Grinds in Leaving Certificate History


We provide Grinds in History at all stages of Second Level; and Tuition in specific cases of Third Level – including advising students on thesis and project work.    

• Examination techniques being taught will include:  directing students to answer specifically and correctly the particular question being asked; and to use their knowledge to full advantage – thus obtaining higher reward for their work.

  •  We provide for all the prescribed Leaving Cert. courses


"I had quite a bit of knowledge, but did not know how to use it in my answers untill I took History  grinds at Celbridge Tutorials."  M.O.C.-- Maynooth

“I obtained Honours History outside of my School by attending Celbridge Tutorials alone”  (Niamh – Celbridge)

“I needed extra help with my History, and got all the answers at Celbridge Tutorials” (Gareth M – Lucan)


           The third home rule bill (1912) offered  a poor  form of dominion status. There were no new prerogatives given to the Irish parliament other than responsibility for internal affairs; moreover, the supreme authority of the United Kingdom parliament over all important aspects of power in Ireland was to be retained. Control of the police force would be given -- but not immediately.
             Redmond considered this to be the precursor to a much greater independence, obtainable through development of freedom in commerce and trade.  Carson, who led the revolt of the Northern Unionists against Home Rule, comprehended its future implications for the Union:  “We see that there can be no permanent resting place between complete union and total separation – because legislative autonomy can only be coupled with financial independence.” 
            On the 18th September 1914, Prime Minister Asquith placed the Home Rule legislation on the Statute Books as the  Government of Ireland Act (1914), subject to two provisos: (1) A Suspensory Act, which delayed the operation of the legislation until after the war was over. (2) That before it would take effect, an amendment would be presented to parliament to provide for the concerns and needs of the Unionists of North East Ulster.   In July 1916 however, Lloyd George proposed to amend the act -- bringing it into effect as soon as possible with the exclusion of North East Ulster.  Redmond accepted this as a temporary measure; Carson accepted it as a permanent arrangement – thus it floundered.

          This virtual acceptance of partition and the delay in the operation of Home Rule legislation proved lethal to the cause of the Parliamentary party.  Afterwards, its failure to prevent the passing of legislation for conscription in Ireland in 1917 heralded the end of its relevance to the destiny of its nation.  Into this vacuum  entered Sinn Fein, offering new hope for deluded Nationalists and a political front for militant freedom fighters – now rejuvenated for the first time in fifty years, by the heroics of  Easter 1916.
            There had always been a strong tradition of rebellion against English rule in Ireland:  even for many who practiced constitutional nationalism, there was no moral objection to physical force tactics -- only practical awareness that their arms were inferior to those of the Crown. The 1798 rebellion by the United Irishmen had the negative effect of precipitating the Act of Union.  The Fenian rebellion of 1867 convinced the traditional Unionist Isaac Butt and the British Liberal leader Gladstone that the 1800 settlement had failed.   Butt thus re-established the Home Rule movement, while Gladstone spent the last twenty years of his life trying to grant some form of parliamentary autonomy and to redress the problem of land ownership -- which had always been a source of agrarian unrest and rebellion.  The 1916 rebellion was -- like those of 98 and 1867 – aimed at breaking the link with the Crown.   It became a blood sacrifice only when it failed; however it resurrected the cult of the heroic martyr bequeathed by Tone, Fitzgerald and Emmett, it also  destroyed the scant belief in British justice, and metamorphosed Sinn Féin from a dual -monarchist to a quasi republican party.
             The original Sinn Féin policy proposed a dual Monarchy in which the United Kingdom and Ireland would share a common King; but with separate and independent parliaments and executives. This was in fact a reconstitution of Grattan’s parliament as it had been after 1783 until the Act Of Union in 1800. The main objective was economic independence: with the right to develop, protect and sustain native industry and trade and to operate fiscal autonomy without hindrance. It had received poor political support in the face of Home Rule expectations; It was -not responsible for the Rising – it was given that honour by the British authorities, who knew nothing about the I.R.B. However Sinn Féin afterwards became a rallying cry for various shades of anti home rule nationalism.      
            In October 11917, in the wake of republican euphoria, the dual monarchy agenda was replaced by the aim of establishing the Republic as proclaimed in Easter 1916. The innate problem  however was that there was no overall consensus as to the true meaning of the term “Republic”: to many, it was synonymous only with national independence, to others it meant changes in the distribution of wealth;  to others it meant restoring the old Gaelic culture. 
The sagacious De Velara—who had recently joined the party -- declared that Sinn Féin was not a doctrinaire republican party  and that the particular form of constitution would be decided after freedom had been obtained.  However, the Dual Monarchy ghost had not been exorcised and arose in an altered form during the treaty negotiations.
            The Representation of The People Act of December 1918: severed the link between franchise and suffrage, giving the vote to men over twenty and women over thirty years of age – thus increasing the electorate from 701,485 to 1,936,673. The inclusion of young males, people of little property, and  informed women favoured a party with a new and idealist agenda. Sinn Féin, won 73 of the 105 seats in Westminster, and in accordance with promulgated policy, established the first Dáil on 21st January 1919.   From the outset the Dáil manifested intent to establish itself as a democratic institution.  
             Its claim to right of existence as a democratic institution was based on its election by British constitutional law.  Its procedures followed the British parliamentary tradition and it incorporated within its constitution the main elements of the British cabinet system of Government. It adopted a democratic programme -- with some socialist tenets taken from the 1916 proclamation and a recent Labour party policy document.  It importuned the free nations of the world to hear its plea for recognition at the forthcoming international peace conference in Berne.

