Tomhas na Teanga

Tá áit cháiliúil i mBrooklyn ar a dtugtar Clós Cabhlaigh Brooklyn.  Theres a famous place in Brooklyn called the Brooklyn Navy Yard.   Ceannaíodh an talamh (dugaí a bhí ann cheana féin) in 1801, faoin uachtarán John Adams, agus bunaíodh mar chlós cabhlaigh gníomhach é in 1806.  The land was purchased in 1801 (there were already docks there), under President JA, and it was founded as an active navy yard in 1806.  Ceann de chúig chlós a bunaíodh faoi rialtas na Stát Aontaithe ag an am ab ea é.    It was one of 5 yards founded by the US government at the time.  Tá sé suite ar Imchuach Wallabout, áit a mbíodh na príosún-longa Sasanacha i rith an chogaidh réabhlóidigh (tá dán agam ar an ábhar seo, an Príosún-long Jersey,  i mo leabhar An File ar Buile).  It is located on Wallabout Basin, where the British prison ships were during the revolutionary war (Ihave a poem on this subject, the Prison-ship Jersey, in my book…).

In aice leis an gclós seo tá páirc, agus an pháirc is sine i mBrooklyn is ea é.  In 1951, ath-bhaisteadh é mar Commodore Barry Park, mar gheall ar an nasc idir Barry agus an clós cabhlaigh.  Near the yard is a park, which is the oldest park in Brooklyn.  In 1951 it was renamedbecause of the connection Barry had to the navy yard.  Bhí baint éigin ag Ceannasóir John Barry lena bhunú – sin a deir beagnach gach suíomh idirlín a luann é.  Barry had something to do with its founding thats what almost every website says that mentions him.  Ach fuair mé (faoi dheireadh) i ndoiciméad atá ag Coláiste Pobail Laguardia faoi ainmniú na páirce ina onóir (bhíodh Páirc na Cathrach air roimhe sin), gur mhol seisean don Chomhdháil in 1798 roinn cabhlaigh agus clós cabhlaigh a bhunú.  But I found (finally) in a document that Laguardia Community College has about the naming of the park in his honor (it used to be called City Park), that it was he who   recommended to Congress in 1798 that a navy department and navy yard be established.

Tá linn snámha poiblí sa pháirc, agus ar bhallaí an fhoirgnimh seo, tá comharthaí péinteáilte faoi Barry agus an fáth go raibh sé tábhachtach.  There is a public pool in the park, and on the walls of this building there are painted signs about Barry and why he was important.  Ach níl aon dealbh de sa pháirc.    But there is no statue of him in the park.    Nuair a bhí mé ag déanamh taighde air, fuair mé go bhfuil dealbha de in Washington D.C., in Philadelphia, agus fiú i Loch Garman!  While I was researching this, I found that there is a statue of him in DC, Philly and even in Wexford!   Ba as Teach Coimseáin i gContae Loch Garman é.    He was from Tacumshane in County Wexford.

Fuair mé rud eile suimiúil, a bhaineann leis an dealbh i Washington.  I found something else interesting relating to the statue in Washington.  Nuair a nochtadh é ar an 16ú Bealtaine 1914, thug Uachtarán Wilson óráid, agus fuair mé an óráid sin ar an idirlíon. When it was unvailed on May 16th 1914, President Wilson gave a speech, and I found that speech on the internet.   Meon na haoise sin atá le brath ann, dar ndóigh, ach níl sé gan baint lenár linn féin.  The attitude of the age is to be sensed in it, of course, but it isnt without relevence to our own times.  Dúirt Wilson (aistrithe go Gaeilge):    Wilson said (translated to Irish):   “…Ba Éireannach é John Barry, ach thrasnaigh a chroí an tAtlantach leis.  …John Barry was an Irishman, but his heart crossed the Atlantic with him.  Níor fhág sé in Éirinn é.  He did not leave it in Ireland.     Agus is é an promhadh a chuirtear ar gach duine dínn – mar tá fréamhacha againn go léir thar sáile – sin é, an mbímid sásta chun cabhrú Meiriceá lena saol saor agus neamhspleách, ag caomhnú ár gcion ársa, cinnte, ach ag socrú ar gach a ndéanaimid mar gheall ar na leasanna ar an taobh seo den aigéan.  And the test of all of usfor all of us had our origins on the other side of the seais whether we will assist in enabling America to live her separate and independent life, retaining our ancient affections, indeed, but determining everything that we do by the interests that exist on this side of the sea.   Tá gá ag Meiriceánaigh áirithe le fleiscíní ina n-ainmneacha, as siocar nár tháinig ach cuid den duine trasna na dtonnta.  Some Americans need hyphens in their names, because only part of them has come over.   Ach nuair a thagann an duine ina iomlán chugainn, titeann an fleiscín dá ainm as a mheáchan féin.    But when the whole man has come over, heart and thought and all, the hyphen drops of its own weight out of his name.   Ní raibh sé ina Ghael-Mheiriceánach, ach ba Ghael é a d’iompaigh go Meiriceánach…  This man was not an Irish-American; he was an Irishman who became an American

