Tuesday, August 31. 2010
The weeklong Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention for 2010 concluded last Saturday. As usual, it included many challenging and stimulating sessions.
"Living it out"
A Nepalese pastor, Pradip Dhungana, with a background of believing in spirits, told of his call to believe and cserve as a Christian. Patrick Soodheo (from a Muslim background) told us of the work of the Barnabas Fund in combating secularist and Muslim influence in the legal system and government of this country. Dr Chris Wright told us of the work of the Langham Partnership in 'deepening' Christian knowledge in many poor countries, and we heard of the work in an unnamed Muslim country where evangelism is illegal yet, nonetheless, God is building his church. Billy Glover told us of the outreach of the Betel mission to drug-addicts and alcoholics, which began in Spain but has now extended to many countries, including Ireland. Mark Buchanan from Canada led the daily Bible study.
Yet I choose to give more detail of the work of a young Englishman, Simon Guillebaud. Some years ago Guillebaud was called to serve in Central Africa, in Burundi, a country he had never visited and had barely heard of, known chiefly for violence and massacre. Today Guillebaud is associated with what is known as Great Lakes Outreach.
Last year over 400 young evangelists, in 33 teams, set out into the bush in areas which had not been evangelised before. During two weeks of mission, the evangelists healed the sick, cast out demons and shared the gospel in a way that will be familiar to those who have read the book of Acts of the Apostles. Through these signs and wonders the teams reached 60,000 people of whom 26,000 prayed to receive Christ, including witch doctors and Muslims.
This year the mission is being repeated, but with 600 evangelists this time. Simon asked for prayer for the safety of the evangelists and for the success of the mission.
Simon told us as well of the interface with Islam. As a result of visions, the third most senior Imam in Burundi, and his wife, had received Jesus. Within a few days, he was removed from all his positions. And a well-known Muslim speaker and evangelist had been challenged during a public meeting on his interpretation of and quotations from the Bible. He had met his challenger privately as a result of which he, too, had been converted. When he returned with joy to his home in Dar-es-Salaam on the Indian coast he found that his wife had disappeared and his son had been murdered.
Worldwide Convention opens, Saturday, August 21. 2010
Worldwide Missionary Convention
Great Lakes Outreach
Monday, August 30. 2010
Cllr Dr Ian Adamson writes -
On the Hill of Down I stood at the funeral of Ian Julian McCartan Hill with two Annadale Grammar School Vikings, Jim McDowell (Son of the Dark Foreigner) and Erskine Holmes (Isles Man) looking towards the Mournes. I thought not only of the burial of St. Patrick, St. Columba and St. Bridget (Brigit or Brigantia) there, but also of the death of Magnus Barelegs, the great Viking King, on St Bartholomew’s Day 24th August, 1103.
Albert William Kelly Colmer tells the story well in County Down History Secrets. It was said that the sea-god Manannán Mac Lir, in a grief induced rage over the killing of his son Mongan by Arthur, son of Bicour the Briton, forced an outburst of water over the land of Brena forming Lough Cuan - the Lough of the Harbour and Dundrum Bay. We now use, of course, the Viking name for Lough Cuan, Strangford, 'the Wind Inlet'. We have written that the Vikings plundered Bangor in AD 823. In 839 they reached Lough Neagh (Loch n Echach—Lake of Eochu, god of the Underworld or Lake of the Iveagh Cruthin) and used this as a base to raid the churches of Ulster. Nendrum was plundered in AD 974. But also they settled, for example, at Ulfrek’s fjord (Wulvricheford or Larne). Viking dominance over the area stretched for over a two hundred year period from the ninth to eleventh century.
But their most poignant story perhaps is that of Magnus Barelegs or Barefoot (Old Norse Magnús Berfœttr, modern Norwegian Magnus Berf?tt), who was King of Norway (Lochlann) from 1093 until 1103 and King of Mann and the Isles from 1099 until 1102. Magnus was the son of King Olaf Kyrre and grandson of King Harald Hardrada who was defeated by the English King Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066, prior to the latter’s own defeat by William the Conqueror.
Magnus seems to have been influenced by the clothing worn by the men of the Hebrides. During this period people would have worn long tunics which would have reached the ankle but Magnus decided to wear a tunic which barely reached the knees, giving him the name Barefoot or Barelegs. In 1098, he successfully brought under Norse control the Viking settlements in the Orkneys, the Western Isles and the Isle of Man and in that year he built his Hall on St. Patrick’s Isle near Peel from where he set out on his final journey for Ireland. He formed an Alliance in 1102 with Muirchertach Ua Briain (Old Norse Mýrkiartan), grandson of Brian Boru (Middle Irish Bóruma) and self-styled King of Ireland (1086 to 1119). This arrangement was formalised by the marriage of his twelve year old son Sigurd to Ua Briain’s five year old daughter Biadmonia. Together the two Kings conquered both Dublin and the surrounding area (Dyflinarskiri) Magnus was then able to over-run large areas of Ulster (Uladstir), weakened as it was by the Battle of Craebh Tulcha (Crew Hill near Glenavy) in 1099.
When I was a little boy I regularly visited my Uncle Johann and Aunt Isabel van Helmond in Scotland. Uncle Johnny was a Dutch Catholic whose family had a long tradition of military service to the House of Orange, which stretched back to the Dutch Blue Guards, who fought with William lll at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. He had escaped to England during the Second World War to continue his fight against the Nazis. Uncle Johnny gave me a course in Norwegian and I have maintained an interest in the Icelandic and Norse sagas ever since. Later my father bought me a little book named Earl Rögnvald and his Forbears by Catherine Stafford Spence (London 1896) which gave me glimpses of life in early Norse times in Orkney and Shetland This was the first book to tell me the story of the death of Magnus Barelegs at the Battle of Ulster (Uladstir).
