22 July 2022

Republic Day

This is a vignette written for an on-line contest. It is yet another piece of alternate history. The basic premise is that in about 1912-1914, Germany invades the UK having given lots of support to Irish republicans to create a diversion.

Don’t talk to me about the fecking 11th. All that means is I have to invite that fecker in Downing Street to yet another fecking banquet to celebrate the Glorious fecking Revolution. Home rule is grand in theory, but when it’s fecking eejits like him… I’ll be glad when my time is up, so I can retire and go back home, so I will. Then I won’t have to put up with the eejits any more. Well, only the home-grown ones.

{mumbled voice}

It’s all that fecker Connolly’s fault. It’s all very well fighting for Ireland, but why did he have to bring in the Germans? We could have won without them. Ireland would have been ours. That’s all we ever wanted. They were only supposed to be a diversion anyway. Keep the English too busy to worry about us. They weren’t supposed to win, for fecks sake. They weren’t supposed to set up old Kaiser Bill in the fecking Palace.

D’ye think someone could get me a cup of tea? I’m parched

It turned out of course that we were the diversion. With the money and weapons the Krauts gave us, we started really hurting the Brits. They kept bringing in more and more men, but we never tried to face them directly. Every time they tried to move against us we just went somewhere else. We had the poor sods marching the length and breadth of Ireland trying to find us.

That’s when they got really nasty. The feckers burnt down most of Wexford, then moved on to Carlow. They were halfway to Tullamore before we could face them. Every man and woman within 50 miles turned up to stop them. They weren’t armed o’ course, least ways not with firearms. They just stood in a huge mob across the road. A few had clubs o’ one sort or another and there would a been a few shotguns I’m sure. Most o’ them though had nothing.

The feckers hadn’t a clue what to do. From what we heard, the chinless wonder in charge was all for opening fire, but his senior NCO had more sense. “They’ll tear us to pieces with their bare hands if you try that” says he. So they backed off and went back south. They were heading for Cork, we think, but they never made it o’ course. The stupid feckers got themselves caught on Slieve Bloom. There was no way we could let them get away from the land of Fionn McCumhail unscathed.

That was when the invasion happened. We didn’t know it was coming any more than those poor sods. They tried to pull back, probably with the idea of heading home. We kept them pinned down, though. Then, once the officers were gone, they surrendered. They had no fight left in them, especially when they found out how bad things were at home. More news was coming through of the invasion, and it wasn’t good.

There had been landings on the east coast near Harwich, then when they were secure there, they began to move in ever larger forces. God knows what the Navy were doing. It was all over in a matter of weeks. We had half the home forces tied up in Ireland and with the uprising in India and the Boers starting up again they couldn’t bring any in from the Empire in time. The King was captured trying to leave on a fishing boat from Falmouth. They had the Channel locked down by then.

Then the feckers really stuck it to us. They landed in Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Belfast and before we knew what had happened they had us too. Still, we had the last laugh, when they moved the government of the Islands to Dublin a couple of years later.

Have you not got that fecking camera working yet? [inaudible] Well get another one then! I’m not going to sit in this fecking little box all day while you fart around with a soldering iron. [inaudible] It’s on its way? About fecking time!

O’ course, that was all before my time. I remember Da telling me about it, though, just as his Da told him. He’d been there, of course. He saw it all happening.

{Ready to go}

Thank feck for that!

{Ready in 5-4-3-2-1}

{Voice over}

This is a Republic Day Message from the President of the Free Republic of the Islands, the Right Honourable Padraig von Meyer.

Citizens! Fifty years ago, my Grandfather, Josef von Meyer, landed in Cork as part of the Forces of Liberation. He had no idea, on that fateful day, that one day his grandson would become President of this great Republic. As a young man of 20, I doubt he had any thought of children, let alone grandchildren. And yet, here I am!

Citizens, we all know the privations of those early years as we fought to break free from the English. We all know how, in the end, England, Wales and Ireland became one with the German Empire. We know too, the disaster of the Russian invasion of Germany, the death of the Kaiser and the incorporation of the fatherland into the Russian Empire. With the fall of Germany, we on these Islands stood alone. We could have fallen too, had it not been for the Navy. It was the Navy that saved us, the Navy that gave these Islands the time to organise our defences against a relentless enemy.

So citizens, we are here to remember those gallant men, without whose bravery thirty years ago, this Republic would not exist. This is a bittersweet day for me. My Grandfather was one of those men. His ship, Valiant, was one of those gallant few which stood against the Russian Fleet, a fleet which only five years before he had been a part of. His sacrifice, and the sacrifice of his crew, are why we are here now.

Twenty-five years ago, we welcomed the citizens of Scotland into the Republic. Now these Islands stand reunited. With the support of our Allies in the free Republics across the Atlantic and in the Pacific, we have begun the long, slow task of freeing the Fatherland from Russian Tyranny. The landings in France a month ago were just the beginning. Further successful landings in Italy and Greece and in the far reaches of the Russian Empire by our allies in Japan, are already stretching their resources to the limit.

We cannot be complacent. There will be hard and difficult times ahead. There will be reverses. But we will prevail. The Fatherland will be free again.

{and cut}

I’m still waiting for that cup of tea, for fecks sake!

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