Tá iarsmalann saor in aisce, BDLG 92, ag an gclós.  There is a free museumat the yard.  Fuair mé cúpla fíric suimiúil eile ansin.  I found a few other interesting facts there.  Thugtaí Baile Éireannach ar an gcomharsanacht ina thimpeall.  The surrounding neighborhood used to be called Irish Town.  Bhíodh sliocht na hÉireann ag obair ag an gclós riamh.  People of Irish descent used to always work in the yard.  Bhí duine darb ainm “Boss” Hugh McLaughlin i mbun na n-oibrithe ag deireadh an naoiú haoise déag, agus bhí sé agus Halla Tamanny in adharca a chéile nuair a slógadh Brooklyn isteach Cathair Nua-Eabhraic.  There was a person namedin charge of the workers at the end of the 19th century, and he was at oddsy with TH when Brooklyn was swollowed up into NYC.

Bhí muintir Éireannach ag obair i ngach saghas poist timpeall na háite, agus is iomaí scéal eile a bheadh le hinsint fúthu, cinnte.  Irish people worked in every sort of job around the place, and there are many other stories that could be told about them, for sure.

 

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A visit to St. Patrick’s Well

A visit to St. Patrick’s Well

While on vacation in Italy in September, your Digest editor John O’Connell happened upon an unexpected attraction in Orvieto, a Medieval hill town some 60 miles north of Rome. Pozzo di San Patrizio (St. Patrick’s Well) was built between 1527 and 1537. Pope Clement VII at the time thought the city needed a greater water supply. The well was finished in the papacy or Pius III. According to Wikipedia, the name was inspired by Medieval legends that Ireland’s St. Patrick’s Purgatory gave access all the way down to Purgatory, so it became associated with something fantastically deep. The cylindrical well goes 174 ft. down and the well shaft is surrounded with two spiral ramps in a double helix.

 

Patricks Well

Ownership, Operation of Halls

By Pat Sturdy,
National Legal Counsel

 

Recently, there have been several inquiries regarding what rules a division must follow in connection with the ownership and operation of a hall. The requirements for the owners and operation of a hall can be found within the National Constitution at Article XVI, which expressly forbids a division, county or state board from owning, leasing, managing or operating a hall. The National Constitution further provides that a division, county or state board must form a separate legal entity (corporation or limited liability) company which may own, lease, manage or operate a hall. The documents forming this separate legal entity must be submitted to the National President for review. The elected officers of the jurisdiction where the hall is located are responsible for ensuring compliance with these requirements.

Additionally, any hall or building may not be owned or operated using the name AOH, Hibernian Hall or any similar variation without proof that each superior jurisdiction is named as an additional insured. Each year the jurisdiction using the name AOH, Hibernian Hall or similar variation must provide proof to the National President that it has the name of each superior jurisdiction as an additional insured on its insurance policy. Furthermore, the jurisdiction operating a hall shall keep financial records separate and apart from the books and records of the jurisdiction of the Order.

