Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916

Prelude to the Easter Rising of 1916
The Signatories of the Proclamation

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Michael F. Lydon

Michael F. Lydon (10 October 1907 – 15 May 1977) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. A civil engineer, he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Galway West constituency at the 1944 general election. He was re-elected at the 1948 general election but lost his seat at the 1951 general election. He was an unsuccessful candidate at the 1954 and 1957 general elections.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - John O'Connor

John S. O'Connor (27 December 1896 – 2 November 1967) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. A solicitor, he was elected on his second attempt, to Dáil Éireann as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin North–West constituency at the 1944 general election. He lost his Dáil seat at the 1948 general election.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Harry Colley

Henry (Harry) Colley (21 February 1891 – 18 January 1972) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician from Dublin.

Colley was first elected to Dáil Éireann on his second attempt in the 1944 general election. He remained a Teachta Dála (TD) until he lost his seat at the 1957 general election to the future Taoiseach, Charles Haughey.

His son, George Colley, was elected to the Dáil at the 1961 general election. Colley Jnr. went on to hold a number of Cabinet positions including those of Minister for Finance and Tánaiste. He was defeated in the 1979 Fianna Fáil leadership election by the man who unseated his father – Charles Haughey.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Seán McCarthy

Seán McCarthy (died 14 March 1974) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. A teacher by profession, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fianna Fáil Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork South-East constituency at the 1944 general election but lost his seat at the 1948 general election. He was re-elected for the Cork Borough constituency at the 1951 general election and held his seat until he retired from national politics at the 1965 general election. McCarthy also served as Lord Mayor of Cork on four occasions, from 1949–1950, 1958, 1963 and 1966.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Patrick McAuliffe

Patrick McAuliffe

Patrick McAuliffe (1 August 1914 – 13 October 1989) was an Irish Labour Party politician. A farmer before entering politics, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork North constituency at the 1944 general election. He was re-elected at each subsequent general election until he lost his seat at the 1969 general election.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Walter Furlong

Walter Furlong (1 September 1893 – 11 December 1973) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician. He was elected on his second attempt, to Dáil Éireann as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cork Borough constituency at the 1944 general election. He lost his Dáil seat at the 1948 general election, and was an unsuccessful candidate at the 1951 general election.

Furlong also served as Lord Mayor of Cork in 1951. He was a Cork City Councillor 1935 - 1945, (books missing 1952 - 1956) 1957, 1958 and Alderman 1946 - 1950.

According to his death notice, Furlong was in "G" Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Cork Brigade, Old I.R.A. in 1916, and had been interned on Bere Island, released on the signing of the Truce.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - William Dwyer

William Dwyer (1887 – 10 May 1951) was an Irish politician. A company director by profession, he was an unsuccessful Fine Gael candidate at the 1943 general election for the Cork Borough constituency. He was elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1944 general election as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for Cork Borough.

He resigned his seat on 29 March 1946 and the subsequent by-election on 14 June 1946 was won by Patrick McGrath of Fianna Fáil. He stood unsuccessfully as an independent candidate at the 1948 general election for the Cork East constituency.

Members of the Twelfth Dáil - Tom O'Reilly

Thomas P. O'Reilly (6 August 1915 – 1 February 1995), known as Tom O'Reilly, was an Irish Gaelic footballer, politician and farmer from County Cavan. He was born at the Derries Upper, Killeshandra, County Cavan. His father was Big John O'Reilly who played as goalkeeper on the Cavan county team and his mother was Sarah Anne.

O'Reilly played for Cornafean and Cavan from the early 1930s until the mid-‘40’s, and was acclaimed as one of the country’s greatest midfielders for much of that period. His footballing ability and his large build earned him the name "Big Tom". His brother John Joe O'Reilly (footballer) was also a noted Cavan footballer.

Big Tom first played for Cornafean on the club’s junior team which progressed to the Junior Championship semi-final in 1931. Although only sixteen years old, he quickly made a big impression and was at centrefield a year later on the senior team which defeated Bailieboro in the county final. He continued to star as a midfielder for Cornafean until he retired in 1948. He won a total of nine Cavan Senior Football Championship medals and captained Cornafean on than seven of those occasions.

However, it was to be his contribution to the Cavan county team that earned him enduring national renown. A star for the county minors and juniors in 1932, he made his debut for the Cavan seniors a year later, and played a key role at midfield when Cavan defeated Galway in the 1933 All-Ireland Football Final. He won a second All Ireland medal two years later and played on the losing Cavan teams in the 1937, 1943 and 1945 finals. He captained the county side from 1937 to 1945 and was still on the Cavan panel when they won the famous 1947 All-Ireland Football final in the Polo Grounds in New York. He was also a regular on the Ulster teams for the Railway Cup in 1940s.

O'Reilly was elected to Dáil Éireann as an independent Teachta Dála (TD) for the Cavan constituency at the 1944 general election. He stood as a Fine Gael candidate at the 1948 general election, but was defeated by another independent candidate, and did not stand for the Dáil again.

In later life, he was a successful businessman.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Michael Mallin Post 2

Michael Mallin: silk weaver Credit:Lorcan Collins
According to a recent article in On the eve of the 1916 Rising, Michael Mallin played the flute in the four-piece Workers’ Orchestra during a recital for the Irish Citizen Army in Dublin’s Liberty Hall. The next morning, Easter Monday, the planned rebellion began and Mallin commanded a garrison in St Stephen’s Green and, later, the College of Surgeons. As he prepared to lead out his men, Mallin, father to four young children and husband to a pregnant wife, turned to James O’Shea and, foreseeing his end, said: “We will be dead in a short time.”

Many of the 1916 leaders, including James Connolly, Patrick Pearse and Eamon de Valera, are seen as founding fathers of the Irish State. But Mallin, who became Chief-of-Staff – and second-in-command to James Connolly – of the Irish Citizen Army and was executed by firing squad for his role in the Rising, has been relegated to a footnote.

In a new biography – the first in a projected 16 Lives series by the O’Brien Press to publish biographies, between now and the centenary, of all 16 men executed after the Rising – historian Brian Hughes offers a vivid insight into a forgotten figure.

Short and dapper, Michael Mallin was a music teacher, devout Catholic and teetotaler who spoke in a gentle voice. He loved reading the history of South American and ancient Europe as well as the novels of Joseph Conrad. But he was also strict, impatient and frustrated by those whose commitment and discipline fell short of the high standards he set for himself. He had a strong sense of right and wrong, disliked swearing and his political and religious beliefs were easily offended.

Mallin was born in a tenement in the Liberties area of Dublin in 1874 at a time when whole families frequently lived in a single room. At 14, he joined the British army. While serving in India, his political beliefs changed dramatically. He began to sympathise with the rebels the British army were fighting and, in parallel, he believed that British rule in Ireland could only be removed by physical force.

Back in Dublin at the turn of the century, Mallin worked in various jobs – including setting up a chicken farm and opening a cinema – but his time as a silk weaver proved most significant. As secretary of the Silk Weavers’ Trade Union, he helped them strike for four months until their demands were met.

Shortly after, James Connolly appointed Mallin as Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Citizen Army, set up to defend striking workers against the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP).

Mallin’s exclusion to the margins of the Rising’s history partly stems from two factors. The first relates to his failure as a garrison leader. Occupying St Stephen’s Green, an open park with almost no shelter, was militarily questionable but ordering his men to dig trenches – possibly influenced by newsreel from the first World War – was pure folly.

