Prendiville: Tale of an Irish Patriot (part 3)

Prendiville: Tale of an Irish Patriot (part 3)

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  • So in 1914  proudly patriotic Irish Nationalist James Prendiville, along with many young Irishmen, joined the Royal Munster Fusiliers to fight in the British army in the fight against Germany and for Irish home rule.
  • INTERVIEW WITH BILL DEE (Cousin/Family Historian).
  • But how did this work out for everyone? After killing Archduke Franz Ferdinand (and his wife Duchess Sophie of Hohenberg), Gavrilo Princip was sentenced to 20 years in prison (as he was only 19 at the time of the assassination he was too young to receive the death penalty). However, the conditions of his solitary confinement, being kept in chains and deprived of sleep, adequate nutrition and medical care meant that the previously healthy Princip died in prison in April 1918, while World War 1 was still being fought, weighing just 40 kilogrammes. His death certificate stated tuberculosis of the bone. His right arm (that had fired the fatal shots) had become infected during his imprisonment and had to be amputated. Of the 13 mainly healthy, young conspirators who were imprisoned (4 others having been given the death sentence), only 4 managed to survive the conditions of their imprisonment long enough to see the end of World War 1.   Following the assassination, Franz Ferdinand's nephew Karl I became heir and ascended to the dual throne, when Franz Joseph died on November 21st 1916, bringing down the curtain on his 68 year reign at the end of which the Empire remained autocratic and very hierarchical, lacking  the mechanisms of competent government or a meritocratic capable military. During the war military influence increased over all aspects of government including the economy which was increasingly run for the military’s benefit. Any balance to military power was further weakened by the division in government authority between Austria and Hungary and also by continued dissent from the many different ethnic and nationalist separatist interests. In addition, the economy suffered because by far the biggest pre-war economic partner had been Germany which itself was
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