The purpose of the prohibition contained within the National Constitution against division’s owning and operating a building/hall in its own name, is to protect the AOH from the potential liability associated with owning and operating a building/hall. Failure and/refusal to comply with the National Constitution is a violation of the Oath an officer takes when he is installed, and could result in their expulsion from the Order. Likewise, failure and/or refusal to comply with the National Constitution is a violation of the member’s oath when they joined the AOH, and could also result in the member’s expulsion from the Order.

Furthermore, the Division’s failure and/or refusal to comply with the National Constitution could result in the Division’s loss of its Charter, which would mean that the Division loses its tax exempt status. The implications for loss of tax exempt status is that there could be serious financial penalties imposed upon the Division, its Officers and its Members.

2015 Irish Way & Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities

by William J. Sullivan
National Chairman & AOH National Board Liaison for New England

 

It is that time of year when school bells ring and students and teachers at all levels return to the classroom. The beginning of the new school year, just like New Years Day, opens up doors and new opportunities. And, believe it or not, it is not too early to begin thinking of scholarship opportunities offered by the AOH National Board for next year. Here is some information to consider.

The Irish Way Program is a three week unique cultural and educational program for American High School Students that takes place during the summer in Ireland. The program, which is multifaceted, encompasses three components: Education, the Irish Experience and Irish Touring. For more information on this program please visit the Irish Way website at: www.irishway.org or contact Carol Buck, the Irish Way Coordinator at: cbuck@IACI-usa.org or by phone @ 973 605 1991.

The AOH and LAOH National Boards are proud to offer two $500 Scholarships for the Irish Way Program for the son, daughter, grandson or granddaughter of a member of the AOH and LAOH. For more information please contact me @ williamjsullivan@verizon.net

The National Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians has established two (2) annual $1000 Junior Year Abroad Scholarships for the son or daughter or grandchild of an AOH member, who is attending an accredited college or university in the United States, and who has been accepted at an accredited college/university in Ireland. Should not enough applications for the Junior Year Abroad Scholarship be realized, then $500 Scholarships for Semester Abroad Programs will be considered and granted when appropriate. The deadline for the next round of applications for this scholarship is May 1, 2015. For more information and an application please contact me @ williamjsullivan@verizon.net

 

In addition to serving as the Chairman of our Scholarship Programs, President Moore has appointed me as the AOH National Board Liaison to New England. I look forward to this opportunity to work with my Brother Hibernians here in the New England over the next two years, and I look forward to meeting many of you. Have a great fall season!

Immigration

Brothers,

I am honored and grateful to be appointed by President Brendan Moore to continue to serve the National Board as your Immigration Chairman. I thank the many Hibernians that have become immigration chairs for their Divisions, and I ask more of you to become your Division County and State Chairs. I need your help to get this job done and the Irish immigration Centers value the AOH’s support.

I hope in the closing days of 2014, that we will see the needed changes in US Immigration Law that will allow the undocumented Irish and Irish men and women who desire to travel, work and stay in the US safely and legally.

Myself and my wife Siobhan, Executive Director of the Emerald Isle Immigration Center met twice with newly appointed Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan along with Ambassador Ann Anderson and new NY Consul General Barbara Jones to discuss immigrant support, the plight of undocumented families, and also in my case our Irish Immigration lobbying efforts. They left with a clear idea of the support that the AOH gives both efforts and were truly grateful and inspired to give the President and Congress an urgent message; Do not retire this Congress without substantial action on immigration reform.

Myself and our coalition partners on Irish Immigration, Chicago Celts, ILIR and Irish Apostolate traveled to the White House in August to entreat the Administration to be rational about the Executive Order and include the provisions in the Senate Bills language on the E3 Visa in any such order. I am grateful former US Rep. Bruce Morrison, author of the successful legislation that bore his name in 1990, was able to join us and open some eyes with his opinion, which we share. He stated that reform should be about enforcement and not entitlement. People must live up to the standards we all apply ourselves to in order to stay in the US. The Irish have abided by the laws, paid their taxes and are a model for what this country should expect from those that desire.