Worse, Mallin didn’t attempt to take the nearby Shelbourne Hotel. When the British occupied this building, they pounded the rebels in the Green and Mallin retreated to the College of Surgeons. But, barely one week after the start of the Rising and subdued by the British onslaught, Mallin surrendered – breaking down as he read the order.

Like most of the other garrisons, as Mallin’s men were marched to Dublin Castle by British soldiers they were jeered by Dublin citizens outraged by this attack on their city in what was seen as a cowardly betrayal of Irish men fighting on the Western Front. (By 1918, over 200,000 Irish men would fight and almost 30,000 would lose their lives in the first World War.) On Grafton Street, an angry mob attacked Mallin’s garrison and a British officer threatened to shoot the protesters before they finally withdrew.

On May 5 1916, Michael Mallin’s field general court martial took place. His conduct during this is the second reason the Dubliner has been largely written out of Irish history. During his defence, Mallin claimed that he had no prior knowledge of the Rising; that, when he arrived at the Green, Countess Markievicz ordered him to take charge of the garrison.

This was a blatant fabrication: Markievicz was, in fact, Mallin’s deputy in the Green (she actually wore an old Citizen Army tunic of Mallin’s). In a desperate attempt to avoid the death sentence, Mallin probably reasoned that the British would not, because of her gender, shoot Markievicz but it was a very risky gamble and, as Hughes suggests, “particularly dishonourable”.

In September 1916, under the headline “Destitution Killing Irish”, the New York American newspaper published a letter written by Mallin, on the evening before his execution, to Alderman Thomas Kelly.

The article aimed to raise funds in the US for the dependants of those killed during the Rising and the letter places Mallin’s treacherous behavior during his court martial in context.

“I have left my wife and children absolutely destitute,” he writes inconsolably, and Hughes argues that this was Mallin’s primary motivation in seeking to mislead the jury. While the letters of more celebrated 1916 leaders, written as they awaited the firing squad, emphasize their commitment to die for Ireland, Mallin’s reek of a humanity and awareness informed by the burden of his imminent death on his family.

Before his execution at Kilmainham Gaol in the early morning of May 8th, Mallin wrote to his wife that “this is the end of all things earthly” and touchingly enclosed the buttons of his tunic. The letter profoundly shaped the lives of his young son and daughter. Mallin asked his wife to dedicate Joseph and Una to the church and they subsequently joined the Jesuit and Loreto order, respectively.

If you take a train through south Dublin, you’ll pass Dun Laoghaire railway station. The station is officially called ‘Mallin Station’ but, tellingly, this title is almost never used. In a compassionate biography, Brian Hughes helps bring an unfairly neglected figure of Irish history alive on the page.

‘Michael Mallin’ is available from the O’Brien Press website:

British soldiers opposite Liberty Hall after the suppression of the Rising. A flute, believed to have been played by Mallin before the Rising, was found in Liberty Hall when the building was searched by British soldiers. Credit: Lorcan Collins.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Twelfth Dáil

This is a list of the members who were elected to the 12th Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (legislature) of Ireland. These TDs (Members of Parliament) were elected at the 1944 general election on 30 May 1944 and met on 9 June 1944. The 12th Dáil was dissolved by President Seán T. O'Kelly, at the request of the Taoiseach Éamon de Valera on 12 January 1948. The 12th Dáil lasted 1,345 days.

As of 2011, Liam Cosgrave is the only surviving member of the 12th Dáil, as well as the 11th, and is consequently the earliest surviving TD.

The list of the 138 TDs elected, is given in alphabetical order by constituency.
Members of the 12th Dáil
Constituency Name Party
Athlone–Longford Thomas Carter
Fianna Fáil
Erskine H. Childers
Fianna Fáil
Seán Mac Eoin
Fine Gael
Carlow–Kildare Thomas Harris
Fianna Fáil
James Hughes
Fine Gael
Francis Humphreys
Fianna Fáil
William Norton
Labour Party
Cavan Patrick O'Reilly
Clann na Talmhan
Tom O'Reilly
Michael Sheridan
Fianna Fáil
Paddy Smith
Fianna Fáil
Clare Patrick Burke
Fine Gael
Thomas Burke
Éamon de Valera
Fianna Fáil
Seán O'Grady
Fianna Fáil
Peter O'Loghlen
Fianna Fáil
Cork Borough Richard Anthony
Frank Daly
Fianna Fáil
William Dwyer
Walter Furlong
Fianna Fáil
Cork North Patrick Halliden
Clann na Talmhan
Patrick McAuliffe
Labour Party
Seán Moylan
Fianna Fáil
Leo Skinner
Fianna Fáil
Cork South–East William Broderick
Fine Gael
Martin Corry
Fianna Fáil
Seán McCarthy
Fianna Fáil
Cork West Seán Buckley
Fianna Fáil
Timothy J. Murphy
Labour Party
Patrick O'Driscoll
Clann na Talmhan
Eamonn O'Neill
Fine Gael
Timothy O'Sullivan
Fianna Fáil
Donegal East Neal Blaney
Fianna Fáil
John Friel
Fianna Fáil
Daniel McMenamin
Fine Gael
William Sheldon
Donegal West Brian Brady
Fianna Fáil
Cormac Breslin
Fianna Fáil
Michael Óg McFadden
Fine Gael
Dublin County Seán Brady
Fianna Fáil
Patrick Burke
Fianna Fáil
Liam Cosgrave
Fine Gael
Henry Dockrell
Fine Gael
Patrick Fogarty
Fianna Fáil
Dublin North–East Alfred Byrne
Harry Colley
Fianna Fáil
Oscar Traynor
Fianna Fáil
Dublin North–West Cormac Breathnach
Fianna Fáil
Patrick McGilligan
Fine Gael
John O'Connor
Fianna Fáil
Seán T. O'Kelly
Fianna Fáil
Martin O'Sullivan
Labour Party
Dublin South Robert Briscoe
Fianna Fáil
Maurice E. Dockrell
Fine Gael
Peadar Doyle
Fine Gael
James Larkin, Jnr
Labour Party
Seán Lemass
Fianna Fáil
James Lynch
Fianna Fáil
John McCann
Fianna Fáil
Dublin Townships Bernard Butler
Fianna Fáil
John A. Costello
Fine Gael
Seán MacEntee
Fianna Fáil
Galway East Patrick Beegan
Fianna Fáil
Frank Fahy
Ceann Comhairle
Michael Donnellan
Clann na Talmhan
Mark Killilea, Snr
Fianna Fáil
Galway West Gerald Bartley
Fianna Fáil
Michael Lydon
Fianna Fáil
Joseph Mongan
Fine Gael
Kerry North Patrick Finucane
Clann na Talmhan
Eamonn Kissane
Fianna Fáil
Tom McEllistrim
Fianna Fáil
Dan Spring
National Labour Party
Kerry South Frederick Crowley
Fianna Fáil
John Healy
Fianna Fáil
Fionán Lynch
Fine Gael
Kilkenny Eamonn Coogan
Fine Gael
Thomas Derrig
Fianna Fáil
James Pattison
National Labour Party
Leitrim Stephen Flynn
Fianna Fáil
Bernard Maguire
Mary Reynolds
Fine Gael
Leix–Offaly Patrick Boland
Fianna Fáil
William Davin
Labour Party
Patrick Gorry
Fianna Fáil
Thomas F. O'Higgins
Fine Gael
Oliver J. Flanagan
Limerick George C. Bennett
Fine Gael
Daniel Bourke
Fianna Fáil
Michael Colbert
Fianna Fáil
Michael Keyes
Labour Party
Donnchadh Ó Briain
Fianna Fáil
James Reidy
Fine Gael
Robert Ryan
Fianna Fáil
Louth Frank Aiken
Fianna Fáil
James Coburn
Fine Gael
Laurence Walsh
Fianna Fáil
Mayo North Patrick Browne
Fine Gael
James Kilroy
Fianna Fáil
P. J. Ruttledge
Fianna Fáil
Mayo South Joseph Blowick
Clann na Talmhan
Dominick Cafferky
Clann na Talmhan
Micheál Clery
Fianna Fáil
Micheál Ó Móráin
Fianna Fáil
Richard Walsh
Fianna Fáil
Meath–Westmeath Charles Fagan
Fine Gael
Patrick Giles
Fine Gael
Michael Hilliard
Fianna Fáil
Michael Kennedy
Fianna Fáil
Matthew O'Reilly
Fianna Fáil
Monaghan James Dillon
Bridget Rice
Fianna Fáil
Conn Ward
Fianna Fáil
Roscommon John Beirne, Snr
Clann na Talmhan
Gerald Boland
Fianna Fáil
Daniel O'Rourke
Fianna Fáil
Sligo Martin Brennan
Fianna Fáil
Martin Roddy
Fine Gael
Patrick Rogers
Fine Gael
Tipperary Dan Breen
Fianna Fáil
Andrew Fogarty
Fianna Fáil
Frank Loughman
Fianna Fáil
Daniel Morrissey
Fine Gael
Richard Mulcahy
Fine Gael
William O'Donnell
Clann na Talmhan
Mary Ryan
Fianna Fáil
Waterford Denis Heskin
Clann na Talmhan
Patrick Little
Fianna Fáil
Michael Morrissey
Fianna Fáil
Bridget Redmond
Fine Gael
Wexford Denis Allen
Fianna Fáil
Richard Corish
Labour Party
John Keating
Fine Gael
John O'Leary
National Labour Party
James Ryan
Fianna Fáil
Wicklow Thomas Brennan
Fianna Fáil
Patrick Cogan
Clann na Talmhan
James Everett
National Labour Party


