John Mitchel

In the Fathers and Sons project, we decided to look at the history of John Mitchel, partly because there is an Australian connection and partly because we wanted to look at the relationship between fathers and sons from an historical and political angle. John Mitchel was a very important figure in Irish history. He was very unconventional in many ways and we think that he inherited this from his father. So we are looking also at the legacy that John Mitchel’s father left his son – a radical Presbyterian outlook. There was a lot of research done to find out about John Mitchel and his family. We also found out that John Mitchel’s wife was brought up in her early years very near to where some of us live and one of the other ‘galleries’ looks at her life.

John Mitchel was born in a place called Camish, near Dungiven in Co Londonderry on 3rd November 1815. His father was also called John. John senior was elected Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1822. The family then moved to a place called Dromalane, near Newry in Co Down – right at the far end of Ulster from Londonderry. The family wanted young John to be a Minister or a doctor but he rebelled against this and studied for the Law. During this time he fell in love with Jane Verner and they eloped twice. They were eventually married in Drumcree Church of Ireland church, a place that has had its share of problems in more recent times.

John was a Presbyterian and so not expected to sympathise with Catholics, who were mostly Nationalist and wanted some form of independence from England, but he did take the side of the Catholics and clashed with prominent Orange Magistrates over the routing of marches. His father also sympathised with the Catholics and earned the nickname, Papist Mitchel. He also broke away from the Presbyterian Church to found the Unitairian Church.

Young John joined the Young Irelanders, a Nationalist movement and became very critical of the British establishment in Ireland. In the end he was transported to Australia. He escaped, but he never saw his native land for 27 years.

A note from the author of this gallery: Background to my interest in this particular example of Fathers and Sons

I initially got interested in the Mitchels as John Mitchel (Jnr.) married Jenny Verner of the Churchill Estate which is very close to where I live.

The importance of the ‘Fathers and Sons’ relationship in the Mitchel family is quite clear; one relatively unimportant and obvious example being that for at least three generations the Christian name ‘John’ was in use. More importantly, and as we will see later, several generations didn’t accept the mainstream orthodoxy of their peers and all were to some degree ‘rebels’.

I found the Australian aspect to the project to be a bit harder to establish. John Mitchel (Jnr.) was certainly transported to Van Diemen’s land (Tasmania), but he appears not to established lasting roots there and escaped after several years. However, I contend that his time there was important on his lifetime’s journey.

The approach that I have taken is similar to an ‘historical timeline’ which records what happened to certain members of the Mitchel family. Another aspect of the overall project is to establish a ‘musical timeline’ for the Mitchel dynasty

A Note on the Music

The Chambermaid of Fife:
A traditional Scottish Tune

The Protestant Boys:
This tune, also known as ‘Lilliburlero’ was a march, thought to date back at least as far as 1689. Henry Purcell labelled it ‘a new Irish tune’. It is a satire on Irish Catholics and relates especially to the Williamite wars in which the Catholic forces were defeated and William of Orange won. It is often played at Orange marches in Northern ireland. The tune is now the official march of the Commandos of the British Army. It was also a well known signature tune for the BBC World Service.

A Nation Once Again
The ‘anthem’ of the Nationalist Young Ireland Movement

Roisin Dubh
A Traditional Irish Ballad, translated from the original Gaelic by James Clarence Mangan, one of the young Irelanders.

The Water is Wide
Traditional Irish Ballad on the theme of exile

Waltzing Matilda
Traditional Australian ‘bush ballad’

Battle Hymn of the Republic
The song is written from the point of view of the Confederate side. Two of Mitchel’s sons died fighting for the Confederates and another was injured



Bianca Del Rio: 'I would gladly do my comedy without drag' | Television & radio

Hi, Bianca! So where the hell are you? I am actually in New York City, down on 16th Street. I’ve been here for two days. I’m just schlepping from one place to another, interviewing and talking about myself. Related: RuPaul's Drag Race ends season 7 with one of the best finales in show's history This year’s been quite the whirlwind for you (1). You keep popping up everywhere! pre bonded hair It truly has. Actually, these last few months, I’ve had a couple more days here and there when I stay in the city a day longer, or stay in Los Angeles for three days in a row. That actually makes it worse because you kind of get accustomed to everything, and then you have to leave again. Getting back to that grind is somewhat difficult. All these girls usually complain about, “I need time off,” and for me it’s not good because then it throws me off completely. Actually February, it might be two years that I’ve been traveling as much as I have, which is kind of nuts. I’ve also been one of those people that have said yes to every gay thing that comes my way. I’ve had some great gigs and had horrible ones. I always look at the horrible ones, and think there’s got to be something in this that I can use later in my show. It all pays off in the end. Does Bianca even bother with a personal life at this point?