            Regarding military matters, it ratified the Republic proclamation backed by armed revolt in 1916: thus bestowing a retrospective legitimacy on the republican rebellion by linking it with constitutional politics; however it did not declare a war of independence. Furthermore – with the exception of some IRB members -- in particular Collins -- It never gained control over the volunteers, whose military operations won it the right to negotiate the Treaty.
            Those who have examined the relevant dates in Irish history from 1800 to the assembly of the first Dáil may have noted that, whereas O Connell won catholic emancipation by both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary activities, he was unwilling to confront state violence. Parnell used parliament and brinkmanship -- but never open rebellion -- to force the land reforms of 1872 and its 1873 amendment/. Neither men gained repeal of the Union.   Redmond – the total parliamentarian delivered nothing.  Only when constitutional politics was backed by arms were the bonds of union broken.
            As in the case of Grattan’s parliament it was due to the activities of  an armed volunteer organisation -- rather than to political persuasion  -- that  the Dáil wrenched a greater form of independence  from an unwilling British Government: however, a long period of schooling within the British parliamentary system since the Act of Union  enabled  Irish nationalists  to beget  an embryonic  democracy to which Lloyd George’s government could  grant major concessions without loosing face at home or abroad.



               There has been a tendency to castigate those who have inherited the legacy of the men of 1916 for not having adhered to the ideals of the Proclamation ; perhaps, however,  those critics have indulged in an anachronistic interpretation  of  the original intention and actual meaning of  that acclaimed document.
               It was a primarily a propagandist  document justifying the rights of rebellion against the subordination of the Irish Nation to an alien empire: thus it was aimed at an international audience as much as it was a summons to arms  to  the Nationalist people of Ireland.

              The proclamation  could not have been extreme in its ideals: Ithe rebels had no mandate from the people – the vast majority of Irish Nationalists supported the demand for Home Rule, and believed that their goal was about to be realised.    Sinn Féin --  which was ironically accredited with responsibility for the Rising --  had not anticipated a Republic: it proposed a Dual Monarchy like that existing between Hungary and Austria.  The event of 1916 was not a Revolution.: it did not presage a repudiation and overthrow of the established system of Government.

               The Proclamation did however declare a Republic; “we hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State.”  This declaration was given a belated validity  by the elected representatives of Nationalism during the inaugural meeting of the first Dáil in January 1919.  Subsequently the Civil War was fought on the issue of the Republic.  But, what was meant by a Republic then, and what does it mean to-day?  The definition of a Republic is: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president  -- rather than a monarch   Thus, the only real article of contention after the Treaty was not concern for a United Ireland, but rather with the issue of  an Oath of Allegiance to the Crown – which would entail a denial of the Republic..
               The Proclamation did  not propose a Socialist Republic: a planned economy controlled by the State, with State ownership of all industries and natural resources.  It is the misconception that a Republic necessarily  means a Socialist State that has motivated accusations that our state as it operates now is not a Republic.  Moreover, on matters of socialism, it is significant to note that this document did  not refer to the rights of working people – despite the fact that this issue had been fought for and largely lost during  the 1913 “Lock-out”  -- causing starvation and further deprivation among the poor of Dublin.
               Had these leaders realised the “freedom to achieve freedom” they might well have developed their political thinking to include the principles of a Socialist State; however, the majority of the Irish Nationalist  people were then rural – anxious to conserve what they had recently obtained through the various Land Acts – and therefore  not likely to  democratically support anything that would endanger the private ownership of resources.  Furthermore, we must acknowledge the relevance of Connolly’s throwing in his lot with the cause of Nationalism – a clear admission that  World War had killed the dream of international worker’s solidarity --  when faced with conventional priorities of securing state frontiers. This suspension of the Socialist agenda was later compounded by the decision of the Labour Party not to contest the 1921 General Election: in order to give Sinn Féin free rein to win convincing support for independence.