Date Constituency
Loss Note
10 November 1944 Kerry South
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael Donal O'Donoghue (FF) wins the seat vacated by the appointment of Fionán Lynch (FG) as a judge.
4 December 1945 Clare
Fianna Fáil
Fine Gael Patrick Shanahan (FF) wins the seat vacated by the death of Patrick Burke (FG)
4 December 1945 Dublin North–West
Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil Vivion de Valera (FF) holds the seat vacated by Seán T. O'Kelly (FF) on his election to the Presidency
4 December 1945 Kerry South
Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil Honor Crowley (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of her husband Frederick Crowley (FF)
4 December 1945 Mayo South
Clann na Talmhan
Fianna Fáil Bernard Commons (CnaT) wins the seat vacated by the appointment of Micheál Clery (FF) as County Registrar of Dublin
4 December 1945 Wexford
Labour Party
Labour Party Brendan Corish (Lab) holds the seat vacated by the death of his father Richard Corish (Lab)
14 June 1946 Cork Borough
Fianna Fáil
Independent Patrick McGrath (FF) wins the seat vacated by the resignation of William Dwyer (Ind)
29 October 1947 Dublin County
Clann na Poblachta
Fianna Fáil Seán MacBride (CnaP) wins the seat vacated by the death of Patrick Fogarty (FF)
29 October 1947 Tipperary
Clann na Poblachta
Clann na Talmhan Patrick Kinane (CnaP) wins the seat vacated by the death of William O'Donnell (CnaT)
29 October 1947 Waterford
Fianna Fáil
Fianna Fáil John Ormonde (FF) holds the seat vacated by the death of Michael Morrissey (FF)

Eamon de Valera's Response to Winston Churchill

As transcribed by, the following is from their website: 

"Three days later, de Valera, in a much anticipated reply, outlined Ireland's right as an independent state to remain neutral. His response was praised widely in Ireland for its strength, dignity and restraint."

"I have here before me the pencilled notes from which I broadcast to you on 3 September 1939. I had so many other things to do on that day that I could not find time to piece them together into a connected statement. From these notes I see that I said that noting the march of events your Government had decided its policy the previous spring, and had announced its decision to the world.

The aim of our policy, I said, would to keep our people out of the war. I reminded you of what I had said in the Dail that in our circumstances, with our history and our experience after the last war and with a part of our country still unjustly severed from us; no other policy was possible.

Certain newspapers have been very persistent in looking for my answer to Mr. Churchill's recent broadcast . I know the kind of answer I am expected to make. I know the answer that first springs to the lips of every man of Irish blood who heard or read that speech, no matter in what circumstances or in what part of the world he found himself.

I know the reply I would have given a quarter of a century ago. But I have deliberately decided that that is not the reply I shall make tonight. I shall strive not to be guilty of adding any fuel to the flames of hatred and passion which, if continued to be fed, promise to burn up whatever is left by the war of decent human feeling in Europe.

Allowances can be made for Mr. Churchill's statement, however unworthy, in the first flush of his victory. No such excuse could be found for me in this quieter atmosphere. There are, however some things which it is my duty to say, some things which it is essential to say. I shall try to say them as dispassionately as I can.

Mr. Churchill makes it clear that, in certain circumstances, he would have violated our neutrality and that he would justify his action by Britain's necessity. It seems strange to me that Mr. Churchill does not see that this, if accepted, would mean Britain's necessity would become a moral code and that when this necessity became sufficiently great, other people's rights were not to count.

It is quite true that other great Powers believe in this same code-in their own regard-and have behaved in accordance with it. That is precisely why we have the disastrous succession of wars-World War No. 1 and World War No. 2-and shall it be World War No. 3?

Surely Mr. Churchill must see that if his contention be admitted in our regard, a like justification can be framed for similar acts of aggression elsewhere and no small nation adjoining a great Power could ever hope to be permitted to go it own way in peace.

It is indeed fortunate that Britain's necessity did not reach the point when Mr. Churchill would have acted. All credit to him that he successfully resisted the temptation which, I have not doubt, may times assailed him in his difficulties and to which I freely admit many leaders might have easily succumbed. It is indeed; hard for the strong to be just to the weak, but acting justly always has its rewards.

By resisting his temptation in this instance, Mr. Churchill, instead of adding another horrid chapter to the already bloodstained record of the relations between England and this country, has advanced the cause of international morality an important step-one of the most important, indeed, that can be taken on the road to the establishment of any sure basis for peace.

As far as the peoples of these two islands are concerned, it may, perhaps, mark a fresh beginning towards the realisation of that mutual comprehension to which Mr. Churchill has referred for which, I hope, he will not merely pray but work also, as did his predecessor who will yet, I believe, find the honoured place in British history which is due to him, as certainly he will find it in any fair record of the relations between Britain and ourselves.

That Mr. Churchill should be irritated when our neutrality stood in the way of what he thought he vitally needed, I understand, but that he or any thinking person in Britain or elsewhere should fail to see the reason for our neutrality, I find it hard to conceive.

I would like to put a hypothetical question-it is a question I have put to many Englishmen since the last war. Suppose Germany had won the war, had invaded and occupied England, and that after a long lapse of time and many bitter struggles, she was finally brought to acquiesce in admitting England's right to freedom, and let England go, but not the whole of England, all but, let us say, the six southern counties.

These six southern counties, those, let us suppose, commanding the entrance to the narrow seas, Germany had singled out and insisted on holding herself with a view to weakening England as a whole, and maintaining the securing of her own communications through the Straits of Dover.

