Praying to God to Crown the German Eagles with Victory


About this Item

Earnán de Blaghd was in prison in England during the Easter Rising. He had spent mush time the previous year trying to organise the Irish Volunteers in rural Ireland. 

  • Title
    The Survivors Earnán de Blaghd
  • Production Year
  • Contributor
    Brian Farrell (Presenter)
  • Clip Duration
  • Material Type
  • Series title
    The Survivors
  • Clip title
    Praying to God to Crown the German Eagles with Victory
  • Extended description

    Earnán de Blaghd (Ernest Blythe) tells Brian Farrell of the influences that resulted in a northern Protestant becoming a nationalist. Growing up in rural Ulster he cites stories of the United Irish Men, playing the Boer war with a childhood friend and a growing interest in the Irish language.

    Earnán de Blaghd moved to Dublin when he secured a position as a boy clerk in the Department of Agriculture. While in Dublin he followed his love of the Irish language and joined the Gaelic League. He recalls being afraid to tell people that he was a Protestant at this stage. 

    Through the game of hurling Earnán de Blaghd met Sean O'Casey who introduced him to the Irish Republican Brotherhood. He recalls the belief in the organisation at this time that the British would never give self government to Ireland unless forced to do so but when Britain was in difficulty the IRB should be ready to avail of the opportunity.

    He recalls the IRB in Dublin as having a large membership and that it was very much a white collar movement.  

    With the formation of the Irish Volunteers Earnán de Blaghd became an organiser trying to set up groups of men throughout the country. He describes Irish nationalism as being very weak throughout the country before 1916 and the difficulties in trying to set up companies of Irish Volunteers in the north, in Cork and in Clare which he described as being the worst of all.

    When the Easter Rising took place Earnán de Blaghd was in jail in England. 

    This interview was recorded on 15 March 1965.

  • Information

    In the early 1960s Telefís Éireann (RTÉ Television) began to record interviews with individuals who had taken part in the Easter Rising and the War of Independence. These interviews were recorded under the working title of 'The Survivors' under 'a special projects' label. 

    The Survivors interviews were never broadcast as a series in themselves. Early in 1965 a group was established to plan how RTÉ would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Easter Rising. A decision was taken not to broadcast the Survivors interviews as a series.

    Around 14 individuals were interviewed under the Survivors title. The first Survivors interviews were organised by Jack White and recorded at the television studios in Donnybrook on 31 August 1964. Desmond Ryan, Cathal O'Shannon and M.W. O'Reilly were interviewed by Brian Farrell.    

  • Local keywords
    1916, Easter 1916, Easter Rising, IRB, Irish Republican Brotherhood, Earnán de Blaghd, Ernest Blythe, Brian Farrell, Wars, Conflicts
  • Geographical coverage
  • Topic
    Wars and Conflict
  • Publisher Broadcaster
  • Country of production
  • Original identifier
  • IPR restrictions
    Rights Reserved - Free Access
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  • Item type
  • Item colour
    Black and White
  • Item sound
  • Aspect ratio
  • Language used
    English (eng)