The White Plague

Webmaster's note: "I would just like to note the fact I love the Irish. But I do not like anything about the IRA and am against any type of terrorism." --SKKahl


There's a lust for power in the Irish as there is in every people, a lusting after the Ascendancy where you can tell others how to behave. It has a peculiar shape with the Irish, though. It comes of having lost our ancient ways--the simpler laws, the rath and the family at the core of society. Romanized governments dismay us. They always resolve themselves into widely separated Ascendants and Subjects, the latter being more numerous than we former, of course. Sometimes it's done with great subtlety as it was in America, the slow accumulations of power, law upon law and all of it manipulated by an elite whose monopoly it is to understand the private language of injustice. Do not blame the Ascendants. Such separation requires docile Subjects as well. This may be the lot of any government, Marxist Russians included. There's a peculiar human susceptibility you see when you look at the Soviets, them building an almost exact copy of the czarist regimes: the same paranoia, the same secret police, the same untouchable military, and the murder squads, the Siberian death camps, the lid of terror on creative imagination, deportation for the ones who cannot be killed off or bought off. It's like some terrible plastic memory sitting there in the dark of our minds, ready on the instant to reshape itself into primitive patterns the moment the heat touches it. I fear the shape of things which may come from the heat of O'Neill's plague. Truly, I fear, for the heat is great.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

May the heartstone of hell be his bed rest forever!

--Old Irish Curse

Despair and grief suit the Celtic mind more than do joy and victory. Every Celtic joy has its mixture of grief. Every victory leads to despair.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

Holy Ireland was just a name, a myth, a dream that had no connection with any reality. It was our reputation, at one with myth that we have only the honor gained from glorious battle.

--Father Michael Flannery

Do you realize that this one man is changing the political map world?

--General Lucius Gorham, U.S. presidential foreign affairs advisor, speaking to the secretary of defense

They are a torture, my memories--a lovely torture.

--Joseph Herity

Those two wains dead will not win us friends. Could you not have waited just a bit?

--Kevin O'Donnell

Me standing back out of the window I could not see them down there.

--Joseph Herity

There was an Irish brain surgeon...(Pause for laughter)

--British music hall routine

I believe it was Tacitus who said there is a principle of human nature requiring us to hate those we have wronged.

--William Beckett, M.D.

I obey the Master of Death.

--Part of an Ulster secret society oath

Not since the Black Death struck Ireland in the winter of 1348 has there been such a terrible time with disease.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

Violence endured too long leads to moral anesthesia. It degrades even religious leaders. Society is separated into sacrificial lambs and those who wield the knifes. High-sounding labels mask the bloody reality: phrases with words such as "Freedom" with words such as "Political Autonomy" and the like. Such words have little meaning in a world without morality.

--Father Michael Flannery

It must certainly be more dangerous to live in ignorance than to live in knowledge.

--Philip Handler

This is not my table. That's the real, all-inclusive Western mantra. And look what it got us.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

Glory O! Glory O! to the bold Fenian Men.

--Ballad by Peadar Kearney

There was never a greater anit-Irish bigot than Shakespeare. He was the ultimate Elizabethan jackanapes, a perfect reflection of British bigotry. They justified themselves on the grounds of religion. The Reformation! That's were they begian their policy of exterminating the Irish. Back then we learned the bitter truth: England's enemy is Ireland's friend.

--Joseph Herity Old Man:

What do you know of my grief? You're a stripling lad who's never had a woman!

And you're a whining old bastard! It's the likes of you cost me all the hope of my life. You think I can't know the grief of something taken because I'd not yet had it?

--from Plague Time, an Irish play

I think men have always been mostly a dense and unfeeling lot, their emotions covered with scar tissue. They resist the sensitivity and fulfillment that comes from women--the cement that holds everything together. When our keepers leave the speaker switch open, I hear Padraic out there mumbling about which man he'll take into his Friendship Circle, worrying over names, now this one and now that. Friendship Circle! They're all looking for something that'll put us back together, something to hold them and carry them through these terrible times.

--The diary of Kate O'Gara

I have always felt a certain horror in political economists, since I heard one of them say that he feared the famine of 1848 in Ireland would not kill more than a million people, and that would scarcely be enough to do much good.

--Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol, Oxford It plows up the wild hair of the sea,
I have no fear that Viking hosts
Will come over the water to me

--"The Guardian Storm," an eighth-century Gaelic poem

Since it was contaminated money O'Neill used to spread his plague, the Swiss escape is remarkable. It demonstrates that the Swiss are essentially turtles. At the first sign of danger, they pull in all venerable parts and expose only the hard shell, and I'd wager everything I own that they burned out small pockets of infection within their borders. It's a thing to remember for later. If people believe the Swiss remained virtually untouched, there'll be a great deal of useful jealousy scattered around.