We also discussed added 12 months more to the 12 Month J1 program as it is hard to find work and housing in that short time frame. This will take tremendous pressure off our Irish Immigration Centers, because when the reform does come, the demands on the Centers will multiply. To find out more about you nearest Irish Immigration Center visit www.ciic-usa.org

So please call and write your Senators, Representatives and the White House and tell them to act on immigration now before they “retire.” The Capitol Switchboard number is (202)224-3121 and you will be directed to any of your elected Officials. Please join the growing ranks of leading Hibernians across the US who have become Immigration Chairs!

Dan Dennehy

 

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The larger group was meeting with Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and Irish Immigrant Support group at NY Consulate.

The earlier phot was taken at White House and is myself, Billy Lawless (Chicago Celts), Bruce Morrison, Celine Kennealy (ILIR) Fr. Brendan McBride and Geri Garvey (Irish Apostolate)

Irish-American Heritage Month

By Neil Cosgrove

Brothers, this year will mark the 25th Anniversary of the first proclamation of Irish American Heritage Month. While thanks to your help we have raised awareness of IAHM and the contributions of Irish Americans, we still have some way to go before it is accorded equal recognition to that rightfully given to other Heritages and their months. Back at the 2004 National Convention, the Order unanimously endorsed making IAHM a priority initiative and urged every Division to form an IAHM committee. If your Division has not done so, now is the time as IAHM is of vital importance to our Heritage and our Order.

Beside it being part of our duty to promote our Heritage, IAHM is a tremendous opportunity for the Order that is too frequently being squandered. Many are worrying about the “graying of our Order,” IAHM is an opportunity to get our message out and attract new members especially among our younger people. We have already seen through the IAHM Immigration pin program how IAHM and its story of the vast contributions of past Irish immigrants dovetails perfectly with our other message of a fair and just Immigration policy for the Irish. What an opportunity IAHM provides to reach out to potential new members by facilitating a gathering of people showing an interest in their Irish Heritage through an IAHM event sponsored by your Division. Every division should have an IAHM committee and the Organizer, Historian, Immigration and Publicity Chairs should be the key members. Let us resolve to make the 25th Anniversary of IAHM a turning point in the recognition of this Month and the contribution of thousands of Irish American men and women it pays homage to.

To that end I would like to make a special appeal to the many teachers I know that we have in our ranks, both current and retired. A frequent “reason” we hear from schools at all levels as to why they do not embrace IAHM is that they don’t have the resources, time or materials to effectively teach an IAHM unit. I would like to ask that if any of you have lesson plans (or perhaps if you are retired and interested in creating one) or other materials that teachers can use in support of teaching the role that the Irish have played in America and our willing to share them to please contact me at Neil.Cosgrove@AOH.com

Historical Happenings

by Mike McCormack

For those who don’t think our values are constantly under attack, ask yourselves why a group of Gays and Lesbians would want to march in a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Certainly it cannot be to honor the memory of the Saint who brought the Catholic religion to Ireland when their views are contrary to the teachings of that religion. When my grandfather took me to my first St Patrick’s Day Parade 70 years ago, he was careful to explain that all those marching men and women were honoring our patron Saint and the Catholic values that we stood for; that’s why the parade started with a Mass. As I grew older and took my place in the line of march with my school, I learned that not everyone in the parade was an Irish Catholic, but they willingly chose to honor our patron saint and his values. If one cannot honor those values, they can refuse to march. However, I know of several homosexuals who have marched in the past, but without a banner proclaiming their alternate life style. Banners are the issue. That parade has even refused banners supporting the 1981 Hunger Strikers (a cause most of the marchers endorsed) because it had nothing to do with Saint Patrick and the raison detre of the parade. With regard to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender individuals, our clergy says “who are we to judge; judgement belongs to the Lord” and that is true, but are we judging if we simply withhold our endorsement of values that don’t match our own? That is why heterosexuals refuse to march in the Gay Pride Parade with a banner announcing their opposition to the LGBT life style. After all, boycotting is an old Irish tradition, one that we wish the Irish Gays would endorse.