I further followed it in Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla, Sagas of the Norse Kings. This was written in Icelandic between 1233 and 1235. The author Snorri Sturluson, besides being a great Chieftain, Lawyer and Poet, was a historian deeply versed in the Icelandic and Norwegian historical tradition, written and unwritten. He was possessed of a keen psychological insight and was a master of the art of narrative prose. My own edition was that of the Everyman’s library, published by J.M. Dent & Sons of London, which I bought it in 1968. Interestingly enough a beautiful copy of this was presented to David Trimble by Fred Olsen, Shipping magnate, in his offices in Oslo, Sweden, when Kerry and I accompanied Trimble on the occasion of his award, along with John Hume, of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1998. I think that Gerry Adams was also originally to get the Prize, but this did not materialise and he appeared at the ceremony only by video link.
However my favourite account is in the Orkneyinga Saga, which is the history of the Orkneymen, Earls and Odallers of Norwegian extraction who established an Earldom of Norway in the Northern Scottish Isles a thousand years ago and whose descendants for several centuries held sway over the Hebrides and Northern Mainland of Scotland. I bought a facsimile of the 1873 edition, published by Edmondson and Douglas, and republished by James Thin, the Edinburgh bookseller, in 1981.
Magnus Barelegs made a deal with Mýrkiartan to supply manpower for him in return for much needed provisions of cattle for his homeward journey to Norway. He sailed his longboats in from Strangford Lough up the River Quoile and beached them near the present day Down Cathedral along the Ballyduggan Road. There he waited patiently for the cattle to arrive on the agreed day of St. Bartholomew’s Eve, 23rd August, 1103.
When evening came and no cattle had arrived, against the advice of his commander Eyvind Olboge, he decided the next morning to leave the safety of the ships and seek out the missing cattle, believing that Mýrkiartan had broken his promise, “know ye that the Irish are treacherous”. Marching along the side of the tidal marshes he came to a high hill, possibly where Dundrum Castle now stands. Looking out he saw a great cloud of dust and believed that he had not been betrayed. Dropping his guard he ventured out, to be immediately ambushed by the men of Ulster. When the ensuing Battle of Ulster reached across the mud flats of the Quoile Estuary, the Vikings led by Magnus were slaughtered. Some made it back to their boats leaving Magnus and a few of his loyal guards to fight to the death.
King Magnus received a wound, being pierced by a spear through both thighs above the knees. The great King grabbed hold of the shaft between his legs and broke the spear in two, saying “Thus we break spear-shafts, my boys; let us go briskly on. Nothing hurts me”. But a little while after Magnus was struck in the neck with an Ulster axe and this was his death wound.
Then those who were behind him fled. Vidkunn Jonsson, his bodyguard, instantly killed the man who had given the King his death wound and retreated, having received three wounds. He brought the King’s Banner and his sword Legbiter to the ships. He was the last man who fled.
There were others who stayed to the last, Sigurd Ranesson and Dag Eilivsson fell along with King Magnus. So the men who fled from Ireland came to the Orkney Islands, and when the young King Sigurd heard that his father had fallen, he set off immediately, leaving the Irish King’s daughter behind, and proceeded in the Autumn with the whole fleet directly to Norway.
According to the Chron. Manniæ, Munch’s edition, page 59, Magnus was buried in the Church of St Patrick at Down. There I stood with my two friends Jim McDowell and Erskine Holmes, both Annadale men, in whom the blood of the Vikings still runs strong, at the grave of Ian Julian McCartan Hill, a descendant of the Cruthin people of Iveagh who had killed at this place one of the greatest of all the Viking Kings. We remember Magnus for the words which he said when his friends observed that he proceeded incautiously when he was on his expeditions abroad- “that Kings are made for honour not for long life”. Magnus had barely reached 30 years of age when he fell.
Erskine Holmes (left) with Ian Adamson
The Two Heroes and the Belgae: Part 3, by Cllr Dr Ian Adamson, Thursday, August 5. 2010
Sunday, August 29. 2010
Psalm 142 (New International Version)
A maskil of David. When he was in the cave. A prayer. [a]
1 I cry aloud to the LORD;
I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me,
it is you who know my way.
In the path where I walk
men have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look to my right and see;
no one is concerned for me.
I have no refuge;
no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living."
6 Listen to my cry,
for I am in desperate need;
rescue me from those who pursue me,
for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison,
that I may praise your name.
Then the righteous will gather about me
because of your goodness to me.
a.Psalm 142:1 Chapter 142 Title: Probably a literary or musical term
Friday, August 27. 2010
Release International Prayer AlertTuesday, August 24, 2010
CHINA – 'Homeless' church appeals for urgent prayer as pastor harassed yet again
A church in Guangdong province has been thrown out of rented accommodation yet again in an apparent bid by officials to force its pastor to give up his ministry.
Liangren Church in Guangzhou city had been meeting in Zhuying Garden Hotel for just one month when the authorities intervened to end the lease. This has happened 'several dozens of times' since May 2008, according to its pastor, Wang Dao.
Pastor Wang, who is currently on bail and facing criminal charges, has recently endured two days of harassment by officials threatening to evict him from his home unless he joins the officially recognised Three-Self Patriotic Church.
On August 12 and 13, he had a succession of visits from security officers, police and government officials at his home in Chengzhong village. He was eventually taken in for questioning at a local police station where he was again warned not to engage in religious activities, according to Release partner China Aid.