               There was always the danger of a delayed reaction by the Catholic majority to a long resented history of suppression under the supremacy of a Protestant minority: we must remember that the Penal Laws were only rescinded during the previous century. Thus  the wording  of the Proclamation was very much aimed at appeasing the fears of Protestants --  should they come to live  within a new Irish State: “The Republic guarantees religious and civil liberty, equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens,  cherishing all of the children of the nation equally.”   This reference  to “children of the Nation” is best interpreted as meaning members of all races of Irishmen and Irishwomen -- not  juveniles and what we now call “Kids”  This matter is made clear by the following qualification:  “oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien Government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”  Thus when commentators use this passage to assail successive governments with their failure to fulfil the promises of the Proclamation to our young, they are misinterpreting its originally intended meaning..

                  What was  much more daring on the part of the signatories was the declaration of a “resolve to pursue the
happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and of all its parts, “` The pursuit of happiness for one’s people  is a noble aspiration, and it has been enshrined as one of the ideals of the U.S. constitution.  According to the  great 17th. Century English philosopher, John Locke,  it entails “the freedom to be able to  make decisions that results in the best life possible for a human being.  It includes intellectual and moral effort on the part of the individual; but when achieved it delivers the highest perfection of intellectual nature”  There are implications here that we ourselves must become actively involved in the pursuit of happiness: that is to say that it can not be merely gifted to us from without. Yet if our government were to engage in the accomplishment of this ideal on behalf of the Nation it would mean responsibility for ensuring an educational system aimed at developing and nurturing the innate abilities of all young people; which does not mean solely the provision of academic knowledge.  Consequently, there would be provision for the development of vocational skills as well as various forms of art.   The provision of such an unrestricted educational system would lead to greater potential for the occupation,  employment and personal fulfilment of our people.  On this important issue, we can say that the aspirations of the Proclamation have not been honoured.

               There is one often avoided area within  the Proclamation: it  expresses the need  for sacrifice for the common good.   For the leaders of the Rebellion, the “Common Good” probably  meant Freedom from the Crown and the right to Self Determination.  What does it mean to-day?  Few of us speak now of the Common Good  -- if it does not include our own interests; and Sacrifice is not currently a popular word.

               After the loss of the Aud and the countermanding orders of McNeill, the leaders of 1916 knew that they could not win – though their rhetoric claims otherwise.  Their proclamation however was a clear declaration before the free Nations of the world that Ireland’s quest for freedom was a just one and its fulfilment was ultimately irresistible. It was also an aspiration that the impending Republic would be free from discrimination and would aim to nurture what is noblest in humanity.  Finally, it was an heroic act of defiance by a few altruistic patriots who knew that sacrifice had become necessary in order to awaken their Nation from its slumber.
                  If their ideals have-not still been realised, we must not yet despair:  for  we have come through the denial of our laws and customs – that was the objective  of the Statutes of Kilkenny and Poynings’ Law; through the  ethnic cleansing – that was the terror of Cromwell; through the degradation and religious oppression of the Penal Laws, and through the genocide of the Great Famine.  We have survived, arisen, forgiven and advanced again – even if sometimes with faltering steps.  Our Nation’s restoration has been akin to a lost land, weighed down by ice for so long  an age that its subsequent  erratic isostatic uplift is not yet complete.