Let us suppose further, that after all this had happened, Germany was engaged in a great war in which she could show that she was on the side of freedom of a number of small nations, would Mr. Churchill as an Englishman who believed that his own nation had as good a right to freedom as any other, not freedom for a part merely, but freedom for the whole--would he, whilst Germany still maintained the partition of his country and occupied six counties of it, would he lead this partitioned England to join with Germany in a crusade? I do not think Mr. Churchill would.

Would he think the people of partitioned England an object of shame if they stood neutral in such circumstances? I do not think Mr. Churchill would.

Mr. Churchill is proud of Britain's stand alone, after France had fallen and before America entered the War.

Could he not find in his heart the generosity to acknowledge that there is a small nation that stood alone not for one year or two, but for several hundred years against aggression; that endured spoliations, famines, massacres in endless succession; that was clubbed many times into insensibility, but that each time on returning consciousness took up the fight anew; a small nation that could never be got to accept defeat and has never surrendered her soul?

Mr. Churchill is justly proud of his nation's perseverance against heavy odds. But we in this island are still prouder of our people's perseverance for freedom through all the centuries. We, of our time, have played our part in the perseverance, and we have pledged our selves to the dead generations who have preserved intact for us this glorious heritage, that we, too, will strive to be faithful to the end, and pass on this tradition unblemished.

Many a time in the past there appeared little hope except that hope to which Mr. Churchill referred, that by standing fast a time would come when, to quote his own words: "…the tyrant would make some ghastly mistake which would alter the whole balance of the struggle."

I sincerely trust, however, that it is not thus our ultimate unity and freedom will be achieved, though as a younger man I confess I prayed even for that, and indeed at times saw not other.

In latter years, I have had a vision of a nobler and better ending, better for both our people and for the future of mankind. For that I have now been long working. I regret that it is not to this nobler purpose that Mr. Churchill is lending his hand rather than, by the abuse of a people who have done him no wrong, trying to find in a crisis like the present excuse for continuing the injustice of the mutilation of our country.

I sincerely hope that Mr. Churchill has not deliberately chosen the latter course but, if he has, however regretfully we may say it, we can only say, be it so.

Meanwhile, even as a partitioned small nation, we shall go on and strive to play our part in the world continuing unswervingly to work for the cause of true freedom and for peace and understanding."

Winston Churchill's Victory Speech 13 May 1945

The 11th Dáil ended on 9 May 1944, D-Day was a month away, and World War II was slowly coming to an end. At the end of WWII, Winston Churchill chastised Ireland for its neutrality stance during the war. The following is the speech delivered by Mr. Churchill as transcribed by 

"It was five years ago on Thursday last that His Majesty the King commissioned me to form a National Government of all parties to carry on our affairs. Five years is a long time in human life, especially when there is no remission for good conduct. However, aided - by loyal and capable colleagues and sustained by the entire British nation at home and all our fighting men abroad, and with the unswerving cooperation of the Dominions far across the oceans and of our Empire in every quarter of the globe, it became clear last week that things had worked out pretty well and that the British Commonwealth and Empire stands more united and more effectively powerful than at any time in its long romantic history. Certainly we were in a far better state to cope with the problems and perils of the future than we were five years ago.

For a while our prime enemy, our mighty enemy, Germany, overran almost all Europe. France, who bore such a frightful strain in the last great war was beaten to the ground and took some time to recover. The Low Countries, fighting to the best of their strength, were subjugated. Norway was overrun. Mussolini's Italy stabbed us in the back when we were, as he thought, at our last gasp. But for ourselves, our lot, I mean the British Commonwealth and Empire, we were absolutely alone.

In July, August, and September, 1940, forty or fifty squadrons of British fighter aircraft broke the teeth of the German air fleet at odds of seven or eight to one in the Battle of Britain. Never before in the history of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. The name of Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding will ever be linked with this splendid event. But conjoined with the Royal Air Force lay the Royal Navy, ever ready to tear to pieces the barges, gathered from the canals of Holland and Belgium, in which an invading army could alone have been transported. I was never one to believe that the invasion of Britain would be an easy task. With the autumn storms, the immediate danger of invasion in 1940 had passed.

Then began the blitz, when Hitler said he would rub out our cities. This was borne without a word of complaint or the slightest signs of flinching, while a very large number of people - honor to them all - proved that London could take it and so could the other ravaged centers.

But the dawn of 1941 revealed us still in jeopardy. The hostile aircraft could fly across the approaches to our island, where 46,000,000 people had to import half their daily bread and all the materials they need for peace or war, from Brest to Norway in a single flight or back again, observing all the movements of our shipping in and out of the Clyde and Mersey and directing upon our convoys the large and increasing numbers of U-boats with which the enemy bespattered the Atlantic - the survivors or successors of which are now being collected in British harbors.

The sense of envelopment, which might at any moment turn to strangulation, lay heavy upon us. We had only the northwestern approach between Ulster and Scotland through which to bring in the means of life and to send out the forces of war. Owing to the action of Mr. de Valera, so much at variance with the temper and instinct of thousands of southern Irishmen, who hastened to the battlefront to prove their ancient valor, the approaches which the southern Irish ports and airfields could so easily have guarded were closed by the hostile aircraft and U-boats.

This was indeed a deadly moment in our life, and if it had not been for the loyalty and friendship of Northern Ireland we should have been forced to come to close quarters with Mr. de Valera or perish forever from the earth. However, with a restraint and poise to which, I say, history will find few parallels, we never laid a violent hand upon them, which at times would have been quite easy and quite natural, and left the de Valera Government to frolic with the German and later with the Japanese representatives to their heart's content.

When I think of these days I think also of other episodes and personalities. I do not forget Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde, V.C., D.S.O., Lance-Corporal Keneally, V.C., Captain Fegen, V.C., and other Irish heroes that I could easily recite, and all bitterness by Britain for the Irish race dies in my heart. I can only pray that in years which I shall not see the shame will be forgotten and the glories will endure, and that the peoples of the British Isles and of the British Commonwealth of Nations will walk together in mutual comprehension and forgiveness.

My friends, we will not forget the devotion of our merchant seamen, the vast, inventive, adaptive, all-embracing and, in the end, all-controlling power of the Royal Navy, with its ever more potent new ally, the air, which have kept the life-line open. We were able to breathe; we were able to live; we were able to strike. Dire deeds we had to do. The destruction or capture of the French fleet which, had it ever passed into German hands would, together with the Italian fleet, have perhaps enabled the German Navy to face us on the high seas. The dispatch to Wavell all round the Cape at our darkest hour, of tanks - practically all we had in the island - enabled us as far back as November, 1940, to defend Egypt against invasion and hurl back with the loss of a quarter of a million captives the Italian armies at whose tail Mussolini had planned a ride into Cairo or Alexandria.

Great anxiety was felt by President Roosevelt, and indeed by thinking men throughout the United States, about what would happen to us in the early part of 1941. This great President felt to the depth of his being that the destruction of Britain would not only be a fearful event in itself, but that it would expose to mortal danger the vast and as yet largely unarmed potentialities and future destiny of the United States.

He feared greatly that we should be invaded in that spring of 1941, and no doubt he had behind him military advice as good as any in the world, and he sent his recent Presidential opponent, Mr. Wendell Willkie, to me with a letter in which he had written in his own hand the famous lines of Longfellow, which I quoted in the House of Commons the other day:
Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
We were in a fairly tough condition by the early months of 1941 and felt very much better about ourselves than in the months immediately after the collapse of France. Our Dunkirk army and field force troops in Britain, almost a million strong, were nearly all equipped or re-equipped. We had ferried over the Atlantic a million rifles and a thousand cannon from the United States, with all their ammunition, since the previous June.