I ask again, what could their motivation be to march in a parade that honors our Patron Saint and his values? If it’s just to prove that they’re proud to be Irish, then perhaps they would like to join us on Jan. 22 at the March For Life in Washington, D.C. Before you consider answering that, you might want to read Brother Neil Cosgrove’s Anti-Defamation column in this issue.

Our Scottish cousins have voted to remain in the United Kingdom and, again, we should not judge the rationale of the electorate unless we walk a mile in their shoes. However, what do you think would happen if that same option were offered to Northern Ireland. Given that we share pretty much the same history, it is a great subject for debate!

 

Wild Geese

The Wild Geese is an organization that began several years ago by promoting the contributions of Ireland’s immigrants and exiles in the lands to which they traveled or fled. It has since grown to include a variety of articles on many aspects of Ireland’s history and heritage both at home and abroad. Anyone can read the items on their website at thewildgeese.com or you can submit a story (blog) of your own. However, in order to contribute a favorite of your own, you must be a member. The good thing is that membership is free and anyone can sign up on their website. Membership also allows you to comment on a story you have read there and add a supporting or correcting comment or question. Today, there are members from Irish communities around the world in the Wild Geese organization and our culture, heritage and traditions are flying across the planet to an international audience. Check it out.

 

The Coming of the Celts

We have a new book to offer called ‘The Coming of the Celts’ and it explores the relationship between archaeological discoveries in Ireland, dating back as far as 7500 BC, and the tales in the Lebhar Gabhala Eireann (The Book of Invasions). The Book of Invasions is a collection of ancient Irish manuscripts relating Ireland’s own interpretation of her history from the very first settlers through the coming of Cessair, Partholan, Nemed, the Fir Bolg, the Tuatha De Danann and the Milesians. It is remarkable how so many of the tales that were considered to be myth and legend are being verified by recent archaeological discoveries. It’s a source of pride in that the Irish were such an advanced civilization at such an early time in history, yet a source of heartache that such a culture was erased by successive invasions (Viking and Norman) bent on pillage, plunder and greed. Hopefully telling their tales will at least keep them alive in memory.

 

For more historical bits, check the monthly histories at AOH.COM Historical Happenings, at NYAOH.COM Historical Happenings and at THEWILDGEESE.COM and check out SHAMROCKANDCLOVER.COM for Christmas stocking stuffers for students of Irish history.

Until next time, Keep well, keep the faith and keep the tradition alive.

News from the Hibernian Charity Board

By Jim Green, Director, Hibernian Charity Board

 

Brothers, as planned, all of the Officers and Directors of the Hibernian Charity Board were present at the National Convention recently in St. Louis. We were all very busy with the regular business of the Convention, and carried out additional assignments from the National Board. In addition, we held a Hibernian Charity meeting, which was open to all of the brothers at the Convention that were interested in discussing the activities and future strategies of the Charity. Two brothers from North Carolina attended and exchanged ideas about many of the charitable activities that they are engaged in in their area. In addition, the Board members shared with them information about the current charities that are supported by the Charity, as the AOH’s 501c3 corporation. It was a good exchange of information and it was great to get to know these brothers and learn of their activities. The second half of the meeting involved a discussion amongst the Board members regarding fundraising strategies to allow for the future funding of existing projects, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad,” and to be able to support emergency or urgent projects that are yet unknown.

One of the strategies which we would like to encourage our members to participate in is the “matching donation” programs that are frequently offered by employers. The idea is that if you, as an employee, donate money to a 501c3 charity, such as ours, many employers will match your donation and, in effect, double the amount that is donated. You can just imagine how much could be raised if we all took advantage of that option. Also, there’s no reason why you couldn’t “earmark” the donation to a specific AOH charity, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad” or the Hibernian Hunger project, so that your donation would go to the specific charity of your choice. The “Hibernian Charity” would still have to be named, though, as the recipient of the donations.

