Ireland Since Parnell eBook

D.D. Sheehan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Ireland Since Parnell.
and sectarian “constitutional” movement asserting and enforcing its authority, through unscrupulous methods already described, to speak and act on behalf of the people.  If Sir Edward Carson had risen to power through open and flagrant defiance of all constituted right and authority, there were others who were not slow to copy his methods.  The Irish Party may denounce him in Parliament as a disloyal subject of the Crown, but there were young Nationalists in Southern Ireland, aye, even in Rebel Cork, who sincerely raised cheers for him because he had shown them, as they believed, the better way “to save Ireland.”  The Government could not make one law for the North and another for the South.  If it allowed the Orangemen to drill and arm it could not well interfere with the Nationalists if they took a leaf out of their book and proceeded to act in like manner.  And thus are the destinies of people and the fate of nations decided.  In preparing for civil war Sir Edward Carson gave that spur of encouragement to Germany that it just needed to rush it into a world war.  And for how much else he is responsible in Ireland every faithful student of current history knows!

CHAPTER XXI

SINN FEIN—­ITS ORIGINAL MEANING AND PURPOSE

Sinn Fein had a comparatively small and unimportant beginning.  It was not heralded into existence by any great flourish of trumpets nor for many years had it any considerable following among the masses of the Nationalists.  It is more than doubtful, if there had been normal political progress in Ireland, whether Sinn Fein would ever have made itself into a great movement.  It was, in the first instance, the disappointments and humiliations which the debilitated Irish Party had brought to the national movement and the utter disrepute into which Parliamentarianism had fallen as a consequence that moved the thoughts of Ireland’s young manhood to some nobler and better way of serving the Motherland.  But it was the rebellion of Easter Week which crystallised and fused all these various thoughts and ideals into one direct channel of action and made Sinn Fein the mightiest national force that has perhaps arisen in Ireland since first the English set foot upon our shores for purposes of conquest.

Sinn Fein, as a political organisation, did not exist until 1905, but the originator of it, Mr Arthur Griffith, had established in Dublin, in 1899, a weekly paper called The United Irishman.  This was the title of the paper which John Mitchell had founded to advocate the policy of the Young Irelanders and was, therefore, supposed to favour to some extent a movement along those lines.  Its appeal was mainly to the young and intellectual and to those extremists who were out of harmony with the moderate demands of the Parliamentary Party.  Its first editorial gave an index to its teachings and aims.  “There exists,” it declared, “has existed for centuries and will continue to exist in Ireland a

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Ireland Since Parnell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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