Pastor Wang has previously been warned he will either be exiled abroad or jailed for a long period if he continues to lead his church (Prayer Alert, June 8, 2010). He currently faces charges relating to 'credit card administration' – but officials have changed the charge against him four times since he was arrested on May 9. His arrest came just six days after his church issued a statement protesting against harassment by the Chinese authorities.
(Source: China Aid)
• Pray that international pressure will force Chinese officials to end their campaign of harassment against Pastor Wang and his church.
• Ask God to give every member of Liangren Church the faith and courage they need to withstand this ordeal.
Thursday, August 26. 2010
Ian Adamson writes -
Cllr Dr Ian Adamson
On 7th August 2010, at the invitation of Gerry Adams MP, I attended a hurling competition named after the Irish Unionist Leader Edward Carson, which formed part of an event at Stormont of this year’s Féile an Phobail, the West Belfast Festival. The winner’s trophy was named after Carson who played hurling at Trinity College in Dublin before going on to lead Irish Unionists in their opposition to Home Rule for Ireland. Gerry Adams explained that while Carson was playing for the hurling club at Trinity he got an honourable mention in the Irish Sportsman as having distinguished himself on the field, so he thought that it would be a great idea to have an Edward Carson trophy.
The statue of the barrister and political leader at Stormont thus over-looked the competitors as they tried to re-enact the actions of Sétanta, who, according to old Irish legend, could hit a sliotar ahead of him as he travelled and would be able to catch it before it hit the ground. The well-known Poc Fada Competition in Sétanta’s country, the Cooley Mountains in Louth, was started in 1960 to celebrate this legend and to test the skills of hurlers. .
Edward Carson’s mother belonged to a historic family of the Middle Nation as the Anglo-Irish are sometimes called. She was Isabella Lambert of Castle Ellen in Co Galway. Carson paid many visits to his uncle, the owner of the castle. He was therefore brought in touch with the old traditions of Anglo-Irish Protestant culture and thus became embued with that peculiar pride and loyalty for Great Britain which never wavered until he died. He was interested in the ancient British or “Pictish” origins of the Irish People.
His mother was a true Lambert with blue eyes, dark hair and clear complexion, characteristic of the ”old inhabitants of the island” rather than the Anglo-Irish. Among his contemporaries, he made lasting friendships with such men as William Ridgeway, afterwards the celebrated Cambridge Professor of Archaeology, who obtained his well-earned knighthood in 1918 through Carson’s influence. His colleague James Craig, on the other hand, was an Ulster Scot, who traced his heritage back to the ancient kingdom of Dalriada.
Carson in his early days was a radical and was remembered as such by Oscar Wilde many years later, although even then he was a great defender of the Union. He spoke in favour of the abolition of capital punishment. He used his voice in favour of the disestablishment of the Church and in approval of the French Revolution and Women’s Suffrage. He defended the legislative powers of the Hereditary Chamber and the talent that it then contained. His abhorrence of slavery is apparent in the famous Cadbury trial of 1908 and his love of Irish antiquities in the famous Broighter Gold Hoard case of 1903. Whatever its origins this Hoard lay concealed for two thousand years near the ancient shore at the entrance to Lough Foyle, Co Londonderry, an area traditionally associated with the Sea God Manannán Mac Lir, to whom the Hoard was probably a votive offering.
Sétanta was the birth name of Cúchulainn, the 'Hound of Culann', who was small and dark and of probable pre-Celtic stock. The Setantii or Sea People were an ancient British tribe who lived in the north west littoral of what is now modern day Lancashire, where my father was born. They are usually described as a sept or clan of the Brigantes, who were among the last of the Belgae and are thought to have come to Lambay Island, Co Dublin in the early 70’s AD. The Setantii possessed the only pre-Roman port in the western coast of Britain at Portus Setantiorum. This may have been situated at present day Fleetwood, the mouth of the River Wyre, the northernmost boundary of the Setantii being in southern Cumbria, where their Old British tongue survived until the twelve century. The southernmost boundary was the Seteia, which we now know as the Mersey River.
Sétanta / Cúchulainn as a young man
The Setantii have links to ancient British or Welsh epic and Arthurian legend. In the Welsh epic of Culhwch and Olwen, Seithennin is grandfather to Gwenwynwyn, generally identified as Gawain, Arthur’s Champion, whose exploits may indicate a folk memory of resistance to the English invaders. Gawain’s strength waxes and waves with the sun and in the most common form of this motif his might triples by Noon and fades at Sunset, just like Cuchulainn’s. It may well be that Gawain was a Setantii hero with a reputation on both sides of the Irish sea and whose memory was kept alive under the name of Gawain by the medieval descendants of the Setantii in England around their stronghold in Heysham.
My own opinion is that the legend is a remnant of the aboriginal ancient British or Cruthin people who indeed dwelled on both sides of the Irish Sea. The Setantii live on in the Old Irish Epic Táin Bó Cúailnge, the 'Cattle Raid of Cooley', first written in the Cruthin monastery of Bangor and in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, that most brilliant example of Middle English Literature and one of the finest compilations in the whole of English Literature. Above all, like CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien, they were Northern.
Sétanta, Friday, January 12. 2007
Wednesday, August 25. 2010
'The Sperrins surround it, the Faughan flows by'
is the first line of the 'Ballad of Claudy' by poet and singer James (Jimmy) Simmons. The ballad's first verse concludes with -
'At each end of Main Street the hills and the sky
The small town of Claudy at ease in the sun
Last July in the morning, a new day begun.'