• The ultimate cause of the final conflict between the leading Irish chieftains and the English Crown was the attempt by the later to subjugate and control the Gaelic leaders, and to abolish their ancient laws.  Thus  it was intended to establish a single, un-complicated system for the extraction of revenue and services. The innate desire for sovereignty on the part of the Crown  drove the Irish Chieftains to resist:  because it entailed their renouncing  the legitimacy of the law of their clans and the maintenance of their culture and heritage.   During this traumatic period of change, no other Gaelic protagonists participated with greater force and fury than both Shane and Hugh O Neill – the last great chieftains of their Clann.
• Both  Shane and Hugh sought to become The O Neill – chief of the most powerful clan  in Gaelic Ireland..
• Both sought to become the gaelic overlord of the Northern Province of Ireland – including Tyrone, Tír Chonnail , Cavan and Monaghan, as well as the rest of the territory which comprises modern Ulster.
• Both wished to be given the English title of Earl of Tyrone.
• A major problem for both was that the Gaelic title of The O Neill  was irreconcilable that of Earl, because it involved a clash between Gaelic (Brehen Law) and English Feudal law.  In the latter system, the Earl obtained his title from the monarch and was bound by such English legal customs as primogeniture as well as surrender and regrant.  In contrast, Gaelic law deemed that the chief of the clan held his lands only as a result of his title and that he could not therefore, alienate these lands   from his clann by surrender and regrant.   Moreover, Gaelic law of Tanaistry -- as it was known to the English –provided for the succession to the title of chief, by the most competent and proven member of the clann. In contrast to this, English law provided for succession by primogeniture aimed at the elimination of serious conflict during times of succession..  The differences and conflicts between both legal systems eventually proved unsurmountable to both Shane and Hugh O Neill..
• Shane employed an aggressive strategy in his quest for both the title of the O Neill and his claim to being overlord in the Northern Province. In the first instance, this brought him into direct conflict with the queen, because of reasons already outlined.  In the second instance, his waring on neighbouring clans and their territories brought him many enemies – most notably the O Donnells of  Tír Chonnail  and the McDonnells of the Glens of Antrim. Eventually agents of the Crown were able to exploit the weaknesses within Brehen lordships  in order to encourage disloyalty:  firstly during the succession crisis between Shane and Mathew, and later during the territorial disputes between O Neill and O Donnell.
• Hugh O Neill, on the other hand, was more circumspect and not wont to become involved in skirmishes with either other members of the Clann, or with other clans – in fact he encouraged closer relationships with the O Donnells by marital arrangements.  He therefore endured the presence of Turlough as Chief of the clann -- waiting for him to grow old, before persuading him to abdicate the coveted title to himself. 
• In contrast to Shane, Hugh served the Queen: helping the government in its suppression of the Desmond rebellion, defending the Pale , allowing the massacre of some Armada survivors in his territory, and even assisting Essex in his early  campaigns  for which he was paid  nearly £3000.  He was finally rewarded for his overt loyalty in 1885 when given the title of Earl of Tyrone.
• Yet, although Hugh was initially much more successful than Shane, the same fate was destined for booth – with slight modifications: for Hugh was also to find that the ultimate intention of the English monarchy and its government was to end all Gaelic law in Ireland and to control both rights to land and political power.
• Ultimately, Hugh O Nell’s nine year war cost his country greatest: because is lasted longer, was more unified in the participation of the Gaelic clanns, and was fought over a greater territorial area.  By the end of the conflict in 1603, all of Ireland was for the first time under the real control of the English government in Dublin. Its close heralded a decisive end to the Gaelic order  and marks the final victory of the English state in Ireland


  •  "The role of John Redmond in Irish history does not mark the beginning of a new era, but the end of an old one" Discuss?
  •   Discuss the role of the Gaelic League in the resurgence of nationalism in Ireland?
  •  What new law was made by Sir Edward Poynings in 1494 and why was it important?
  • (To what extent did the rules governing the Plantation of Ulster inhibit good relations between the settlers and the natives of that province?
  •  Cad iad na príomhathruithe sóisialta agus eacnamaíochta a tharla i dTuaisceart Éireann, 1949-1993?
  • Cé acu ba rathúla, Comhaontú Sunningdale (1973) nó an Comhaontú Angla-Éireannach (1985)? Déan do chás a áitiú agus tagairt agat don dá cheann acu. 



