Ireland Since Parnell eBook

D.D. Sheehan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Ireland Since Parnell.
States, also proclaimed the landlord concession as embodied in the Irish Reform Association to be “a victory unparalleled in the whole history of moral warfare.”  Here was an opportunity such as Wolfe Tone, Robert Emmet, Thomas Davis and the other honoured patriots of Ireland’s love sighed for in vain, when, with the display of a generous and forgiving spirit on all sides, the best men of every creed and class could have been gathered together in support of an invincible demand for the restoration of Irish liberty.  I do not know how any intelligent and impartial student of the events of that historical cycle can fail to visit the blame for the miscarriage of a great occasion, and the defeat of the definite movement towards the widest national union upon Mr Dillon and those who joined him in his “determined” and tragically foolish campaign.  As a humble participator in the activities of the period, I dare say it is not quite possible for me to divest myself of a certain bias, but I cannot help saying that I am confirmed in the opinion that in addition to being the most melancholy figure in his generation Mr John Dillon was also the most malignant in that at every stage of his career, when decisive action had to be taken his judgment invariably led him to take the course which brought most misfortune upon his country and upon the hopes of its people.

Attacked on front and flank, assailed by Sir Edward Carson and his gang and denounced by Mr Dillon and his faithful henchmen, deserted by Mr Balfour at the moment when his support was vital, Mr Wyndham weakly allowed himself to be badgered into disowning Home Rule, thus sealing his doom as a statesman and as potential leader of his own party.  The secret history of this time when it is made public will disclose a pitiful story of base intrigue and baser desertion and of a great and chivalrous spirit stretched on the rack of Ireland’s ill-starred destiny.  I do not think it is any exaggeration of the facts to say that Wyndham was done to death, physically as well as politically, in those evil days.  Driven from office, with the ruin of all his high hopes in shattered disorder around him, his proud soul was never able to recover itself, and he drifted out of politics and into the greater void without—­so fine a gentleman in such utter disarray that the angels must have wept his fall.

That Mr William O’Brien did not meet a similar fate was due only to the fact that he was made of sterner fighting stuff—­that he possessed a more intrepid spirit and a more indomitable will.  But the base weapons of calumny and of viler innuendo were employed to injure him in the eyes of his fellow-countrymen, to whom he had devoted, in a manner never surely equalled or surpassed before, a life of service and sacrifice. The Freeman’s Journal, whilst suppressing Mr O’Brien’s speeches and arguments, threw its columns open to ruffianly attacks which no paper knowing his record should have published.  In

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Ireland Since Parnell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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