristocracy had shaped the finer intellectual points of the argument for political disunion, the true passion for individual rights emanated from the radical individualism of the Presbyterian and, increasingly, Baptist pulpits. New political theories of democracy and federal systems were being tested and debated in the learned salons and legislative chambers along the coast. But for the people in the mountains, two centuries of Kirk-dominated Calvinism had already nurtured a raw yet powerful concept—the individual’s moral right to rebel against the unjust policies of any government. This concept, which for the moment dovetailed neatly with the aristocratic forces of revolution in the East, would later form the basis for a more inclusive brand of populism first characterized by the presidency of Andrew Jackson.”

Page 162: “It was reported that King George III characterized the Revolution as ‘a Presbyterian War,’ and that Horace Walpole remarked in Parliament, ‘There is no use crying about it. Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson, and that is the end of it.’”

“A New Englander who opposed the rupture with England declared the Scotch-Irish to be, with few exceptions, ‘The most God-provoking democrats on this side of Hell.’”

Pages 162 & 163: “Estimates vary, but it is undeniable that the Scots-Irish comprised at least one-third and as many as one-half of the ‘rebel’ soldiers during the Revolutionary War. They became quickly known not only for their battlefield tenacity, but also for their loyalty during the brutal winter of 1777 at Valley Forge, where they remained steadfast while large numbers of soldiers deserted George Washington.”

Page 165: “The great majority of the population in the Carolinas was in the mountains, and the bulk of the people in the mountains were Scots-Irish with long memories, deep hatreds, and battle skills that had been continuously honed against the Indians. Blindly—some might say arrogantly—the British ignored that reality as they pressed their campaign further inland. Having toppled the Continentals so easily along the coastline, their leaders reasoned that a policy of terror and intimidation in the western communities would quickly bring the rest of the Carolinas into the fold.

“This misjudgment proved to be perhaps the most costly error of the war. By launching a campaign that in its tone was chillingly reminiscent of Proud Edward’s attempt to hammer Scotland and Henry VIII’s ‘rough wooing’ of the Scottish lowlands in centuries past, the British and their Tory cohorts provoked the anger of the very people who were capable of smashing their advance. And smash it they would.”

Page 169: “From their gathering point at Sycamore Shoals, the over-mountain militias headed southeast, toward the North Carolina Piedmont. In early October they picked up the trail of Ferguson’s meandering battalion and began tracking him. Shortly, other militia units joined them, one coming up from South Carolina, another traveling down from North Carolina’s Piedmont. They now numbered more than 1,000, almost even in size with Ferguson’s 1,300 Redcoats. And on October 7, 1780, they found Ferguson on a narrow ridge that the locals called King’s Mountain.”

Page 170: “The battlefield was small; the length of six football fields on top of a mountain a few hundred feet high. The numbers involved were not huge; a thousand or so on each side. The battle did not last long; little more than an hour. But the victory was so stunning and the differences in military style so complete that one can say without exaggeration that Colonial America, with all its stylistic dependence on European forms of propriety, began conclusively to die along with Ferguson’s soldiers on King’s Mountain. And it was being replaced by the raw individualism of an uneducated and testy group that the Europeans, perhaps always, would quizzically view as ‘mongrels.’ This was not the carefully replicated English society along the coast that was mangling Ferguson on the mountain. Rather, it was something fresh and new, occasionally even ugly, that could not yet even be defined.”

Page 171: “Rock by rock, slope by slope, fighting sometimes so close that a rifle went off into the belly of a Redcoat whose bayonet had pierced the same rifleman’s arm, the buckskin and linen-clad militiamen used every skill that a generation of Indian warfare had taught them. The volleys of Ferguson’s ever more nervous soldiers went repeatedly high, over their heads, while the individual shots from well-used long rifles were seldom off the mark.”

“The over-mountain men had not merely defeated the Redcoats at King’s Mountain, they had totally destroyed them. At a cost of 28 killed and 62 wounded, ‘Ferguson’s detachment of 1,100 men was annihilated.’ Indeed, ‘only 200 Tories sent out earlier on a foraging expedition were able to escape. Hearing of Ferguson’s defeat, Cornwallis began backpedaling into South Carolina.’”

Page 172: “Mindful of Tarleton’s butchery and Cornwallis’s early promise to hang them, they held court on a number of Redcoats who were recognized as local Tory leaders, sentencing thirty-six to death and hanging nine of them before growing tired of the killing. Other prisoners were shot in individual incidents, and still others were left on the trail to die. And then the militiamen who had changed the course of the Revolutionary War simply went home.”