In our munition works, which were becoming very powerful, men and women had worked at their machines till they dropped senseless with fatigue. Nearly one million of men, growing to two millions at the peak, working all day had been formed into the Home Guard, armed at least with rifles and armed also with the spirit "Conquer or Die."

Later in 1941, when we were still all alone, we sacrificed, to some extent unwillingly, our conquests of the winter in Cyrenaica and Libya in order to stand by Greece, and Greece will never forget how much we gave, albeit unavailingly, of the little we had. We did this for honor. We repressed the German-instigated rising in Iraq. We defended Palestine. With the assistance of General de Gaulle's indomitable Free French we cleared Syria and the Lebanon of Vichyites and of German intrigue. And then in June, 1941, another tremendous world event occurred.

You have no doubt noticed in your reading of British history that we have sometimes had to hold out all alone, or to be the mainspring of coalitions, against a Continental tyrant or dictator for quite a long time - against the Spanish Armada, against the might of Louis XIV, when we led Europe for nearly twenty-five years under William III and Marlborough and 130 years ago, when Pitt, Wellington, and Nelson broke Napoleon, not without the assistance of the heroic Russians of 1812. In all these world wars our island kept the lead of Europe or else held out alone.

And if you hold out alone long enough there always comes a time when the tyrant makes some ghastly mistake which alters the whole balance of the struggle. On June 22, 1941, Hitler, master as he thought himself of all Europe, nay indeed soon to be, he thought, master of the world, treacherously, without warning, without the slightest provocation, hurled himself on Russia and came face to face with Marshal Stalin and the numberless millions of the Russian people. And then at the end of the year Japan struck her felon blow at the United States at Pearl Harbor, and at the same time attacked us in Malaya and at Singapore. Thereupon Hitler and Mussolini declared war on the republic of the United States.

Years have passed since then. Indeed every year seems to me almost a decade. But never since the United States entered the war have I had the slightest doubt but that we should be saved and that we had only to do our duty in order to win. We have played our part in all this process by which the evildoers have been overthrown. I hope I do not speak vain or boastful words. But from Alamein in October, 1942, through the Anglo-American invasion of North Africa, of Sicily and of Italy, with the capture of Rome, we marched many miles and never knew defeat.

And then last year, after two years' patient preparation and marvelous devices of amphibious warfare - in my view our scientists are not surpassed by any nation, specially when their thought is applied to naval matters - last year on June 6 we seized a carefully selected little toe of German-occupied France and poured millions in from this island and from across the Atlantic until the Seine, the Somme, and the Rhine all fell behind the advancing Anglo-American spearheads. France was liberated. She produced a fine Army of gallant men to aid her own liberation. Germany lay open.

And now from the other side, from the East, the mighty military achievements of the Russian people, always holding many more German troops on their front than we could do, rolled forward to meet us in the heart and center of Germany. At the same time in Italy Field-Marshal Alexander's Army of so many nations, the largest part of which was British or British Empire, struck their final blow and compelled more than 1,000,000 enemy troops to surrender. This Fifteenth Army Group, as we call it, are now deep in Austria joining their right hand with the Russians and their left with the United States Armies under General Eisenhower's command.

It happened that in three days we received the news of the unlamented departures of Mussolini and Hitler, and in three days also surrenders were made to Field-Marshal Alexander and Field-Marshal Montgomery of over 2,500,000 soldiers of this terrible warlike German Army.

I shall make it clear at this moment that we have never failed to recognize the immense superiority of the power used by the United States in the rescue of France and the defeat of Germany.

For our part we have had in action about one-third as many men as the Americans, but we have taken our full share of the fighting, as the scale of our losses shows. Our Navy has borne incomparably the heavier burden in the Atlantic Ocean, in the narrow seas and Arctic convoys to Russia, while the United States Navy has used its massive strength mainly against Japan. It is right and natural that we should extol the virtues and glorious services of our own most famous commanders, Alexander and Montgomery, neither of whom was ever defeated since they began together at Alamein, both of whom had conducted in Africa, in Italy, in Normandy and in Germany battles of the first magnitude and of decisive consequences. At the same time we know how great is our debt to the combining and unifying of the command and high strategic direction of General Eisenhower.

Here is the moment when I must pay my personal tribute to the British Chiefs of the Staff with whom I have worked in the closest intimacy throughout these hard years. There have been very few changes in this powerful and capable body of men who, sinking all Service differences and judging the problems of the war as a whole, have worked together in the closest harmony with each other. In Field-Marshal Brooke, Admiral Pound, Admiral Andrew Cunningham, and Marshal of the R.A.F. Portal a power was formed who deserved the highest honor in the direction of the whole British war strategy and its agreement with that of our Allies.

It may well be said that never have the forces of two nations fought side by side and intermingled into line of battle with so much unity, comradeship, and brotherhood as in the great Anglo-American army. Some people say, "Well, what would you expect, if both nations speak the same language and have the same outlook upon life with all its hope and glory." Others may say, "It would be an ill day for all the world and for the pair of them if they did not go on working together and marching together and sailing together and flying together wherever something has to be done for the sake of freedom and fair play all over the world."

There was one final danger from which the collapse of Germany has saved us. In London and the southeastern counties we have suffered for a year from various forms of flying bombs and rockets and our Air Force and our Ack-Ack Batteries have done wonders against them. In particular the Air Force, turned on in good time on what then seemed very slight and doubtful evidence, vastly hampered and vastly delayed all German preparations.

But it was only when our Armies cleaned up the coast and overran all the points of discharge, and when the Americans captured vast stores of rockets of all kinds near Leipzig, and when the preparations being made on the coasts of France and Holland could be examined in detail, that we knew how grave was the peril, not only from rockets and flying bombs but from multiple long-range artillery.

Only just in time did the Allied Armies blast the viper in his nest. Otherwise the autumn of 1944, to say nothing of 1945, might well have seen London as shattered as Berlin. For the same period the Germans had prepared a new U-boat fleet and novel tactics which, though we should have eventually destroyed them, might well have carried anti-U-boat warfare back to the high peak days of 1942. Therefore we must rejoice and give thanks not only for our preservation when we were all alone but for our timely deliverance from new suffering, new perils not easily to be measured.

I wish I could tell you tonight that all our toils and troubles were over. Then indeed I could end my five years' service happily, and if you thought you had had enough of me and that I ought to be put out to grass, I assure you I would take it with the best of grace. But, on the contrary, I must warn you, as I did when I began this five years' task - and no one knew then that it would last so long - that there is still a lot to do and that you must be prepared for further efforts of mind and body and further sacrifices to great causes if you are not to fall back into the rut of inertia, the confusion of aim, and the craven fear of being great. You must not weaken in any way in your alert and vigilant frame of mind, and though holiday rejoicing is necessary to the human spirit, yet it must add to the strength and resilience with which every man and woman turns again to the work they have to do, and also to the outlook and watch they have to keep on public affairs.

On the continent of Europe we have yet to make sure that the simple and honorable purposes for which we entered the war are not brushed aside or overlooked in the months following our success, and that the words freedom, democracy, and liberation are not distorted from their true meaning as we have understood them. There would be little use in punishing the Hitlerites for their crimes if law and justice did not rule, and if totalitarian or police governments were to take the place of the German invaders.

We seek nothing for ourselves. But we must make sure that those causes which we fought for find recognition at the peace table in facts as well as words, and above all we must labor that the world organization which the United Nations are creating at San Francisco, does not become an idle name; does not become a shield for the strong and a mockery for the weak. It is the victors who must search their hearts in their glowing hours and be worthy by their nobility of the immense forces that they wield.