The AOH National Board approved the Charity Board’s recommendation to expand the number of Charity Board Directors from 7 to a total of 9, and there were brothers that previously made their interest in the Director positions known to the National Board. Also, 4 of our incumbent Directors’ terms of office had concluded, and were running for reelection. The National Board, per our Constitution, held an election amongst themselves and reelected the 4 incumbent Directors, and also elected 2 new Directors to fill the additional 2 open positions. The newly elected Directors are Tim Harvey from Maryland and Tom Beirne of New York. Congratulations, and welcome, to all of the newly elected, or reelected, Hibernian Charity Directors!

Finally, a reminder. If you and/or your Division or Board would like to contribute to any of the very worthy charitable causes of the Order, please make your checks out to “Hibernian Charity”. If you would like to earmark a particular fund, please note that in the memo section of the check, such as “Irish Way & Study Abroad”. Remember that individual, Corporate, and Foundation donations are also 100% tax deductible.

 

Donations should be forwarded to: Hibernian Charity, Inc., c/o Joe Casler, 333 Julia Street, Unit #330, New Orleans, LA 70130

 

Thank you, as always, for your consideration, kindness, and generosity.

Freedom For All Ireland

By Paul Gowdy Co-Chairman

After the St. Louis Convention, I was appointed as Freedom For All Ireland Co-Chairman by President Brendan Moore. This is a great honor for me and I will do my utmost to perform my duties to the best of my abilities.

Let me share with you some background information on myself. I was born and brought up on the Falls Road, Belfast, County Antrim. At the height of the troubles in 1977, I gathered up my wife, Agnes (former LAOH FFAI Chairwoman), and three children and headed to Warren, Michigan. I joined the Fr. Solanus Casey AOH Division, Macomb County, in 1980. I have held every office in that division and was four years as Michigan AOH State President. In 2012, I was honored with an AOH Life Membership in recognition of service to the Order.

Every year we travel to Belfast and visit with family and friends. This helps me to keep up to date with the political situation in the North of Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland.

 

The Annual AOH/LAOH Christmas Appeal

Last year the AOH/LAOH Christmas Appeal was very successful, reaching a record $75,000 that was distributed to 13 organizations. I would like to see that amount increased next year. We have State boards, County boards and divisions who step up to the task by holding special annual fund raisers. God bless them. Sadly there are a lot of AOH and LAOH divisions who do not participate in any way. I appeal to those brothers and sisters to get on board and bring up at your meetings ideas to raise funds for our FFAI project.

Newly designed Christmas Appeal packages are on the way to all State, County and Divisions of the order. I expect all Presidents to take the time to share this updated information at your meetings with your brothers and sisters.

Remember all FFAI check donations should be mailed to – Paul Gowdy, 13201 Rosselo Ave., Warren, MI 48088-3154

 

Same old same old

Currently in Ireland there are plans for talks between the Stormont, London, Dublin and USA politicians. They will revisit and hopefully resolve the Flag flying problems and the contentious Orange Order parade problems when marching through catholic areas, etc…

The loyalist reaction to these talks can be summed up by Unionist politician Mike Nesbitt when he stated that his party was putting the N.I. Secretary of State Theresa Villiers “on notice” that “there would be no official role for any foreign government in the internal affairs of Northern Ireland.

Echoes of Irish History

By Mike McCormack AOH National Historian

Anniversaries are great things to celebrate if they are happy and have had a positive impact on the welfare of our people, like the Easter Rising of 1916. We also commemorate anniversaries that are tragic and had a negative impact on our people, like the Great Hunger. The option to celebrate or commemorate is up to the beholder and his or her understanding of that event in history. We are presently in a Decade of Dedications from 2013 to 2023 with many events to recognize favorably from the Great Dublin Lockout of 1913, which established the Irish Citizen Army, to 1923 when the Civil War ended and the Irish Free State became an accepted member of the League of Nations and began the journey to the Republic of Ireland. Likewise, there are events during that Decade that should not be observed favorably like the Loyalist gun-running into Larne, the Curragh Mutiny or Home Rule. These were all impediments to the nationalist movement that eventually succeeded despite them. Recently a discussion has divided many in our community as to whether or not we should celebrate the passing of the Home Rule Bill for Ireland in the British Parliament. One advocate even said that the Easter Rising was a foolish, unnecessary action in view of the fact that the bill had already passed. What a horrible misinterpretation of history!