A FHEARA AGUS A MHNÁ NA hÉIREANN: In ainm Dé agus  na nglún atá imithe ar slí na firinne romhainn, agus óna bhfuil a náisiúntacht faighte aici le hoidhreacht, tá Éire ag cur gairm slógaidh ar a clann brostú chun a brataigh agus troid ar son a saoirse.
Tar éis di a cuid fear óg a oiliúint is a eagrú trína  h-eagraíocht réabhlóideach rúnda, mar atá  Bráithreachas Poblachtach na hÉireann; agus trína heagraíochtaí míleata nach raibh faoi cheilt aicí, mar atá Óglaigh na hÉireann agus Arm Cathartha na hÉireann; tar éis di a féinsmacht a chur I gcrích go foighdeach; tar éis di fanacht go seasmhach faoi choinne uair na faille, beireann sí anois ar an bhfaill sin  --  le  tacaíocht a clainne atá dulta ar imirce go Meiriceá  -- agus le tacaíocht a comhghuaillithe calma san Eoraip --  ach go h-áirithe ag brath ar a láidreacht féin, aimsíonn sí buille dóchasach lena haghaidh sin.
Dearbhaíonn muid gurb é an cheart dhochloíte ag muintir na  hÉireann seilbh a bheith acu ar acmhainn na tíre seo agus go bhfuil sin amhlaidh ó thaobh comhlíonadh ár gcuid cinniúna de.  Cé go bhfuil muid curtha as ár gcearta siúd ar feadh I bhfad ag cine agus cumhacht iasachtach, ní éireoidh leo go deo --  múna ndéanfar díothú ar muintir na tíre uilig.   Ó ghlúin go glúin  tá a gcuid cearta chun saoirse agus ceannas an Náisiúin seo a bhaint amach fógartha ag muintir na h-Éireann: ar sé ócáid le linn na dtrí céad bliain atá thart tá na cearta siúd dearbhaithe againn faoi arm.  Ag cloí go seasmhach lenár gcuid cearta bunúsacha mar Náisiún, agus ag iarraidh na cearta siúd  a thabhairt go deireadh na scríbe, fógraíonn muid  Poblacht na h-Éireann mar stát  ceannasach neamhspleách; ar a son cuireann muid ár mbeatha agus beatha ár gcompánaigh airm I ngeall lena saoirse, lena leas agus lena hardú chun céime I  measc náisiúin na cruinne.
Tá ceart dúchais ag Poblacht na h-Éireann a bheith ag súil le dílseacht ó gach uile Éireannach, idir fhir agus mhná  --   agus leis seo, tá sí ag éileamh na dílseachta sin orthu.  Ráthaíonn an Phoblacht saoirse chreidimh agus saoirse shibhialta, chomh maith le  cearta cothroma agus deiseanna cothroma dá saoránaigh go léir:  chun na tosaíochta seo a chur chun cinn fógraíonn sí go bhfuil sé de rún aici sonas agus séan an náisiúin  uilig a bhaint amach agus go mbeidh sí chomh ceanúil ar chlanna éagsúla an náisiúin  --  gan beann ar bith aici ar na difríochtaí a chothaigh rialtas eachtrannach go cúramach sna blianta atá thart chun deighilt a chruthú idir an mionlach agus  an  móramh sa tír seo.
Go dtí go mbuafaidh ár n-airm an chumhacht chun Rialtais ionadaíochta Naisiúnta  bhuain a bhronnadh ar muintir na tíre uilig -- a mbeidh tofa le vótaí a cuid fear agus ban --  riarfaidh an Rialtas Sealadach a bhunaítear leis seo gnóthaí sibhialta agus míleata na Poblachta thar ceann an phobail.
Cuireann muid cúis Phoblacht na hÉireann faoi choimirce Dé Uilechumhachtaigh ar a n- impíonn muid beannachtaí a bhronnadh ar ár gcuid gníomhartha cogaidh; agus guímid nach náireoidh duine ar bith inár measc an chúis chéanna le  claidhreacht, le mídhaonnacht ná le slad.   In uair na cinniúna seo caithfidh náisiún na hÉireann  í féin a chruthú  trína  crógacht, trína féinsmacht agus trí toilteanas a clainne a bheith réidh le hiad féin a íobairt ar son leas an phobail:  ionas go dtuillfidh sí an Chéim uasal atá I ndán dí.

(aistrithe ag Mick Beirne)





Under the direction of  Douglas Hyde as president and Eoin MacNeill as secretary, the Gaelic League formulated and implemented an ambitious programme; by 1905 it had 550 branches throughout the country. The branches organised Irish classes conducted by timirí (travelling teachers) and also lectures, concerts and Irish dances. From 1899 onwards the Gaelic League published An Claidheamh Soluis, an Irish-language weekly newspaper. It staged an annual cultural festival, the Oireachtas, and had Saint Patrick’s Day designated a national holiday. It also succeeded in having Irish included in the curriculum for primary and secondary schools and in having it made compulsory for matriculation at the National University of Ireland,

While the Gaelic League was strictly non-political and the membership included some unionists, the majority of members were nationalists - in the decades leading up to 1916 most would have been moderates who regarded Home Rule as the only viable objective. The membership also included extreme nationalists, including a number of the signatories of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, who were particularly influential within the organisation. While these eventually gained control in 1915, the main contribution of the Gaelic League to the 1916 Rising had already been made: over a generation the Gaelic League had accomplished significant cultural change in the nationalist population. The young men of the 1916 generation were proud to be Irish and heirs to one of the oldest civilisations in Europe; many of them spoke the Irish language; they cherished their cultural traditions; and, moreover, they were aware of their national history—a history in which Ireland had been unjustly dominated for centuries. While the majority would settle for Home Rule, some believed Ireland was entitled to full independence, an objective for which they were prepared to fight.

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