Ulster's Stand For Union eBook

Ronald McNeill, 1st Baron Cushendun
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 391 pages of information about Ulster's Stand For Union.
An almost equally short-sighted error on the part of hostile critics was the idea that the attitude of Ulster as exhibited at Craigavon and Balmoral should be represented as mere bluster and bluff, to which the only proper reply was contempt.  There never was anything further removed from the truth, as anyone ought to have known who had the smallest acquaintance with Irish history or with the character of the race that had supplied the backbone of Washington’s army; but, if there had been at any time an element of bluff in their attitude, their contemptuous critics took the surest means of converting it into grim earnestness of purpose.  Mr. Redmond himself was ill-advised enough to set an example in this respect.  In an article published by Reynold’s Newspaper in January he had scoffed at the “stupid, hollow, and unpatriotic bellowings” of the Loyalists in Belfast.  Some few opponents had enough sense to take a different line in their comments on Balmoral.  One article in particular which appeared in The Star on the day of the demonstration attracted much attention for this reason.

“We have never yielded,” it said, “to the temptation to deride or to belittle the resistance of Ulster to Home Rule....  The subjugation of Protestant Ulster by force is one of those things that do not happen in our politics....  It is, we know, a popular delusion that Ulster is a braggart whose words are empty bluff.  We are convinced that Ulster means what she says, and that she will make good every one of her warnings.”

The Star went on to implore Liberals not to be driven “into an attitude of bitter hostility to the Ulster Protestants,” with whom it declared they had much in common.

After Balmoral there was certainly more disposition than before on the part of Liberal Home Rulers to acknowledge the sincerity of Ulster and the gravity of the position created by her opposition, and this disposition showed itself in the debates on the Bill; but, speaking generally, the warning of The Star was disregarded by its political adherents, and its neglect contributed not a little to the embitterment of the controversy.


[22] Annual Register, 1912, p. 3.

[23] The Times, February 3rd, 1912.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Annual Register, 1912, p. 7.

[26] Ibid., p. 126.



Within forty-eight hours of the Balmoral meeting the Prime Minister moved for leave to introduce the third Home Rule Bill in the House of Commons.  Carson immediately stated the Ulster case in a powerful speech which left no room for doubt that, while every clause in the Bill would be contested, it was the setting up of an executive administration responsible to a Parliament in Dublin—­that is to say, the central principle of the measure—­that would be most strenuously opposed.

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Ulster's Stand For Union from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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