Claudy is a village set in rolling countryside a few miles from the City of Derry. In the remaining verses Simmons goes on to relate the events of an atrocity which took place in the village in the summer of 1972. Three car bombs exploded one after another, leaving nine dead, including two teenagers and a child of eight years. I posted the rest of Simmons' ballad, which moved me greatly when I first read it, in Remembrance 4, Tuesday, November 13. 2007.
What can have possessed a gang of ruthless men to such a deed? No-one was ever charged, let alone convicted of the murders. At the time most presumed it to be the work of the IRA, since it fitted into a pattern of car bombings claimed by that organisation. For example the IRA had a few days before ringed Belfast City Centre with 22 separate bombs, killing and injuring many. Yet the IRA denied its involvement in the Claudy atrocity.
Quite recently rumours began to circulate of the involvement of a Roman Catholic curate in the atrocity whose name was James Chesney. The Report of the Police Ombudsman, published yesterday has come as a shock. The police had strong evidence linking Chesney to IRA activity - traces of explosive had been discovered in his car some days after the atrocity. Moreover, the police suspected him (very likely from informants) of being a leading figue in the IRA's South Derry unit.
In the face of this evidence, did the police seek to arrest and charge Chesney for his crimes? Not at all. The arrest of a serving Roman Catholic curate was considered at the highest political level as too incendiary for those times. Instead the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland met the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Cardinal Conway, in an effort to persuade him to move Chesney away from Northern Ireland.
The Cardinal, who considered Chesney 'a very bad man', obliged - but he didn't move Chesney very far away, only to Malin in Co. Donegal a short distance across the border, outside the jurisdiction of the Northern Ireland courts. Conway is now dead, as is the Bishop of Derry who was serving at the time. His successor as Bishop of Derry, Edward Daly, remains alive. He found that Chesney "was a strong supporter of the Republican movement", but denied any involvement in the IRA or the Claudy operation.
Essentially, the police, state and Catholic authorities all conspired to deny justice to the families of the victims and to the people of the village.
'An explosion too loud for your eardrums to bear
Young children squealing like pigs in the square
All faces chalk-white or streaked with bright red
And the glass, and the dust, and the terrible dead
For an old lady's legs are blown off, and the head
Of a man's hanging open, and still he's not dead
He is shrieking for mercy while his son stands and stares
And stares, and then suddenly - quick - disappears
And Christ, little Katherine Aiken is dead
Mrs. McLaughlin is pierced through the head
Meanwhile to Dungiven the killers have gone
And they're finding it hard to get through on the phone.'
Belfast Telegraph editorial Wednesday, 25 August 2010
'I hate the communist system but I love the people. I hate the sin but I love the sinner. I love the communists with all my heart. Communists can kill Christians but they cannot kill their love towards even those who killed them.'
Pastor Richard Wurmbrand
- Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, founder of RELEASE INTERNATIONAL, writing in his book Tortured for Christ, and quoted in the current issue, No 57 September/October 2010, of the organisation's magazine RELEASE
Tuesday, August 24. 2010
Ian Adamson writes -
On Friday 27th August, 2010 the Ards will receive a visit from
Eamon O'Cuiv Minister of Social Protection of the Government of Ireland.Born on 23rd June 1950 Minister O'Cuiv is a Fianna Fail politician,who has been a TD for the Galway West constituency since 1992 and has previously been a member of Seanad Eireann. O'Cuiv comes from a famed political dynasty. He is the grandson of Fianna Fail founder, first Taoiseach and third President of Ireland Eamon de Valera.He is a nephew of the former TD ,Vivion de Valera and is a first cousin of the former minister of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sile de Valera.He is the son of the great professor and scholar of the Irish language ,Brian O'Cuiv, whose study of Ulster Irish Dialects is unequalled.
Eamon O'Cuiv is widely credited with the establishment of the Official Languages Act in the Republic. He has a deep love and respect for Lesser Used Languages and as a former Irish Minister for Community ,Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs has already visited two of the three Ullans or Ulster Scots speaking areas of Ulster at the Monreagh Centre in Co Donegal and the Ullans Centre in Ballymoney Co Antrim. His visit to Portavogie as a guest of the Portavogie Culture and Heritage Society completes the trio. A personal friend of North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey, Minister O'Cuiv has a unique insight into the cultural affairs of Northern Ireland.
On 3rd June 2010 Minister O'Cuiv hosted a special dinner for Lord Bannside PC and the Baroness Paisley in Farmleigh, Co Dublin during their historic visit to Dublin and an invitation was issued at that time for the Minister to visit the Ards and also to see the Somme Museum. He will therefore be received by members of the local community at 12.00 noon in Portavogie Community Centre, opened by HRH The Princess Anne (now The Princess Royal) in 1999 ,proceeding on to the Somme Museum ,Whitespots, Newtownards at 2.00pm when he will be joined on his tour of the centre by children from Portavogie.
Speaking of the event Dr Ian Adamson OBE, Chairman of the Somme Association and President of the Ullans Academy said, "As a Conlig man and former Lord Mayor of Belfast,both attributes already possessed by William James Pirrie, the builder of the Titanic,I am delighted that Minister has come to our area, perhaps the most historic in Ireland, standing as we are between two of its greatest monasteries Bangor and Movilla. Eamon O'Cuiv is a great friend of Ulster,a man of tremendous foresight and integrity. His vision of a return of Ireland to the Commonwealth of Nations first mooted in 1994 and reiterated in 2007 provides us all with a hope and, indeed an expectation , that Ireland at last can settle down to a future shared equally among all her people".
