I recently picked up this postcard, which was sent from Dublin to Clones in Co. Monaghan during the War of Independence. Congratulating “my dear Harry” on the occasion of “your magnificent victory”, I can’t help but think and ponder what Aunt Mary might have been referencing!
I love little historical artifacts like this, as they give great insight into life at the time. That someone could buy a postcard showing a Volunteer in front of a tricolour with the words “the spirit still lives on in the men of today” and post it without interference is interesting in and of itself.
Political postcards were common in the Ireland of the early twentieth century, in fact within weeks of the 1916 Rising postcards depicting the destruction of the “Sinn Féin Rebellion” as they incorrectly christened it were in hot demand.
In Ulster, some of the more colourful postcards depicted what life would be like under Home Rule, often with grass growing over the streets and the place in tatters. A particular favourite comes from the enjoyable Fadó Fadó blog, showing a Unionist nightmare of Carrickfergus. Notice the graffiti on the wall proclaiming “Major McBride’s Irish Militia”, in reference to John MacBride who had fought against Britain in the Boer War. John Redmond takes a kicking too, with the statue pedestal telling us that “Redmond Rex Hibernie.”