We must never forget that beyond all lurks Japan, harassed and failing but still a people of a hundred millions, for whose warriors death has few terrors. I cannot tell you tonight how much time or what exertions will be required to compel them to make amends for their odious treachery and cruelty. We have received - like China so long undaunted - we have received horrible injuries from them ourselves, and we are bound by the ties of honor and fraternal loyalty to the United States to fight this great war at the other end of the world at their side without flagging or failing.

We must remember that Australia, New Zealand, and Canada were and are all directly menaced by this evil Power. They came to our aid in our dark times, and we must not leave unfinished any task which concerns their safety and their future. I told you hard things at the beginning of these last five years; you did not shrink, and I should be unworthy of your confidence and generosity if I did not still cry, "Forward, unflinching, unswerving, indomitable, till the whole task is done and the whole world is safe and clean."

Members of the Eleventh Dáil - John O'Leary

John O'Leary (Wexford)

John (Johnny) O'Leary (born 1 September 1894 – 21 June 1959) was an Irish Labour Party party politician who served in the Oireachtas for nearly twenty years, first as TD for Wexford and then as a Senator.

He was first elected to the 11th Dáil in the 1943 general election for the constituency of Wexford. He was re-elected to 12th Dáil in the 1944 general election, to the 13th Dáil in 1948, to the 14th Dáil in 1951 and to the 15th Dáil in the 1954 general election.

O'Leary was defeated in the 1957 general election, but was elected to the 9th Seanad by the Administrative Panel.

Members of the Eleventh Dáil - Denis Heskin

Denis Heskin (17 February 1899 – 30 April 1975) was an Irish Clann na Talmhan politician. A farmer by profession, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1943 general election as a Clann na Talmhan Teachta Dála (TD) for the Waterford constituency and he was re-elected at the 1944 general election. He lost his seat at the 1948 general election.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Members of the Eleventh Dáil - Richard Stapleton

 Richard Stapleton

Richard Stapleton (died 31 July 1949) was an Irish Labour Party politician. He was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party Teachta Dála (TD) for the Tipperary constituency at the 1943 general election. He lost his seat at the 1944 general election.

Members of the Eleventh Dáil - William O'Donnell

William O'Donnell (died 4 February 1947) was an Irish politician who served for four years in the Dáil Éireann.

He was first elected at the 1943 general election to the 11th Dáil as an Clann na Talmhan Teachta Dála (TD) for Tipperary. He was re-elected at the 1944 general election, but died in 1947. After his death, the by-election for his Dáil seat was won on 29 October 1947 by the Clann na Poblachta candidate, Patrick Kinane.

Members of the Eleventh Dáil - John Joseph Meighan

John Joseph Meighan (1891 – 4 March 1978) was an Irish Clann na Talmhan politician. A farmer by profession, he was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1943 general election as a Clann na Talmhan Teachta Dála (TD) for the Roscommon constituency but lost his seat at the 1944 general election. He was elected to the 5th Seanad at the 1944 Seanad election on the Labour Panel. He was re-elected to the Seanad in 1948 and 1951. In 1954 he was nominated to the Seanad by the then Taoiseach John A. Costello. He was defeated at the 1957 Seanad election.

Galatian Controversy

In the Book of Galatians, Paul admonishes the Galatian church, Why?

According to," The gospel is a matter of first importance because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ. This gospel, among other things, reveals “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe” (Rom 3:22). This “righteousness of God” is the righteousness that is accounted to the one who has faith in Jesus, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:23-24). Those who believe in Jesus are justified on the basis of Jesus’ death, because “God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith” (Rom 3:25). Christ died for their sins on the cross, was buried, and was raised on the third day (1 Cor 15:3-4).
To the Jew First
While this gospel message was at first delivered to the Jews (Acts 2-7), it soon spread to the ethnē, the Gentiles. In Gaza, Philip proclaimed the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:26f). Later on Peter is sent to preach the gospel to the household of Cornelius, a Roman centurion (Acts 10). Meanwhile, Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee zealously persecuting the Christians, was converted in a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ, who appointed him as an apostle and commissioned him especially for preaching the gospel among the Gentiles (Acts 9). The believers who came to Antioch (of Syria) after the scattering of the Jerusalem church (Acts 8:1) preached to the Hellenists, as well as to the Jews (Acts 11:19-20). Sometime after Saul (hereafter, Paul) came to Antioch, he and Barnabas were sent off on the first great missionary journey to the Gentiles (Acts 13-14).

All of this outreach to the Gentiles came to the attention of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem. Overall the Jewish believers were glad to hear of it. When Peter gave his report of what happened with Cornelius’ household, they glorified God,“Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life” (Acts 11:18). Before long, however, some men came to Antioch from Judea and began teaching the Gentile brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1).
The Jerusalem Counsel – Acts 15
It was over the issue of circumcision that the first church counsel, held in Jerusalem, was convened. Barnabas and Paul, among others, were appointed to go to Jerusalem and speak with the apostles and elders about the matter (v. 2). When they arrived, Barnabas and Paul recounted all that God had done through them among the Gentiles (v. 4). Those among the Pharisaical party arose and demanded that the Gentile believers must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses (v. 5). Much debate ensued, after which Peter gave his testimony (vv. 7-11). He reminded the counsel of how God had chosen to send him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles and how they had received the Holy Spirit just as the Jews had at first, thus establishing God’s approval of them. Both Jews and Gentiles must be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, without distinction, being cleansed by faith. To place on the Gentiles a burden that the Jews could never bear themselves was to put God to the test.

Once Barnabas and Paul again testified of the work God had done through them among the Gentiles (v. 12), James delivered the judgment of the counsel (vv. 13-21). Citing Amos 9:11-12 (LXX), James reasons that this grafting in of the Gentiles was foretold in Scripture. It was the judgment of the counsel, therefore, that the Gentile Christians should not be troubled to undergo circumcision or to keep the law of Moses. It was only required of them to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality.
The Galatian Problem
The circumcision issue was not isolated to Antioch. The so-called Judaizers made their way to the Galatian church and apparently managed to gain a hearing there. This occasioned one of the more, shall we say, emotive writings in the New Testament: Paul’s epistle to the Galatians. It is in this epistle that Paul lays out just what is at stake with the Judaizers’ perversion of the gospel and thus why it is not simply “another point of view” that should be accommodated in charity, but a “different gospel” worthy of the apostle’s anathema. 

What sets Galatians apart from other of Paul’s letters is that, where he otherwise begins with a note of thanksgiving (I thank God for you…) or with an outburst of praise (Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…), Paul instead cuts to the chase: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel” (Gal 1:6). Meanwhile, his greeting is laced with the true gospel: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal 1:3-4). This gospel is not of human origin, Paul makes clear, “For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ” (Gal 1:12). This fact is the grounds on which Paul can denounce in the strongest terms those who would preach “a different gospel.”

But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be condemned to hell! 9 As we have said before, and now I say again, if any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let him be condemned to hell!
Gal 1:8-9 NET
 The “contrary” gospel that Paul has in view is the one expressed by some of the Pharisees in Acts 15: the Gentiles must be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to be saved.