Cllr Dr Ian Adamson
Gerencsér Csaba writes from Veszprém, Hungary, in relation to yesterday's blog on Morphy -
.... the famous Morphy game. Well, I know Edward Winter. Once he wrote me and I replied that the front cover of my book is a painting of an Hungarian painter - who was Hungarian champion in chess (team) - and he has a link on the net with a lot of chess paintings. He is Sándor Badacsonyi. His link is: http://sandorbadacsonyi.com
Tízezer Lépés Morphyval
At the Facebook now I represent his painting as Napoleon is playing chess (where the Staunton pieces are too early). [Ed: This painting, too, can be seen through the link above.]
I have read your article too about this game. It is very interesting. Mainly the origin of the Morphy name. I have a lot of Morphy articles. One consist that Morphy's grand-grand father went from Ireland (Eire?) to Spain. He was Mitchel Murphy and the Spanish couldn't pronounce the Murphy word - so he denominated himself to Morphy. So remained this name for the family.
Again the famous Morphy game. You knows Gyor city. There lived a famous Hungarian chessplayer Ferenc Chalupecky who reached the Hungarian chess literature too - at the first part of last century. I have his book: "The game of white man".
Well, he played a very similar game in 1947 as Morphy against the Duke and Count. I wrote an article in chess.com about the Morphy and about the Chalupetzky game in 2008. Because it may be interesting for you, here is the link: http://blog.chess.com/cgs/since-150-years-in-top-of-chessgames--the-great-miniature
I have a lot Hungarian chess journals from the years 1920 where he wrote very good articles (example about the Budapest Defense, which was new at this time) and wrote in the book "Chess Congress of Gyor in 1924". This is a historical Hungarian chess book.
Ed: It's very natural that the spelling and pronunciation of names change as they enter different languages. Morphy's family connection was with Spain, rather than France, it would appear - apologies for the mistake. Morphy's Irish great-grandfather very likely spoke Irish and little English. Of the Irish Gaelic origin of the name, Robert Bell writes in The Book of Ulster Surnames (1988);-
'Murphy is the most numerous name in Ireland, very common in every province and found in every county. In Ulster, where it is among the first fifteen names, it is most common in Co. Armagh, where it is the single most numerous name, and in Co. Fermanagh, where it is ninth and Co. Monaghan where it is tenth.
'The great majority of those of the name in Ireland are originally O'Murphys, Gaelic Ó Murchadha descendant of Murchadh', a personal name meaning 'sea warrior.' This was the name of three unrelated septs of counties Cork, Wexford and Roscommon. Many in Ulster will descend from one of these.
'But the majority of Ulster Murphys will be originally MacMurphys, Gaelic Mac Murchadha. These were originally a Cénel Eoghain sept who controlled the rich lands of Muintir Birn in present-day Tyrone, and were chiefs of Síol Aodha. However, they were driven out of that region by the O'Neills and settled in the highlands of South Armagh under O'Neill of the Fews. ..... '
Ireland/Eire. I could write a long article on the names of Ireland, and Ian Adamson could write even more. Here I will just say that countries are named after peoples (and not the other way round). In What is British?: Part 1, Friday, January 26. 2007, I wrote -
'Among these early Pretanic and P-Celtic tribes were the Érainn or Erenn. They gave their name to the Greek name for the second island, Ierne, which became Ériu in Old Irish, Éire in modern Irish, and Ire-land in English.'
The Erenn were probably the first tribe that the early Greek merchants encountered when they reached Ireland - just as the Graeci were the first Hellenic tribe that the early Romans encountered in Epirus, giving us the name 'Greek'. Although the Erenn were locally important and powerful, there's no question that they could have controlled, let alone inhabited, the entire island.
But there is a modern confusion between Ireland and Éire . In the 19th century 'Ireland' was both a geographic and political name. In 1920, Ireland was partitioned politically into 'Northern Ireland' and a southern entity originally called 'Southern Ireland'. In 1922 a Treaty established the 'Irish Free State' (Saorstat Éireann) in the south. However, a considerable minority in the South refused to accept the Treaty and the Irish Civil War was fought on this issue.
Some years later Éamonn de Valera formed the Fianna Fáil party from among those who opposed the Treaty, and Fianna Fáil won power through elections in the 1930s. In his Constitution of 1936 de Valera established Irish (though the language of only a small minority) as the First Official Language. De Valera's aim was to replace English with Irish throughout the country. The new name of the country became Éire , and this is the name you would see in official use on stamps and on coins (until the advent of the Euro). Yet de Valera faced stiff opposition and his Constitution passed by only a narrow majority. His opponents were able to extract a significant concession from Dev. Dev drafted "The name of the country is Éire ", but the concession was to add "or, in the English language, Ireland".
Modern Ireland is a long way away from De Valera's vision of a majority Irish-speaking country. Today officials use 'Ireland' almost always, rather than Éire , although this introduces the confusion between geographic 'Ireland' and political 'Ireland'. In EU jargon, we have both 'Ireland' i.e. the Republic of Ireland and 'Northern Ireland'.
Of course, these political events occerred centuries after Morphy's forbear left our shores. He came from 'Ireland'.
In his Chess Notes, Edward Winter quotes Edward Lasker as stating that he played a game (presumably in a simultaneous display) that followed Morphy's Paris Opera game exactly! His opponent didn't know of "the most famous game of chess ever played". I,too, have played a game which followed Morphy for quite a way. Sadly, my opponent didn't allow me to finish in the same flurry of sacrifices.
The Budapest Defence to the Queen's Pawn, or 'Budapest Gambit' - 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 - is an aggressive defence popular in these parts, as I know to my cost having suffered at its hands more than once.
