How Did My Ancestors’ Homeland Fall So Low

Facts. appears to be an Irish YouTube channel. This video by them features three Irish hipsters who are going shooting for the first time. They are shooting trap and sporting clays. It’s called, “Irish People Use Guns For First Time”.

They seem to have enjoyed themselves. That said, their conclusions are negative. One guy said he’s changed his view on guns. Now he just thinks that they are crazy. The only woman piously says that they are designed to cause damage.

If these kids were around in 1916, there would have been no Easter Rising. There would have been no Michael Collins and the Irish Volunteers. It still would have been the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and not the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

This is the end result of being constantly told guns are bad by the education system and the media combined with onerous restrictions on firearms from the government.

Irish Farmers Want Their Guns

A survey of Irish farmers by the Irish Examiner and the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA) said that over 80% believe they should be allowed to own a gun to protect themselves and their property. This is in response to a rise in violent crime in the rural areas of Ireland and fewer Gardai (Irish national police) stationed there.

Although recorded crime fell in all other categories, prompting an expression of satisfaction by Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, the farmers polled said they either slightly agreed or strongly agreed they should be entitled to own a gun to protect their family and property.

A total of 63 percent said they strongly agreed with having the right to gun ownership. Just four percent strongly disagreed with having the right to own a gun, with eight percent stating they slightly disagreed.

The issue of gun ownership and the right to protect property hit the headlines in 2004 after traveller John “Frog” Ward was shot dead by Mayo farmer Padraig Nally.

During his trial, Nally became something of a cause celebre for homeowners, arguing for the right to use force in defence of your property.

He argued that he had acted in self-defence at all times. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2005, but was acquitted after a retrial in 2006.

The survey found the farming community overwhelmingly favors gun ownership for the protection of family and property.

Of farmers who vote Sinn Fein, gun ownership got 100 percent support.

According to another story, there are 220,000 gun licenses in Ireland with the vast majority being issued for shotguns used in hunting. As I understand it, Irish law does not allow the average person to obtain a firearm for personal protection purposes though some are trying to change this.

The Weapons Of The Óglaigh na hÉireann

On this St. Patrick’s Day, what better post for a gun blog than to highlight the weapons of the Irish Defence Force, or in Irish, Óglaigh na hÉireann.

The primary firearm of the Irish Army is the Steyr AUG A1. They adopted this rifle in 1988. Part of the rationale behind adopting this weapon was that it was chambered in 5.56×45. Adoption of a rifle in this round put them on par with most of the armies of the West.

Rounding out the weapons at the platoon level are the M203 grenade launcher made by Diemaco of Canada and the FN MAG 58 general purpose machine gun from FN Herstal. They also are equipped with the AT-4 SRAAW disposable rocket launcher from Saab’s FFV Ordnance.

In the Irish Army, a company is composed of three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon. The weapons platoon is broken down into three sections centered around the platoon’s weapons. First, there is the machine gun section which uses a tripod-mounted FN Herstal FN MAG in 7.62×51. It is called the GPMG SF in the Irish Army. The SF stands for sustained fire.

The second section is a light mortar section using the South African Vektor M1 60mm mortar. This mortar is in use by both the South African Defence Force and the Irish Army. It can also be used with a smaller base plate and a special grip in a commando role.

The third section of the weapons platoon is arranged around the Bofors 84mm Anti-Tank Gun. It is a breech loaded and percussion fired weapon. Like the rest of the sections of the weapons platoon, the Anti-Tank Gun section is composed of three detachments.

The next level of weapons in the Irish Army is the battalion level where the weapons are both lighter and heavier than at the company level. Each battalion has three rifle companies, a HQ company, and a support company. It is this last company which provides battalion level weapons support.

The Support Company is composed of a heavy machine gun platoon, an 81mm mortar platoon, and an anti-tank platoon. Also attached to the Support Company are two Sniper Pairs or teams. The weapon of choice for the Sniper Pairs is the Accuracy International 92 sniper rifle in 7.62. This rifle is mated with a Schmidt and Bender scope. It is reported elsewhere that the Sniper Pairs have upgraded their sniper rifle to the AI AX338 in .338 Magnum.

The heavy machine gun platoon is equipped with the venerable Browning M2 .50 machine gun aka the Ma-Deuce made by FN Herstal in Belgium. The version the Irish Army uses is still equipped with iron sights. They also use the M2 as their primary air defense weapon for the battalion.

The motor platoon uses the Hotchkiss-Brandt 81mm mortar now made by Thales in France. The mortar is equipped with the C2 AI Sight and the Morfire Fire Control Computer.

The Anti-Tank platoon is equipped with the Javelin fire and forget missile system. This is produced in the US by Raytheon The Javelin can be used in either a direct attack or top attack mode.

Providing heavier firepower to the infantry battalions are the Field Artillery Regiment which is equipped with 105mm guns and the Cavalry Corps.

It should be remembered that Ireland is a small country and that the IDF is a rather small force consisting of approximately 8,500 men and women. The two brigades of the Irish Army have a tripartite mission – conventional military operations, United Nations peacekeeping forces, and as an aid to civil power. In this last role, the Ordnance Corps’ Bomb Disposal Team is often called out the the Garda (Irish Police) to disarm explosives and handle unstable chemicals.

The German – A Short Film

The Complementary Spouse’s uncle sent me this yesterday. Given that the Oscars are tonight, I thought the timing was appropriate.

It is a short film featuring aerial combat between an RAF Spitfire and a German ME-109 during WWII. What makes this film so unique is the surprise ending. That and the attention to detail including the Webley revolver and the SMLE rifles.

The short film is approximately 10 minutes long. If you want to know more about the movie and how it was made go here.

The German from Nick Ryan on Vimeo.