In what follows we will examine the anatomy of this “contrary” gospel in two steps. First, we will discern from Paul’s letter to the Galatians elements of the Judaizers’ motive. Second, we will set elements of their gospel in juxtaposition to elements of the true gospel Paul seeks to defend in the letter. This step will take up most of the discussion since the motive of the false teachers was not nearly as treacherous as the pitfall that lies at the heart of their false gospel. Nevertheless a brief analysis of motive may be helpful in identifying a person or group as a false teacher or false brother.
  1. The Motive
Paul exposes the motive of these “false brothers,” as he calls them. In the first place, he says, “[they] slipped in to spy out our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, so that they might bring us into slavery” (Gal 2:4). Second, Paul intimates, “They make much of you [Galatians], but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them” (Gal 4:17). Finally, he concludes, “It is those who want to make a good showing in the flesh who would force you to be circumcised, and only in order that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh” (Gal 6:12-13). From this profile we may discern at least three aspects of the Judaizers’ motive. 

a. Slavery under the law. The Judaizers sought to spy out Christian freedom in order to reign believers back into slavery. That is, slavery under the law of Moses. This aspect hints at something of the antithesis that distinguishes the false gospel of the Judaizers with the true gospel preached by Paul. Their false gospel places those who accept it into slavery under the law of Moses, whereas the gospel Paul preached is freedom from this slavery through the death of Christ. We’ll develop this further below.

b. Avoiding persecution for the cross. The Judaizers were Pharisees, just as Paul was prior to his conversion. He himself once persecuted the church fiercely because of the cross. The Christians were proclaiming Jesus, who had been crucified (viz. hanged on a tree, as it were), as the Messiah. The Scripture stated plainly, “every one that is hanged on a tree is cursed of God” (Deu 21:23 LXX). Before Paul came to understand the significance of Christ’s crucifixion—that Christ became a curse on behalf of His people in order to save them from the curse of the law—the Christians’ message of a crucified Messiah was the height of blasphemy. The ostensibly Christian Pharisees for this reason sought to downplay the cross and emphasize keeping the law so not to bear the reproach of the cross.

c. Making much of themselves. Ultimately the motive of the Judaizers came down to the puffing up of their egos. Outwardly it might appear that the Judaizers were “making much” of their Gentile converts, but inwardly they only sought to make much of themselves and to be made much of by those foolish enough to follow their teaching. All the while, those who submit to their teaching are shut out and placed under slavery to the law.
  1. The Antithesis
Deplorable as the Judaizers’ motives were, it is the content of their false gospel that deserves the most careful scrutiny and is the real occasion for Paul’s forceful denunciation. In Philippians, Paul can nonetheless rejoice that the true gospel of Christ is being preached, even if some who preach it do so out of less-than-pure intentions (Phil 1:15-18). Now the content of the Judaizers’ gospel is not systematically laid out in Paul’s letter. Their doctrine is summed up in their own statements recorded in Acts 15 (vv. 1, 5), cited above. We may best appreciate the content of the Judaizers’ gospel and the magnitude of its danger if we consider at least three sets of antitheses (I imagine more could be teased out, but I’ll aim to condense them into the three presented below). In each set we will see how the elements of the false gospel sit in direct opposition to elements of the true gospel. 

a. Law and grace. The Judaizers’ drumbeat was obedience to the law of Moses. If the Gentiles were to be saved, it must be by keeping the law of Moses (which meant, of course, being circumcised). Even if they insisted that the grace of Christ was necessary for salvation, their gospel expressly denied the sufficiency of grace. When Paul denied,“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose” (Gal 2:21), he was also asserting that to preach righteousness as if it were through the law would be to nullify the grace of God. If indeed one could be justified by keeping the law, then Christ died for nothing and the grace of God is not even necessary!

On the contrary, Paul warns, “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them” (Gal 3:10). Here is the dreadful pitfall of seeking justification by the law:

I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.
Gal 5:2-4

The only way one could be justified by the law is if he keeps “the whole law” perfectly. Yet no human being—save for the God-man Jesus—ever keeps the whole law perfectly. So it is that anyone who seeks to be justified by the law is under a curse; such a person has been severed from Christ and has fallen away from grace. 

Paul’s gospel does not nullify the grace of God, rather his gospel is the grace of God. “For the grace of God has appeared,” Paul reminds Titus, “bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Tit 2:11-12). Paul reminds the Ephesians that, even while they were dead in their sins, God made them alive together with Christ, which is to say, “by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:5). “For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God,” Paul testifies, which is to say, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:19-20). That is grace.

It must be clarified that grace and law are not antithetical to each other in and of themselves. The antithesis comes when grace and law are brought to bear on salvation. Is salvation by the law or is it by grace? If you can be saved by keeping the law, there is no need for salvation by grace. If one attempts to be saved by keeping the law and fails (as everyone who attempts this will do), he will not find grace, but only condemnation. Yet, the one who is saved by grace is not without law, for God’s grace trains him to renounce ungodliness and unrighteousness, and to live godly and upright. Nevertheless, he is not saved because he keeps the law, but because by grace he has died with Christ and lives by faith in Him.

In speaking of the relationship between law and grace, we may also speak in terms of law and promise. The promise to Abraham and his descendants, “that he would inherit the world,” did not come by the law, but “through the righteousness that comes by faith” (Rom 4:13). “For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified. For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants” (Rom 4:14-16 NET). If this inheritance comes by law, it is no longer by promise, “but God gave it to Abraham by a promise” (Gal 3:18).

The law came 430 years after the promise. The law did not annul or add to the promise, “It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made” (Gal 3:19). The “offspring” is Christ, who is the singular offspring of Abraham par excellence (Gal 3:16). Meanwhile, the rest of Abraham’s offspring were held under the curse of the law because of transgressions. Yet, in the fullness of time, Christ came from God, born of a woman and under the law, in order to redeem us “from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree’—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith” (Gal 3:13-14).

b. Works and faith. Corollary to law and grace is the antithesis between justification through works of the law over against through faith in Christ. In his perplexity, Paul inquires of the Galatians,

Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? 5 Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith– 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?
Gal 3:2-6

Paul points back to Abraham, the forefather of all who believe, who was counted as righteous by faith. Paul reasoned in another letter that Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness before he was circumcised. It was afterward that “he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised, so that he would become the father of all those who believe but have never been circumcised, that they too could have righteousness credited to them” (Rom 4:10-11 NET). 

The Spirit that the Galatians had received was given them by grace through faith in Christ. By grace they had been redeemed from the curse of the law because Christ died on the cross, in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that together with the Jews they would receive the promised Holy Spirit (Gal 3:14). This blessed gospel, bound up with justification by faith, was announced in advance by Scripture when it recorded God’s promise to Abraham: “In you shall all the nations be blessed” (Gal 3:8; Gen 12:3). The Galatians–insofar as they had genuinely trusted in Christ and His cross-work–were heirs of that promised blessing not through works of the law, but through faith in Jesus Christ, the Heir of Abraham par excellence

Rather than trusting Christ alone, the men who were troubling the Galatians trusted and boasted in their works (which is what it meant when Paul said that they “want to make a good showing in the flesh”). They boasted in the outward mark of circumcision. Herein lies the depravity of their so-called righteousness. It is little wonder that Paul (in Phil 3:2) shames them with the monickers: tous kynas (literally, the dogs), tous kakous ergatas (literally, the evil workers) and tēn katatomēn (literally, the mutilation). Circumcision was what distinguished them as devout, godly Jews from the godless, unclean Gentiles—they were the “circumcision” while the filthy Gentiles were the “uncircumcision.” Yet Paul saw them as no more distinguished from Gentiles than they Gentiles from dogs. 

