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Six days of the Irish Republic A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics   By: (1884-)

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SIX DAYS OF THE IRISH REPUBLIC

A NARRATIVE AND CRITICAL ACCOUNT OF THE LATEST PHASE OF IRISH POLITICS

BY

L. G. REDMOND HOWARD

NEPHEW AND BIOGRAPHER OF THE IRISH LEADER

AUTHOR OF

"LIFE OF JOHN REDMOND," "SIR ROGER CASEMENT," "AN IRISHMAN'S HOME," "THE NEW BIRTH OF IRELAND," ETC.

LONDON: MAUNSEL & CO. LTD.

40 MUSEUM STREET, W.C.

DUBLIN: E. PONSONBY LTD.

116 GRAFTON STREET

1916

TO

WILFRED MEYNEL

ONE OF THE FEW HONEST ENGLISHMEN WHO ARE ENGLISH ENOUGH TO BE ASHAMED OF THE STORY OF ENGLISH RULE IN IRELAND

( Passed by Censor )

INTRODUCTION

The following pages are an attempt at a simple narrative and criticism of what must appear the most inexplicable occurrence in Irish history.

The climax of a century of arguments, futile only because of the proverbial dullness of the race to which they were addressed, the rising has lifted the Home Rule controversy at one stroke from the region of the village pump into the very midst of the counsels of Europe, for it was a challenge of madmen, if you like to the greatest Empire in the world, at the very moment of its gravest crisis, upon the most fundamental portion of its policy of interference with the affairs of the Continent, namely, England's claim to be the champion of small nationalities.

Unless Ireland can be shown to be held by her own free consent, in perfect contentment, the whole of our contention falls to the ground for our policy in Ireland is only in microcosm our policy of Empire; and Germany will be able to point the finger of scorn and ridicule at us, and prove thereby to France and Russia that, tyrants at home, we only used them to fight a battle we dared not fight alone.

I say nothing here of the motives that inspired the rebels, nor the immediate causes that provoked them to rise, nor the nature of the methods by which they were "stamped out"; I only state the moral of their failure, and I must take this opportunity to thank Lord Decies, the official Press censor, for the freedom with which he has allowed me to speak at what I feel to be a very critical juncture in the history of my country and of our common Empire; for I have gone upon the principle that it is far better to distribute the blame all round than to try and make the Sinn Feiners the scapegoats of faults which each party contributed towards the catastrophe.

There never was, I believe, an Irish crime if crime it can be called which had not its roots in an English folly; and I repeat here what the late Mr. Stead always impressed upon me: Ireland is our school of Empire, and the mistakes which would lose us Ireland would lose us the Empire.

It is England's move next: we have protested in blood; the eyes of Europe await her decision.

At the same time I cannot help blaming Irishmen as well for the catastrophe, for politicians of all parties have been tending towards isolating their followers in the old ancestral bigotries, instead of drawing them together in sympathy, as Mr. William O'Brien has been advocating for years, with the result that we are now threatened with permanent constitutional separation for another generation.

It is a mistake which all the younger men deplore, and which could easily have been avoided by bringing in the men of Ulster into the national deliberations, as they have every right, in the name of their Southern followers, and then giving them the option to veto the application of any measure to their own districts which would have been the best guarantee of justice which the Nationalists could have given and the most they had a right to expect of England, whose political position of dependence upon the Irish vote is a scandal of empire.

These things, however, are beyond the scope of the present pages, and I shall confine myself with thanking those of my many friends who have helped me in compiling this volume notably Councillor Keogh, who was with me during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, and others, whose criticisms helped me considerably... Continue reading book >>




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