 

Home Rule bills

For those not familiar with the Home Rule issue, it was an idea first advanced by Isaac Butt in 1873 seeking an Irish Parliament for domestic affairs since O’Connell’s Repeal Association had faded after his death in 1847. Butt’s death in 1879 left the Home Rule League to Charles Stewart Parnell who took it into the House of Commons as the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP). As the IPP grew, it was able to support the Liberal Party against the Conservatives in return for the submittal of a Home Rule Bill. In 1886, Prime Minister Gladstone submitted a Home Rule Bill but it was defeated in the House of Commons. In 1891, Parnell died and the IPP was led by his aide John Redmond. In 1893, a second Home Rule Bill passed the House of Commons, but was defeated in the House of Lords. By the General Election in 1910, Liberals and Conservatives in the House of Commons were evenly matched. Liberal PM Herbert Asquith offered Redmond a deal: if the IPP supported his move to break the power of Lords and have his budget passed, Asquith would introduce another Home Rule Bill. The Parliament Act of 1911 was passed forcing the Lords to agree to limit their veto power. If a bill passed Commons twice, Lords could not veto it — only delay its implementation for two years.

 

“The sword’s edge”

In 1912, a third Irish Home Rule Bill was submitted. At a Home Rule Rally in Dublin, Padraic Pearse gave the bill a qualified welcome saying, It is clear to me that the bill we support today will be for the good of Ireland, and that we will be stronger with it than without it. But he concluded with the warning, however, if we are tricked this time, there is a party in Ireland, and I am one of them, that will advise the Gael to have no counsel or dealing with the Gall (foreigner), but to answer henceforward with the strong arm and the sword’s edge … If we are cheated once more there will be red war in Ireland. The Bill was passed by Commons and Lords could now only delay its implementation for two years. It would become law in 1914, but it never came into force. The reasons for that were many.

First, the Loyalists in northern Ireland started an armed militia (Ulster Volunteer Force) to oppose it. Secondly, in a mutiny at the Curragh Military HQ in Ireland, British officers vowed to resign rather than force the implementation of Home Rule if it passed. Further, bowing to Conservative power in the parliament, Asquith proposed an amendment to the Bill to let the counties in Ulster vote – county by county – to be included or excluded from the Bill. That was changed by the Loyalists, who knew they’d lose too much, to exclude all Ulster counties. The Liberals dropped the compromise, but delayed its implementation until the end of WWI. Partition was then suggested and the King signed the Bill into law on Sept. 18, 1914, with a pre-condition that it not come into effect until a provision had been made to satisfy Ulster!

 

British perfidy

The Bill, held out as a carrot on a stick promising a new constitutional order, restrained the energies of a more militant approach to freedom for 40 years. It would now not be implemented as voted on and passed; but would be altered to partition Ireland, which would remain subservient to Westminster. Further, Irish representation in Commons was reduced. The perfidy of the British government was once more displayed and the frustrated Irish patriots took to the streets of Dublin to take what the Crown would not give.

After the Easter Rising inspired the War of Independence in 1919, a fourth Irish Home Rule Act was passed in 1920 establishing Northern Ireland as an entity within the United Kingdom and attempting to establish “Southern Ireland” as another entity in a partitioned Ireland. It was too late, for the Irish had already elected their leaders and they sat in a parliament of their own called Dáil Éireann, which they maintained until they fought the British to the treaty table to establish the Irish Free State with more independence than was ever allowed in all of the Home Rule Bills. Therefore, the Home Rule Bill for Ireland was never implemented! The Irish Free State Constitution Act of 1922 permitted the ultimate realization of limited Irish independence through the removal many of the links with Britain. In 1949, Ireland became a republic, ending its tenuous membership in the British Commonwealth. To commemorate Home Rule or not is up to the beholder. It can be remembered as an example of Britain’s perfidious duplicity; however, what would be next – a commemoration of the October 1691 Treaty of Limerick, which was torn up to allow the Penal Laws? I think not!