Conversely, those who trusted in Christ alone for justification were hē peritomē (literally, the circumcision), which is to say, “we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:3 NASB). Herein lies the heart of the difference between justification by works and justification by faith. The Judaizers’ confidence was in their circumcision, in their flesh; Paul’s confidence was in Christ. The Judaizers boasted in their works; Paul gloried in Christ Jesus, in whom he had received circumcision of the heart (Col 2:11-12; cf Rom 2:28-29). Indeed, if one could be justified by works done in the flesh, “he has something to boast about, but not before God” (Rom 4:2). However, the Judaizers’ boast was empty, “For even those who are circumcised do not themselves keep the law” (Gal 6:13; cf Rom 2:17f). The only boast that has any worthy—and a surpassing worth at that—is to boast in the Lord and in His cross, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Rom 10:4). The righteousness that comes by works boasts in itself, to its own destruction. In stark contrast, the righteousness that comes by faith says, “far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). 

We must again clarify that the relationship between works and faith is not in and of itself antithetic. After all, as James said, “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Abraham was justified by his faith in God and His promise. Nevertheless, that faith was seen in his obedience. When God told Abraham to go and sacrifice Isaac, his promised son, he did so because he “considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back” (Heb 11:19). (Of course, at the last moment Abraham was halted before completing the act and a ram was provided as a substitute) Furthermore, Abraham, having been counted righteous by faith, received circumcision as a seal of that righteousness. 

This balance was not lost on the apostle Paul either. The same Paul who wrote, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Eph 2:8-9) went on to say in the next verse, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10). That same Paul gave this instruction to Titus,“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (Titus 2:7-8). Again, “let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14). These instructions are very much bound up with the mercies of God in the gospel:

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.
Tit 3:4-8

Examples could be multiplied, but the point should be sufficiently established that while we are not justified by works, nevertheless Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Titus 2:14). 

c. Slavery and freedom.
We finally come to consider the antithesis between slavery and freedom. Here all that’s been discussed comes to a head. For the antithesis that lies between justification by works of the law and justification by grace through faith in Christ is slavery verses freedom. Paul again draws from the life of Abraham to illustrate this:

Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written, “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than those of the one who has a husband.”
Gal 4:21-27

Paul immediate makes application to the Galatians (and to believers in general),“you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now” (Gal 4:28-29). The children of promise are those “born according to the Spirit,” which allows us to develop the antithesis between slavery and freedom in terms of flesh verses Spirit. Paul’s opponents in Galatia (the Judaizers) were children of the slave woman, “born according to the flesh.” They are still enslaved to the law; their “mother” is Mount Sinai and “the present Jerusalem.” They are in opposition to the children of promise and seek to bring them back into slavery under Sinai. The believers in Galatia, however, were born of the Spirit. Their mother was the free woman, who corresponds with “the Jerusalem above.”

Before Christ came, everyone was indeed held captive under law—whether the law of Moses given to Israel or, in the case of the Gentiles, the law that was written on every person’s conscience. Thus, Paul explained, “the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith” (Gal 3:22-24). Paul goes on to explain that a child, as long as he remains under a guardian, is no different than a slave. Therefore, “we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world” (Gal 4:3). Yet in the fullness of time, “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5). Now that Christ has come, “we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Gal 3:25-26). In other words, both the children of promise and the children of Sinai were once held under the custody of the law. The children of the free woman were no different than those of the slave until Christ came and redeemed the children of promise from the law’s custody and bestowed on them the right and freedom of adoption. Thus, John wrote, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (Joh 1:11-13).

When Paul preached the gospel of the crucified and risen Christ to the Galatians and they believed in Him, they themselves had received “the right to become children of God.” They were no longer slaves to sin under the law. They were sons and heirs of the blessing of Abraham and so had received the Spirit of God. Thus Paul exhorted, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). The false gospel of the Judaizers was “a yoke of slavery.” The gospel Paul proclaimed to them was freedom in Christ, freedom from the yoke of the law.

While this freedom was a freedom from the law (in a sense), it was not a freedom from righteousness or holiness. Thus Paul instructed the Galatians, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’” (Gal 5:13-14; cf. 1 Pet 2:16-17). In Christ they were called to freedom, not to sin as they pleased, but freedom to walk by the Spirit they had received. Paul exhorted, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). Their own flesh and the Spirit would always be at war, but “if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Gal 5:17-18). In them, the Spirit would produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22-23). In their struggle against the flesh and its desires they would stumble, but whereas under the law there would be condemnation, under grace “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal 6:1).
The Diagnosis
The Judaizers’ false gospel fundamentally denied the sufficiency of grace and the efficacy of Christ’s death on His people’s behalf. They may well have claimed the necessity of grace, but by preaching “you must to circumcised to be saved,” they nullified the grace of God and emptied the cross of its power. If one could be saved by circumcision and keeping the law of Moses, then Christ died for nothing and the grace of God is unnecessary. If one attempts to be justified by keeping the law, he must keep the whole law or be condemned. If one seeks, then, to be saved by circumcision and keeping the law, Christ and His cross are of no value and in fact he is severed from Christ and His grace. Therein lies the fatal pitfall of the Judaizers’ false gospel. Any gospel that denies the sufficiency of the grace of Christ and the efficacy of His sacrifice for sin is a false gospel.

In stark relief is the gospel of grace preached by Paul and the other apostles. This was no human gospel, they had all received it from the Lord Jesus himself. This was God’s gospel! This gospel proclaimed redemption from the curse of the law for everyone who flees to Christ and rests in Him. This gospel leaves no room for boasting, except for boasting in the Lord and His cross. It is only by the grace of the Lord Jesus that anyone is saved and declared to be righteous in God’s sight. This gospel is the only hope for sinners, “For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Gal 6:15). 

The Judaizers’ false gospel also failed miserably to strike the correct balance between law and grace, works and faith. To put it one way, they have confused the root of justification (grace and faith) with the fruit of justification (faith working through love, thus fulfilling the law). Justification by faith apart from works does not mean that the justified live without good deeds. Rather, the justified do good works as a result of God’s saving work, because in Christ they are a new creation “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” 

We are almost twenty centuries removed from Paul’s time and the controversy surrounding the Judaizers. Nevertheless the Judaizers were only walking and teaching according to a pattern of false teaching that preceded them and that to this present time still troubles the church. In closing, then, we must consider two points.

a. Anatomy of a false teacher. It is important to note that the Judaizers, while obscure to us in the twenty-first century, were clearly men of considerable influence in the first century church. Luke identifies these men as believers from the party of the Pharisees. What sort of influence did these men have if, upon their arrival in Antioch, the apostle Peter—who in their absence freely ate with the Gentile believers—withdrew from his non-Jewish brothers? The most dangerous false teachers are not the ones out on the fringes. Rather, the most dangerous false teachers are those that sneak into our midst. It is a pretense of love and faith in the Lord that masks their true motives. Moreover, it is the barest minimum of orthodoxy that distracts from the deadly pitfall of their heresy.

b. Anatomy of a false gospel.“But I believe Jesus is Messiah!” The Judaizers may have confessed Jesus as Messiah, but the gospel they preached fundamentally denied the gospel of grace the apostles were given by Jesus to preach to both Jews and Gentiles. Many false teachers, past and present, affirm orthodox statements such as “Jesus is the Son of God” or “Jesus is the Christ.” No less do false teachers affirm the necessity of God’s grace for the salvation of sinners. Yet, just like the Judaizers, they preach a gospel of salvation by grace plus the law or justification through faith plus works. What lies behind such a message is a fundamental denial of the sufficiency, not only of grace and faith, but of Christ and His meritorious work in dying for our sins and being raised from the dead. It is the gospel that adds anything to the finished work of Christ that is properly called a false gospel. The gospel of Christ, the true gospel, is that everyone is a guilty sinner before a holy God and the only way anyone is saved is by His grace alone through faith and repentance towards Christ Jesus alone, for His is the one who died in our place and was raised and who intercedes for us.