--Present Adam Prescott

Though you bring back the sons of Morna and the Seven Armies of the Fianna you will not lift this sadness

--Father Michael Flannery

If I am not for myself, who is for me? But if I am for you myself alone, who am I?


The past is dead.

--Arab proverb

There's nothing so passionate as a vested interest disguised as an intellectual conviction.

--Sean O'Casey

When all the tourists had gone for the day, we used to piss on the Blarney Stone. It gave us a strange feeling of superiority when we saw tourists kissing that place where we had seen our own piss, and it splashing off so pretty and yellow.

--Stephen Browder

There is no truth on earth that I fear to be known.

--Thomas Jefferson

Original sin? Ahh, Father Michael, what a fine question for me as knows it so well! Original sin is being born Irish. And that's sin enough for any god!

--Joseph Herity

She's the most distressful county that ever yet was seen,
They are hanging men and women for the wearing of the green.
Then since the color we must were is England's curl red,
Sure Ireland's sons will ne'er forget the blood that they have shed.

--Dion Bouclcault, "The Wearing of the Green"

The Irish, that harmless nation which has always been so friendly to the English.

--The Venerable Bede

The right of freedom of speech and press includes not only the right to utter or to print, but the right to distribute, the right to receive, the right to read...and the freedom of inquiry, freedom thought, and freedom to teach...

--United States Supreme Court (Griswold v. Connecticut)

If there is one principle clearer than any other it is this: that in any business, whether of government or mere merchandising, somebody must be trusted.

--Woodrow Wilson

Human societies have seldom been accustomed to long-range planning , reluctant to think of the generations. The unborn, the unconceived do not vote on current affairs. We conform our researches to immediate conviction, our projects to immediate desires. Where is the voice of the yet to-be? Without a voice, they will never be.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

The history of English government, especially in Ireland, is a history of playing off one prejudice against another. Divide and exploit! The British ruling class has made this a way of life. And you Yanks learned it at their knees!

--Joseph Herity

The stranger came and tried to teach us their ways.
They scorned us for being what we are.

--"Galway Bay," an Irish ballad

Violence and piety cannot conjoin. They are not of the same stuff. Nothing binds the two: not joy, not suffering, not even the living death that some mistake for peace. The one comes from hell, the other from heaven. In piety you find grace; in violence you are forever graceless.

--Father Michael's sermon

By now you know what earned my anger. Don't question it! Remind yourselves often of the impenetrable ignorance of the Irish and the English, their mass Perpetuation of mutual misery. Remember the bloody hand of Libya with its training camps for terrorist and free weapons. How can I suffer such fools to live?

--John Roe O'Neill, Letter two

Out of Ireland have we come,
Great hatred, little room,
Maimed us at the start.
I carry from my mother's womb
A fanatic heart.

--William Butler Yeats

And finally I tell the Irish to remember the Banshee of Dalcals Albell, the Banshee warning Brian Bour that he would die at Clontarf. Listen for the Banshee, Ireland, for I will have my revenge upon all of you. No more can you evade personal responsibility for what you did to me and mine. I am the ultimate gombeen man come to make you pay--not just during the hard months but forever.

--John Roe O'Neill, Letter Three

'Tis I that outraged Jesus of old
'Tis I that robbed my children of heaven!
By rights 'tis I that should have gone upon the cross.
There would be no hell, there would be no sorrow,
There would be no fear if it were not for me.

--"Eve's Lament," an old Irish poem

If we depend exclusively on defense measures, we shall increasingly behave like hunted creatures, running from one protective devise to another, each more complex and costly than the one before.

--Rene Dubos

Ireland was warped by the Penal Laws. The English forbade us our religion, forbade us any form of education--then dared to call us uneducated! We could not enter a profession, not hold public office, nor engage in trade or commerce. We couldn't live in or within five miles of a corporate town! We couldn't own a house of greater value than five pounds, couldn't own or lease land, nor vote nor keep arms nor inherit anything from a Protestant! We couldn't harvest from the rack-rented lands any profit exceeding a third of the rent. The law compelled us to attend Protestant worship and forbade the Mass. We paid double o support the militia that suppressed us. And if a Catholic power did harm to the state, we paid for it! You wonder we still hate the British?

--Joseph Herity

... reason abuseth me, and there's the torment, there's the hell.

--Ben Jonson

God of mercy! God of peace!
Make this mad confusion cease!

