Home truths about Home Rule


Sir, – The Irish Times is to be congratulated on its commitment to furthering discussion of the events that transformed Ireland 100 years ago. However, I fear that a misleading impression of the Home Rule movement was given by your supplement (“1912: Home Rule and Ulster’s Resistance”, April 25th).

It is simply wrong to state that John Redmond “always opposed” violence for political ends. Redmond, did after all, endorse the Great War. His party honoured the memory of the Manchester Martyrs, had within its ranks former Fenians and in its parliamentary party MPs who supported the Boers against Britain in 1900.

Violence directed at political rivals was a recurring feature of Irish politics and the Home Rulers were notorious for engaging in it. The only objection many in Redmond’s party had about violence directed against British rule was that it was not practical. This in part explains why some former supporters of the party could so readily turn to Sinn Féin after 1917. – Yours, etc,


Institute of Irish Studies,

University of Liverpool,

Abercromby Square, Liverpool,