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Cllr Dr Ian Adamson writes -
One of the high points of the speech given by Erskine Holmes O.B.E., Chair of the Co-operative Forum, at their Conference held in Trinity College, Dublin on Friday 30th and Saturday 31st July, 2010, From Plunkett to the Credit Crunch, was his allusion to Harold Barbour, Plunkett’s man in the North. Born in 1874, Harold Adrian Milne Barbour was the grandson of the founder of the great linen manufacturing firm of William Barbour of Lisburn. In 1897 he developed a most outstanding admiration for Horace Plunkett and his co-operative business approach. Over the next forty years he provided a great service to the movement in every aspect of its organisational and business activity.
Erskine Holmes (left) with Ian Adamson
In 1881, Harold’s father, John D. Barbour, in the face of much opposition from the merchants of Lisburn, provided a meeting place for a group of workers who were attempting to develop a consumer co-operative model based on that of the Rochdale pioneers. This Lisburn Society grew to be one of the largest and best co-operatives in Ireland with a substantial agricultural trade as well as its urban consumer business.
The Society’s minutes of 2nd May,1882 read:-
Resolved that the warmest and best thanks be given to J.D. Barbour Esquire D.L. for his kindness, encouragement and generosity in granting the use of a room in Castle Street, free of charge, for the meetings of the Society when in a state of infant helplessness, which act has assisted in a great measure of the success and prosperity it at present enjoys.
Harold Barbour himself became the President of the Lisburn Co-op in 1900. Within twelve years it had 1450 members and had the biggest average share capital for a member of any Co-op in Ireland. Keeping in close touch with the Co-operative Union in Manchester and the Co-operative Wholesale Societies in Britain at large, Harold Barbour was the important link man between the consumer and agricultural sides of the movement and was elected to the Boards of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) in 1906 and the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society (IAWS) in 1907. His appointment as Chairman of IAWS in 1910 led to a great upswing in the style and pace of the wholesale arm of the movement. A Banking Service was established with current and deposit accounts, the cheque-books of which were in both Irish and English. This laid the foundation for a National Co-operative Bank which lasted until 1912.
Only Barbour could have persuaded the IAWS to take up the grocery trade in opposition to the shop-keepers. Even Plunkett himself had serious doubts about this. In fact, a full scale grocery department was operational by 1912. Barbour believed there was no substitute for hard work; he was a man of the people who met the Committees on the ground. He was the only man to be a full-time Co-operative organiser as well as a full-time Managing Director of a major industrial concern.
Barbour and his wife were noted for their generosity. When all of the Dublin banks were closed during Easter Week 1916, Harold, without being asked, came to the rescue of IAWS by placing £3000 to the credit of this society in the Ulster Bank, Belfast. In January, 1917 both presented their personal cheques of £5500 to complete the refurbishment of the IAWS premises in Thomas Street, Dublin. This gift was made on condition that the building should be dedicated to the perpetuation of the life work of three great pioneers, Horace Plunkett, Rev Tom Finlay and Robert A. Anderson.
On resigning his chairmanship of IAWS in 1922 and taking over as President of the Ulster Agricultural Organisation Society (UAOS), he remained on its Board for a further 2 years. During the “Hungry Twenties” he was responsible for holding the Northern Ireland Co-ops together and helped them to a good measure of business success. He died unexpectedly of pneumonia in Zurich on a business trip to the Far East on 23rd December,1938. His gravestone inscription in Lambeg reads:-
“He was the friend of the farmer”
His friend and colleague R. A. Anderson once said of him,
“Harold Barbour is the youngest of our leaders and the most enthusiastic and energetic”.
Anderson’s own private life was unfortunately marked by tragedy and grief. He was estranged from his wife, the beautiful Mary Teresa Leahy. A few weeks before Christmas 1914, his son Alan, 23, an Oxford graduate and sports star was killed in the Great War, at Le Pelly near Lille; shortly afterwards his second son Philip was badly wounded and died 22nd February, 1915 on the Western Front. Anderson, old and lonely, died in a nursing home in Clontarf on Christmas Day 1942, with no record of any family member at his funeral. His grave in Mount Jerome Cemetery lay unattended until recently restored by the Irish Co-operative Organisation Society. But Erskine Holmes did not forget him or his sons, or indeed Harold Barbour. Through a life-time’s work with the Co-operative movement and more recently the Somme Association, Erskine has become for us the Plunkett of the North.
Ed: I can't find an online photo of Harold Barbour, although there is a brief Wikipedia entry. Yet Barbour was clearly an enthusiastic photographer and his photographic colledction is held in the archives of University College, Dublin - see here.
A Co-operative building in Co. Leitrim, photographed by Harold Barbour
The text of Ian Adamson's address to the conference appears in -
The Middle Way: Part 1, by Cllr Dr Ian Adamson (Wednesday, July 28. 2010); and
The Middle Way: Part 2, by Cllr Dr Ian Adamson (Thursday, July 29. 2010).
Monday, August 23. 2010
Edward Winter is a writer on chess and historian, author of the "Chess Notes" which have been collected into several books. ChessBase News posts regular contributions from Winter, and the 46th of the series concerns the offhand game played by American genius Paul Morphy (a) against two aristocrats playing in consultation.
The two aristocrats were the Duke of Brunswick and Count Iso[u]ard and the game was played at the Paris Opera in 1858. In The Chess Companion (1970), Irving Chernev wrote -
One of Morphy's most brilliant games is the one that took place in the Duke of Brunswick's box at the Paris Opera House, during a performance of The Barber of Seville. This game has been printed and reprinted thousands of times in hundreds of chess books and periodicals. It has been played over with pleasure by millions of people, and its practical value in rapid developments and the forming of simple combinations have increased the strength of countless amateurs. It has been called by Frank J. Marshall
The Most Famous Game of All Time
Edward Winter casts his critical eye over many of the colourful details added to the story. I'd recommend that you read his column on ChessBase through the link given.