Page 173: “These men and others, great-great-great-grandsons all, fought with purpose on behalf of concepts that were older that the Scottish Kirk, views of human dignity that in time, in many places, became America itself.”

Page 182: “The power—and ultimately the attractiveness—of the Scots-Irish culture stemmed from its insistence on the dignity of the individual in the face of power, regardless of one’s place or rank in society.”

Pages 182 & 183: “The ideas that fueled the concept had been adapted into its religious base through the Scottish Kirk and were further refined in Ireland as the notions of nonconformity evolved, asserting that every individual had the moral right to resist any government that did not respect his beliefs.”

Page 289: “For nearly two thousand years, in one form or another, this culture’s unbending individualism—and its ingrained hatred of aristocracy—has been in conflict with a variety of authoritarian power structures, and it remains so in today’s American.”

Page 343: “We helped build this nation from the bottom up. We face the world on our feet and not on our knees. We were born fighting. And if the cause is right, we will never retreat.”

Freedom to Bear Arms
Scotland Votes No—prophetic words revisited
Two Pleasant Surprises:  High Plains Drifter Revisited
Garry Owen
The Future in Hindsight
How the Scots Invented the Modern World
A Dream about Donald Trump
The Siege of Jadotville (155 Irish soldiers vs 4000 Katangese troops)

Ronald Speirs:  Absolute Legend

May 1981: Northern Ireland and Bob Jamieson of NBC News   1 comment

This story is about my traveling to England, Wales and Ireland when I was twenty-one years old. I was an observer at the Francis Hughes (a hunger striker) funeral in Bellaghy, County Derry, Northern Ireland.

Back in 1980, 1981 and 1982 I lived in Ireland for a total of thirteen months. My dad paid for two trips and I paid for one trip to Ireland. In May of 1981, I took my hard-earned money and flew from Minneapolis to London (Gatwick Airport). I took a bus to Brighton and then to Southampton. In Southampton, I stopped by the police department and thanked the policeman who helped me the previous fall when I was temporarily down and out in Southampton; he helped me get a room at the Salvation Army.

From Southampton I took a bus into Wales, took the ferry across to Ireland (Wexford) and took a bus to Carlow. In Carlow I stopped at the local college to see if there were any notices for rooms for rent. Somehow I bumped into this guy named Brian. Brian was an instructor at the college and he said I could stay at his place for the summer, because he was going to Africa on a mission trip in about a week.

Brian lived in Athy*, County Kildare and we drove to his place; he let me sleep on the couch. The next day, Brian and I were watching the news and there was a story about Francis Hughes, a hunger striker, who had died at the prison in Long Kesh in Northern Ireland. Brian knew Francis Hughes’ family very well. Brian was originally from Northern Ireland. Brian’s first reaction to the news was that there could be riots in Northern Ireland. Bobby Sands, another hunger striker, had died a week before. This was all big news in Ireland; I later learned that the deaths of Sands and Hughes were big news in the United States as well.

So Brian looked at me and asked me if I wanted to go on a road trip into Northern Ireland. I said, no problem. So we headed north and Brian and I had an intense discussion about the troubles in the North. We stayed at his sister’s place, I believe, in Antrim, County Antrim. The funeral of Francis Hughes would be in a day or so. Funerals in Irish culture are very important–everybody goes to funerals.

The day of the Francis Hughes funeral, we drove out to Bellaghy, County Derry. There were tons of people lining the roads. There were one or two British Army helicopters circling the neighborhood. Brian parked his car in a pasture maybe a mile or two from the Hughes family farm. We met a pretty reporter from the London Times newspaper–I think her name was Linda Melvern. Since she was English and she was in Republican (IRA) territory (historically, there have been tensions between the English and the Irish), she decided to hang out with us for most of the day–I think she felt safe being with us. It seemed like she was glad that there was an American in the outfit. She was really beautiful. A Northern Irishman, an English woman and an American: we were quite the team.

We walked to the Hughes farmhouse and walked inside. I met Francis Hughes’ dad and mom and relatives.

Brian, who knew the Hughes family well, said, “This is Tim Shey from the United States.” Mr. Hughes smiled and we shook hands.

I said something like, “I am sorry for the loss of your son, Mr. Hughes.”

We met a few more people and then walked over to the casket to see the body. The body of Francis Hughes was very thin, emaciated. I think he died after forty-some days without food.

Brian told me that before Francis Hughes was captured by the British Army, he had dyed his hair blond and met these two British SAS (Special Air Services) men in a field. Hughes killed one SAS man and wounded the other; Hughes was wounded in the exchange of gunfire.

