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 United Irishmen and the Freemasons.

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PostSubject: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:12 pm

At the risk of going all conspiracy theorist like...

Question:
Was there a connection between the United Irishmen and the Irish Freemasons ?
Were members of the U.I. Freemasons ? or were they opposed ?

thx
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:16 pm

Not that I have heard of. Do you have any information that you can bring to the discussion so we can condier, evaluate and expand upon it?

The Freemasons are an interesting bunch. I actually know quite a few Freemasons... you'd wonder where all the conspiracy comes from given how boring most of them are these days.
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:24 pm

No idea, but the Church at the time hated both freemasons and republicans. As most united irishmen republicans were dissenters and protestants, it might be that the two were combined in the anti-republican propganda of the church. It might of suited some to draw a connection.

Interestingly there are some letters from the irish Patriots at the time. I think it said something that Arthur Wesley and Robert Stewart were attending meetings for both the Patriots and the Masons and there were some United Irelanders at those meetings as well. Something changed with those two men though and they subsequently supported the union in 1800. And they got to control the Empire for it -probably no group of irish have ever been as powerful iin world terms as Mornington, Wellington and Castlereagh (irish mafia) - but they came to regret it afterwards when they saw Ireland even more destitute than before. Castlereagh committed suicide if I remember. (rambling now)
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:43 pm

The question stems from the preamble to an article in the Irish News, which I cannot get at.
Quote :
The 1798 rising found a seemingly unlikely ally in some elements within Feemasonry.




What I have been able to find out is the following:

Freemasonry was part of the tradition of political societies before and after the united Irishmen. It influenced the Volunteer movement and lodges helped form Volunteer corps into the Free Masons Corps. Also lodges grew out of Volunteer Corps.

Henry Grattan was a freemason but I don’t know if he was a member of the united Irishmen. Apparently though many of the United Irishmen were Free Masons.

Other political organisations did model themselves on the Freemasons in trems of how the organisation was formed.

A little known fact is that (Willian) Drennan is the real founder of the United Irishmen and NOT Wolfe Tone as we are led to believe and was the author of the Society’s celebrated test. He also became the first
Secretary, and went on to become President of the Movement. Another little known fact is that Drennan based the United Irishmen on Freemasonry hence the name ‘The brotherhood.’

Considering the amount of Freemasons allegedly to be involved with the American Reveloution, that and the French's influence on Ireland, I wonder did this have any influence on Masons in Ireland.

Any more information/POV's welcome...
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:13 am

Yes naturally !!! Freemasonry was a key aspect of the revolutionary spirit of the time and United Irishmen etc was the fruit of that tree. I can pull up some good books and post in the next day or so. PM me if I forget. Of course Daniel O'Connell (a yeoman in Kerry in 1798) was also a Freemason he only publicly broke with them in the early 1830s ie after Catholic emaciation
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Fri Jan 16, 2009 3:19 am

nice one.
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:30 am

to clarify O O'Connell claimed he had ceased his association in the 1810s , I will check the dates
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Fri Jan 16, 2009 6:13 am

Free masonry was very much in vogue in the late 18th and early 19th century. I'm not sure if ther is anything sinister about all of these famous freemasons.

Robespierre was one too though wasn't he?? Or at least some of the French revolutionaries.
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:53 pm

There's no real evidence that Robespierre was a freemason, or member of one of the many sects or societies of the day. Unfortunately cyclops

O'Connell it seems was; Prior to his reversion to catholicism, he joined the Masonic Order in 1797 it appears to have brought him into contact with United Irish leaders like Emmet and may have influenced his membership of the United Irishmen; there are clear affinities between the view he expressed in 1796 that the Irish people as a whole were not ready for liberty and Emmet’s leadership of the conservative section of the United Irishmen, who thought a rising should only be attempted when a French army arrived to ensure military victory and restrain popular excess. Apparently his support of the Enlightenment movement influenced his relationship with Masonry.

His Masonic career outlasted the revolutionary period; he belonged to different lodges in Dublin (latterly as master), Tralee and Limerick, and served as counsel to the grand lodge. Although he was not
formally expelled until 1837, he had ceased to be active many years previously because of his reviving Catholic belief and renewed Papal condemnations.
King Dan: the Rise of Daniel O’Connell, 1775-1829 by Patrick MGeoghegan
(Geoghegan dates his departure at around 1816.)
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PostSubject: Re: United Irishmen and the Freemasons.   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:47 am

He would have known many of the leaders anyway from meeting them socially. Dublin middle class society was fairly small at the time - it is relatively small nowadays.

I'll probably die a mysterious death for revealing this but a girl I once knew lived in a flat in a large georgian house in central Clonmel. The local lodge or whatever its called met in the basement rooms. Also in the basement rooms was the washer dryer. She was told not to use it on tuesday night but forgot and one night accientially walked into a room full of middle aged me wearing costumes (carrying her dirty washing of course)
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