--Dr. William Drennan, "The Wake of William Orr"

Do not cry that I have been unfair, you Irish and English and Libyans. You chose your leaders or tolerated them. The consequences were predictable. You pay now for the failure of reason. You Irish, at least, should know better. Like a one-crop society, you staked your survival on violence. Is the lesson of the potato blight grown so dim? As you sow, so shall you reap.

--John Roe O'Neill, Letter Three

For as long as they continue to control life and death, aristocrats understand correctly that their power depends mostly on their families, and much less on the people who must be kept subservient. This is why marriage remains so important to the aristocratic clan structure. Power marries power. In this trait, aristocrats recognize each other immediately. They share a common behavioral pattern. Here is the clan-econmics where the real bargaining occurs--in the still vital dower exchange.

--Jost Hupp, M.D.

The spider is curtain-bearer in the palace of Chosroes.
The owl sounds the relief in the castle of Afrasiuab.


In 1054, the patriarch of Constantinople and the pope excommunicated each other. That was the end of holiness for both churches. After that, they became instruments of Satan. I'm convinced of it.

--Joseph Herity

The mothers are gone, for Crissakes! Like the man says, "The primal center of the family is no more in those regions. The keepers of faith are gone." It's the end of the Romish Church in Ireland and a helluva lot of other places. Let'em die off on their own, I say.

--Charles Turkwood

The hand that signed that paper failed a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

--Dylan Thomas

Romans corrupted the Gall and that produced the Englishmen. They took to Roman ways like a hog to the trough. Roman tactics are direct: make your families hostage. They enlisted us in their armies because that was our alternative to starvation. They corrupted our religion with greed. They replaced cheap, easy understood law with law that's expensive and mostly impenetrable to common folk. Legalized robbery is what it's all about.

--Joseph Herity

In the long sweep of history, revenge is such a bore. The insane and young idealists get caught up in it, though. The young want the Old Man to be guilty. That makes it easier to dispose him. Young idealists are a danger in every age because they act without looking deeply enough into the themselves or into the problems they address. They're driven mostly by their own hot blood. It's largely a sexual thing. they want control of the breeding stock. And the tragedy lies in the fact they mostly perpetuate new dreams of revenge for the next generation of young idealists...that, or they create a super madman, a Hitler or an O'Neill.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

A doctor says: "Sir, it would be better to die according to the rules than to live in contradiction to the Faculty of Medicine."

--Moliere, speaking to a patient who recovered with unorthodox treatment

Up the long ladder
And down the short rope
To hell with King Billy,
To hell with the Pope!

--Songs from the New Ireland

One of the key characteristics of an elite corps is its susceptibility to those more powerful than itself. Elite power is naturally attracted to a power hierarchy and fits itself neatly, obediently into the one that promises the most personal benefits. Here is the Achilles' heel of armies, police and bureaucracies.

--Jost Hupp

Perhaps our greatest crime was this devotion to violent fanaticism. it led us to kill off or otherwise silence moderation. We destroyed our moderates, that's what we did. And look what it bought us!

--Fintan Craig Dohent

Until this plague, it was little predicated how technology, scientific research and development included, speeds up both success and disaster.

--Samual B. Velcourt

O King that was born
To set bondsmen free,
In that coming battle
Help the Gael.

--old Irish prayer

Rachel, Rachel, I've been thinking
What a fine would this would be
If the girls could be transported
From beyond the deep blue sea.

--Songs of the New Ireland

A molecular biologist who dreamed of becoming famous because of a dramatic contribution to the fine chemistry of DNA--that was a thing not considered this world's power brokers.

--Jost Hupp

Despair creates violence and the Brits were past masters at creating despair among the Irish. There's a widespread belief in England, you know, that the Irish, like women and Negroes, are essentially children, incapable of governing themselves. But no people can be truly be free until they rid themselves of their inherited Ulster satellite have been slaves to their Irish prejudices.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

The Irish always seem to me like a pack of hounds dragging down some noble stag.


But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enameling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

--William Butler Yeats

Our world undermines at its peril the individual's own sense of worth, that force at the root of human strength. This is our ability to deal with challenge. It is an inborn capacity without which there can be no humanity.

--Fintan Craig Doheny

The failure of civilization can be detected by the gap between public and private morality. The wider the gap, the nearer the civilization to final dissolution

--Jost Hupp

EPILOGUE The objective of some who have proposed regulation of recombinant DNA research is to use the power of government for the suppression of ideas that may otherwise flow from such research. That would take us back to an era of dogmatism from which mankind has only recently escaped. And it would be a feckless task. In the long run, it is impossible to stand in the way of the exploration of truth. Someone will learn, somewhere, sometime.

--Philip Handler, President, National Academy of Science