But why I am writing this is because Winter has chosen to illustrate his column with an illustration taken from the cover of the book on Morphy written by our Hungarian correspondent Csaba Gerencsér. In McDonnell analysis, Saturday, April 3. 2010, his friend, Gerencsér explained how his friend, Grandmaster István Bilek, helped him with the tribute to Morphy.
Tízezer Lépés Morphyval
The title in Hungarian is Tízezer Lépés Morphyval. This may mean something like "A hundred thousand moves with Morphy". [Lépés normally means 'step' or 'stride', but my dictionary gives sakklépés as one translation of 'move'.]
In the illustration, the American genius is certainly seated at a chess table. This could in an opera box but to tell the truth I'm not quite certain. Perhaps Morphy is delivering mate and one of the aristocrats is expressing his surprise and delight at the combination.
(a) In "Duels of the Mind' DVDs: Game 2, Tuesday, May 8. 2007, I wrote -
'Morphy' is a French form of Irish 'Murphy' - the chess Master's ancestry was part Irish and French. Perhaps it shouldn't, but mention of Morphy reminds of 'La Morphise', Marie-Louise O'Murphy (1737-1814). The French King Louis XV saw a nude portrait of 'La Morphise' and became fascinated by her beauty. He recruited La Morphise into his harem of mistresses which was called 'Le Trébuchet'. Remarkably, Marie-Louise survived the French Revolution.
Continued from Part 1:
Perhaps Erskine Holmes had arrived late, for he seems to have been walking up the hill at the time that the main body of the marchers was proceeded down. In any case, there were calls for him to join the vanguard, as it were, and so he slotted into the second rank of the march. What would happen when the irresistible force of the marchers, bent on proceeding on their way to the City Centre, met the immovable object of the police lines?
With Erskine Holmes (right)
Erskine would observe little of this because immediately the marching ranks met the police he received a large shove from the rear which propelled him forward, through the first rank of the marchers and into the police. [Very likely a fellow had formed the political judgement that it would advance the cause if a leading member of the NILP was arrested.] The first rank of the police line gave way as well, so that Erskine found himself surrounded in the second line where a burly peeler collared him round the neck. Erskine was the first marcher to suffer arrest.
From this rather undignified position, Erskine heard some noteworthy and amusing comment which escapes me now. The arresting policeman transferred his captive to a colleague who was in some doubt as to what offence Erskine was being arrested. One suggestion was "disorderly conduct". As they made their way to the rear, he suggested that he would be most convenient to all if Erskine were to clear off while the peeler looked the other way.
Yet Erskine insisted on maintaining solidarity with his fellow campaigners and was taken to a police vehicle to join some other arrestees. One man who was already inside the vehicle had observed that there were a number of pickaxe handles lying on the floor (this may have been Fred Heatley, later a well-known local historian) and asked whether these were to be used as clubs to beat them up? One copper replied that nothing would give him greater pleasure, since a few years back "their lot" had burnt his brother badly in an attack on a police station during the IRA Border Campaign. Fred was noticeably silent after this reply.
The group were all taken to a police station where a group of them were ushered into a cell. It was clear that few preparations had been made to receive them. One policeman told them that they had no food to offer, but if they all subbed him, he was prepared to go out to buy them all fish suppers!
On a graver note, a member of Police Special Branch (identifiable as wearing civilian clothes) (a) entered the cell to cast his eye over the captives. He identified one man as a known Republican. This man he took away for interview.
Whether Erskine was ever charged, spent the night in a police cell or was brought to court, I do not know. Erskine said that certainly Michael Farrell, with his group of Young Socialists, had certainly arrived late. Farrell advocated a policy of actively asserting the marchers' rights to walk their chosen route by pressing heads, with hands by the side, but non-violently into the policemens' faces. [You might like to try this experiment yourself when you next meet your local bobby.]
Whatever, while Erskine had been in police custody, the police had drawn their truncheons and sought to disperse the marchers. Some heads were cracked, notably that of Gerry Fitt, MP for West Belfast (b). The first blood had been spilt while making arrests. Though no-one was seriously injured, a line had been crossed and Northern Ireland was sliding down the slippery slope which would lead to the "Troubles" with its many deaths.
Gerry Fitt MP
The Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Terence O'Neill, sacked Bill Craig as Minister of Home Affairs on 11 December that year. Erskine related the events of a meeting which must therefore have taken only a few weeks after the Derry march. Erskine Holmes, along with other Civil Rights leaders, met O'Neill, Prime Minister, and Craig, Minister of Home Affairs, at Stormont where the Civil Rights leaders pressed their six demands. As the meeting broke up, O'Neill followed the Civil Righters to explain that he, O'Neill, agreed with them, whereas Craig resisted any concessions "under pressure".
Holmes added that Michael Farrell (who now lives in Dublin) had opined recently that those involved in the Civil Rights agitation, where he had played an influential part particularly through the so-called "People's Democracy", should adopt an attitude of "humility" towards their part in taking Northern Ireland along the road that led to decades of violence and bloodshed.
If I've got any of these many details wrong, perhaps Erskine Holmes will correct me.
