Ireland Since Parnell eBook

D.D. Sheehan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Ireland Since Parnell.
one of these he was charged with “unnatural services to insatiable landlordism.”  He was charged by Mr Dillon and the Freeman with being actively engaged with Mr Wyndham, Sir Antony MacDonnell and Lord Dunraven in a plot to break up the Irish Party, and to construct a new Moderate Centre Party by selling eighteen Nationalist seats in Parliament to Lord Dunraven and his friends, and he was further charged with being concerned in a conspiracy having for its object the denationalisation of the Freeman.  There were six libels in all, of so gross a character that Mr O’Brien, since reports of his speeches were systematically suppressed in every newspaper outside of Munster, was obliged to take his libellers into court and, before a jury of their fellow-countrymen at Limerick, to convict them of uttering six false, malicious and defamatory libels, and thus bring to the public knowledge the guilt of his accusers.  Asked what his “unnatural services to insatiable landlordism” were, Mr O’Brien made this memorable reply:  “To abolish it!  All the Irish tenants had gained by the land agitation of the previous twenty years was a reduction of twenty per cent.  My unnatural services under the Land Conference Agreement was to give them a reduction of forty per cent. more right away and the ownership of the soil of Ireland thrown in.”

Lord Dunraven on his own part took Mr Dillon publicly to task for his misrepresentations of him.  He said that Mr Dillon “mentioned him as being more or less connected with a great variety of conspiracies and plots and with general clandestine arrangements....  He and George Wyndham were said to have been constantly plotting for the purpose of driving a wedge into the midst of the Nationalist Party.  Well, as far as he was concerned, all these deals and all these conspiracies existed only in Mr Dillon’s fervid imagination.”  And Lord Dunraven went on to express his sorrow that a man in Mr Dillon’s position should have taken up so unworthy a line.

Mr Dillon, when he had the opportunity of appearing before the Limerick jury, to justify himself, if he could, never did so.  And he never expressed regret for having defamed his former friend and colleague and for having vilified honourable men, honourably seeking Ireland’s welfare.  Upon which I must content myself with saying that history will pass its own verdict on Mr Dillon’s conduct.



To enable our readers to have a clearer understanding of all that has gone before and all that is to follow, I think it well at this stage to give a just impression of the Party, of its personnel, its method of working and its general character and composition.

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Ireland Since Parnell from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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