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Sinn Fein An Illumination   By:

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SINN FEIN

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE NATION: A Survey of Irish History from the Invasion. The First Phase: The Overthrow of the Clans.

JOHN MITCHEL: An Appreciation. With some Account of Young Ireland.

IN PREPARATION:

ULSTER: A Brief Statement of Fact.

SINN FEIN AN ILLUMINATION

By P. S. O'HEGARTY

MAUNSEL & CO., LTD., DUBLIN AND LONDON 1919

[Gaelic: Do Liaimín Beag Dub,

i gcuimne ar gceud casad le céile]

FOREWORD

I was a member of the "National Council" formed in 1902 by Mr. Arthur Griffith on the occasion of the visit of the late Queen Victoria, and of the Executives of "Cumann na nGaedheal," the "Dungannon Clubs," and the "Sinn Fein League," by the fusion of which the old "Sinn Fein" organisation was formed. I was a member of the Sinn Fein Executive until 1911, and from 1903 to the present time I have been closely connected with every Irish movement of what I might call the Language Revival current. This book is therefore, so far as the matters of fact referred to therein are concerned, a book based upon personal knowledge.

My object in writing it has not been to give a history of Sinn Fein, but to give an account of its historical evolution, to place it in relation to the antecedent history of Ireland, above all to show it in its true light as an attempt, inspired by the Language revival, to place Ireland in touch with the historic Irish Nation which went down in the seventeenth century under the Penal Laws and was forced, when it emerged in the nineteenth, to reconstitute itself on the framework which had been provided for the artificial State which had been superimposed on the Irish State with the Penal Laws. The quarrel between Sinn Fein and the Irish Parliamentary Party is really the quarrel between the historic Irish Nation and the artificial English garrison State; the quarrel between de Anglicisation and Anglicisation.

The scope of the book precluded any detail in regard to the evolution of events since 1916, as it precluded any mention of individuals, save Mr. Arthur Griffith, who is the Hamlet of the piece.

CONTENTS

( As Passed by Censor. )

CHAPTER PAGE

I. THE POLICY OF PEACEFUL PENETRATION IN IRELAND 1

II. THE TURNING POINT 6

III. THE GENESIS OF THE SINN FEIN MOVEMENT 13

IV. THE SINN FEIN POLICY 19

V. ARTHUR GRIFFITH THE TRUTH 28

VI. THE SINN FEIN MOVEMENT 1905 TO 1913 34

VII. THE IRISH VOLUNTEERS 41

VIII. SINN FEIN 49

NOTE. The first seven chapters were written in October, 1917, and passed for publication in November, 1918. Chapter viii represents a re arrangement of such portions of the last three chapters of the original manuscript as it is permissible to publish at the present time.

CHAPTER I

THE POLICY OF PEACEFUL PENETRATION IN IRELAND

When Pitt and Castlereagh forced through the Act of Union, they forged a weapon with the potentiality of utterly subjecting the Irish nation, of extinguishing wholly its civilisation, its name, and its memory; for they made possible that policy of peaceful penetration which in less than a century brought Ireland lower than she had been brought by five centuries of war and one century of almost incredibly severe penal legislation. In the history of the connexion between England and Ireland the vital dates are 1691, 1800, and 1893: in 1691 Ireland lay for the first time unarmed under the heel of the invader; in 1800 began the peaceful penetration of Irish civilisation by English civilisation; and in 1893 by the foundation of the Gaelic League Ireland turned once more to her own culture and her own past, alive to her separateness, her distinctiveness, alive also to her danger... Continue reading book >>




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