(a) Police 'Special Branch' was that part of the police force, in both North and South, which dealt with the threat from Republican terrorists, the people that the South called "subversives". In Children of History: a book review, Friday, July 27. 2007, I discussed the autobiography of Máire MacSwiney Brugha, the wife of Ruairí Brugha (1917-2006). In that book Máire describes how, early in World War II (the period known as the "Emergency" in neutal Ireland) a member of Special Branch appeared at the front door of the family shop in Dublin. Ruairí, son of a well-known Republican martyr, fled through the back door and went "on the run" for a while. But the Guards caught up with Ruairí soon and he was interned for most of the War.
(b) I met Gerry Fitt once and had a conversation with him. This was after the funeral of Ian Gow MP, a murder victim of the IRA, where Gerry expressed his lack of enthusiasm for John Hume who succeeded Gerry as Leader of the SDLP.
Sunday, August 22. 2010
Release International Prayer Alert
Friday, August 20, 2010
INDONESIA – Christians stand up to extremist threats in West Java
Christians in West Java are taking a firm stand against extremist threats and refusing to give in to demands that they stop worshipping.
The congregation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi have declared publicly their intention to continue their weekly worship services on a plot of church-owned land in the Ciketing area, despite being attacked by extremists recently for the fifth time.
Hundreds of police turned out to protect the Batak congregation during Sunday worship on August 8 – but then reportedly offered little resistance when more than 300 members of hardline Islamist groups broke through the police cordon and attacked at least a dozen Christians.
The congregation has come under attack repeatedly since 2000 when they first started to build a church – a construction that was burnt down. Efforts to gain official permission to rebuild have so far failed. The church did, however, gain the approval of a senior local official to hold services in Ciketing in October 2009.
Interfaith tensions remain high in Bekasi. Islamist groups have reportedly joined forces to resist the 'Christianisation' of the city and urged mosques to set up their own 'paramilitary units' to enforce Sharia or Islamic law (Prayer Alert, June 30, 2010).
Hundreds of people, including many Christians, attended an interfaith rally in Jakarta last weekend to demand that the Government take a tougher line on Islamist extremists.
(Sources: Associated Press, Compass Direct, The Jakarta Globe)
• Thank God for the courage and determination of the Batak Christians in Bekasi. Ask God to protect them and build their faith.
• Pray that President Yudhoyono will heed calls for him to take a tougher stance on extremist activity.
Psalm 18 (New International Version)
For the director of music. Of David the servant of the LORD. He sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn [a] of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
5 The cords of the grave [b] coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The LORD thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded. [c]
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies ,
great bolts of lightning and routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
16 He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD;
I have not done evil by turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
24 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 To the faithful you show yourself faithful,
to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
26 to the pure you show yourself pure,
but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
27 You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
28 You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.
29 With your help I can advance against a troop [d] ;
with my God I can scale a wall.
30 As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God besides the LORD ?
And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
and makes my way perfect.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he enables me to stand on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for battle;
my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
36 You broaden the path beneath me,
so that my ankles do not turn.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38 I crushed them so that they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.
39 You armed me with strength for battle;
you made my adversaries bow at my feet.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
and I destroyed my foes.
41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—
to the LORD, but he did not answer.
42 I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind;
I poured them out like mud in the streets.
43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people;
you have made me the head of nations;
people I did not know are subject to me.
44 As soon as they hear me, they obey me;
foreigners cringe before me.
45 They all lose heart;
they come trembling from their strongholds.
46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
47 He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
48 who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from violent men you rescued me.
49 Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD;
I will sing praises to your name.
50 He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
a.Psalm 18:2 Horn here symbolizes strength.
b.Psalm 18:5 Hebrew Sheol
c.Psalm 18:13 Some Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 2 Samuel 22:14 most Hebrew manuscripts resounded, / amid hailstones and bolts of lightning
d.Psalm 18:29 Or can run through a barricade
Saturday, August 21. 2010
The weeklong Worldwide Missionary Convention opens today in Hamilton Presbyterian Church, Bangor. This is an event unique in the British Isles, in that it is devoted wholly and solely to worldwide mission.
Many Christians believe that the task of evangelising the world is the most noble one given to man. Amazingly, the Convention derives from the inspiration given to a local man, Herbie Mateer, a devout Christian of the local Congregationalist fellowship. Through the Spirit, Mateer saw the need for an event to publicise and support mission, and to raise funds for the work. The first Convention opened in a small way in 1937. The event has thrived and grown so that this year sees the 74th in the series.
Many inspirational Christians have addressed the gathering over the years. My own hero, Richard Wurmbrand, was present in, I believe, 1969 (though I didn't hear him). George Verwer (of Operation Mobilization) and John Companjan (of Open Doors) have been speakers in recent years.
But the most amazing meeting that I have experienced took place in 2004, when the speaker was Brother Yun, author of The Heavenly Man (a). For that the church filled hours before the meeting was due to start. I only secured a seat because I arrived 10 minutes after doors opened at 6 pm, well before the scheduled 7.30 start of the meeting. Many arrived from afar, but were then forced to return, disappointed. A throng had gathered outside as the meeting started; there was even hammering on the doors and windows as people sought admittance. The church hall, to which the meeting was relayed, was filled as well.
With Brother Yun
(a) The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun, Brother Yun with Paul Hattaway, Monarch, 2002. There are more photos of Brother Yun's visit in Brother Yun, the "Heavenly Man" on Mister Keep Fit blog.
Highlights of the 2009 Worldwide Missionary Convention Part 1, Monday, August 31. 2009
Highlights of the 2009 Worldwide Missionary Convention Part 2, Tuesday, September 1. 2009
Bangor Worldwide Missionary Convention 2008, Tuesday, September 2. 2008
Worldwide Missionary Convention
Photos in Worldwide Convention 2010 on Mister Keep Fit
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