There was one story about Francis Hughes where he was in this farm house; it was surrounded by British soldiers. Hughes managed to get a British Army uniform and put it on. Hughes walked out of the house disguised as a British soldier and walked up to the British and said, “Be careful. Hughes is inside the house.” Then he walked off and escaped.

Before the funeral procession to the local cemetery, Brian gave me a black armband [looking at a video of the funeral, we were actually wearing white armbands; it was a long time ago–sometimes it is hard to remember all of the details]–we were “stewards”–we were supposed to help keep back the crowds of people from the funeral procession. The British Army helicopters kept circling the area. Brian said that they were taking photographs of the people in the funeral.

Then several masked men appeared wearing black balaclavas (face masks); they escorted the coffin of Francis Hughes to the hearse. They followed the hearse to the cemetary. When they marched, they would chant, “Cle deas cle, cle deas cle.” It sounded like “clay jazz clay”, which means “left right left” in Gaelic (native Irish language).

The funeral procession walked for a while and was blocked at some intersection. Brian and I had to help push these people out of the way. There was this Canadian news cameraman right there filming everything; I may have made it on the nightly news in Canada. So the procession was diverted to another route to the cemetery somewhere in or around Bellaghy.

I don’t remember too many details about the cemetery and what went on there. I think the masked men fired a few volleys from their rifles at the grave of Francis Hughes. After the cemetery, the crowds eventually dispersed. The beautiful English reporter caught up with us; somehow she strayed-off and lost sight of us. The three of us walked through the town of Bellaghy. There were these Scottish Highlanders (soldiers) sitting down, lounging around, smoking cigarettes, talking–they didn’t seem too concerned about what was going on. There were no riots; there was a little trouble at the intersection where Brian and I were; I don’t know of any other trouble during the funeral.

We said goodbye to Miss Melvern, got in the car and drove back towards Antrim. (Years later I read Linda Melvern’s article on the Francis Hughes funeral at the Iowa State University Library in Ames, Iowa.) On the way, we noticed this car on the side of the road. It looked like they were broke down: both men were outside the car looking at a flat tire. So Brian pulled over and asked them if they needed any help.

They said something like, “Our car is broke down and we need to get to Belfast.”

Brian said, “Hop in. We’ll take you to Belfast.” Belfast wasn’t that far away from Antrim.

They both climbed into the back seat of Brian’s car. One guy was older than the other: his name was Bob Jamieson of NBC News. The other, younger guy was the cameraman. They were in Northern Ireland covering the Francis Hughes funeral. The cameraman said he was very tired: he had to carry that heavy camera all over the place all day long. Bob Jamieson looked familiar; I am sure I had seen him on TV before.

So Brian drove them to Belfast to the Europa Hotel. Bob Jamieson and his cameraman were very grateful and thanked us.

Later that summer, in July, I took a train to Belfast and stayed for two or three days and attended a funeral of another hunger striker in West Belfast–somewhere near the Falls Road. I had bought these Army surplus jungle boots back in the States before I came to Ireland. I was walking back from the funeral and these kids noticed my Army jungle boots and said, “Must be with the IRA.” I later was stopped by some British soldiers armed with rifles and they asked me a few questions. One soldier said, “Ah, my first American.” Another soldier looked at my boots and asked me if I had been in the military in the States. We had a short, friendly chat and then I proceeded to walk back to downtown Belfast.

Brian and I drove back to Antrim and we stayed with his sister’s family for another day or two and then we drove back to Athy. Brian soon left for Africa and I stayed in Athy where I soon began to write my first novella: a story about a thirty-something man named Johnny O’Sullivan from County Kerry who wanders and works in Ireland and England; I incorporated my experience of the Francis Hughes funeral into the story. I was twenty-one years old at the time and was heavily influenced by William Shakespeare, James Joyce and William Faulkner. The novella came to 73 pages in length. I sent it to several publishers, but it was never accepted for publication.

I ended up staying in Ireland that time for nine and a half months. After I finished writing and typing the manuscript (it took me seven weeks), I worked on a farm in Killorglin, County Kerry and then a farm in County Laoish and County Kildare for a short time. I later flew back to the States in February 1982.

[Originally published by]

Francis Hughes Funeral on YouTube
Francis Hughes–Wikipedia
Linda Melvern
Bob Jamieson–Wikipedia
*Athy Town, Co. Kildare, Ireland
**Barge on River Barrow
Vanderbilt Television News Archive:  Northern Ireland
Athy, County Kildare, Ireland