I have my dogs, I have my friends, but as far as relationships go, it’s a little difficult when you’re on the road as much as I am. It’s not a bad thing. You also got to be somewhat careful with the people that you meet on the road. You don’t know if they really like you or if they just want to borrow your dress. Speaking of dresses, how many suitcases do you typically travel with? remy hair extensions Usually four. There will be one that is my actual drag clothes and shoes. One of them is my makeup and my jewelry and my wigs and that kind of stuff. Then usually the other two are merchandise, and then I use a pretty large carry-on for my boy stuff, depending on how long I’m out. No wig boxes?

No! I assemble my hair on my head. I started out with wigs years ago when I was younger. I’ve always done wigs. For me, it’s part of the process. I don’t carry around wigs on sticks. I put my hair together every night, and then I just mantle it every night because it’s just the best way to travel. Related: RuPaul: 'Drag is dangerous. We are making fun of everything' perruques cheveux naturels You drink a lot in your show. Are you actually swigging liquor, or do queens tend to fake it onstage? It’s no act, it’s real. I know some people that do pop drink and stuff like that because they can’t handle it. For me, when I started working at bars, I would drink. I’m used to drinking. It’s very Dean Martin of me.

You’re so polite on the phone – not the Bianca I was expecting. Well, catch me after a couple of drinks. The world is just a little too fucking serious. I take pictures with fans, and I always show up on time – dispel all those drag queen myths of being late and all that madness of not showing up. When it comes to the stage, I just let it rip and let it happen because I know somewhere, somebody else is tanking it. I don’t really do it so much in real life; it might just work through my advantage at the DMV or something. perruques cheveux Variety recently singled you out as a “comic” to watch out for in 2015 – and not as a drag performer. Do you consider yourself a comic first and foremost? For me, call me what you want, as long as I’m working. I’ve been all of those things. I don’t really know about a title, but the interesting thing with drag, particularly when it comes to comedy, I don’t do any funny dressing up. I’ve made it a point with this show to make it more about stand-up comedy and less about drag. I didn’t want to do costume changes. I didn’t want any music. I didn’t want any of that, because I didn’t want people who may not know me outside of the Drag Race bubble see me as, “Oh a drag show.” I’ve done those things. I would gladly do my comedy without drag. I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

Do you think you could be as lacerating, the way Bianca is, without the full regalia? I think yes and no. There are friends of mine that I’ve known for years who didn’t like my brand of humor, but once I was on Drag Race, they loved it. Really, I don’t know. I wouldn’t know until I tried it. Seeing you as a person can either help or harm you. It’s definitely something worth experimenting with. You’re known for your comedy, not your lip-synching abilities. Do you think not wanting to have to lip-synch helped you win the Drag Race crown (2)? This is the thing: A lot of queens basically say that Bianca’s not even a really drag queen because she doesn’t lip-synch. I’m like, “What a fucking idiot”. Isn’t that the point of the fucking show? Which is not to lip-synch because that means you’re in the bottom? No, I didn’t want to lip-synch. If I had to, I could, because I learned every song. But that’s not the point of the show, stupid. Every season, it’s the pageant queens v the comedy ones. Do you think that battle has run its course on the show? lace front wigs I don’t know their intention. You got to remember when we go in, we don’t know the information. I don’t know everything. They don’t give a file on each person. We meet everybody when we actually meet them when we first come in the room. It just becomes what it is. I’m not privy to any of that information, but it’s not as fascinating to watch. Either young versus old or comedy queen when they’re ugly. The people that spend all this time and energy making these audition tapes, when they get on the show and then they go, “What? I got to do this?” It’s silly. Realize that’s the show! You know the structure of it, so be prepared. Do the best that you can in those elements.

Related: RuPaul's Drag Race: which queen should win season six? What was RuPaul’s reaction to seeing the Rolodex of Hate show? I don’t know if she has seen it. What? She’s doing 40 different shows on TV right now. cosplay wigs True. Any time I’ve seen her, she’s always been very supportive and she’s always proud of me. I thank her immensely for this opportunity. TV’s a pretty powerful thing. I recently did a podcast with her and she’s obviously generous and laughed. Getting a compliment out of her is not that easy. If she comes, I’ll give her free tickets. I’ll hook her up. It’s the least I could do. (1) For more than a year now, Del Rio has been touring her comedy show, Rolodex of Hate, to cities worldwide. A taping of her show in Austin, Texas, is now available to watch exclusively on Vimeo. (2) Del Rio won the sixth season of Logo TV’s popular drag queen contest series, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Every episode, one queen is eliminated following a lip-synch “for your life” battle.