Irish Home Rule #OnThisDay

On 16th of January 1913 the Irish Home Rule Bill was passed in the UK House of Commons.

But as we know that didn’t happen then and what ensued for Ireland was a situation which has still not been resolved to this day.

In the UK Bills have to also pass through the House of Lords and in the case of the Irish Home Rule Bill after it had passed the House of Commons it was voted down in the Lords. This could not prevent legislation but it could delay it – and it did so.

The question of both Irish and Scottish Home Rule were hot topics of the day in the UK.

As we all know in 1914 the horrendous conflict of The Great War came along and the process for Irish Home Rule was halted with the agreement of the main Irish Home Rule party. The horror of WW1, which was to be over by Christmas, dragged on for four more years.

In the meantime, thousands of Irish men fought for the UK, many would be killed. And as the bloody conflict went on and on unrest in Ireland continued at this now deeply unpopular war. The Easter Uprising in 1916 in Ireland was followed by brutal repression with thousands imprisoned.

It becomes an ever more tangle of complications and blood shed. The 1918 General Election in Ireland had sweeping gains by  Sinn Féin which had never stood in a general election but had been gaining support. The MPS elected for  Sinn Féin, who included the first woman ever elected, did not take up their seats in the House of Commons but set up the Irish Free State. The UK was not going to give up its hold on Ireland (which it still has in the North) and the Irish War of Independence led to more bloodshed and loss of life.

Ireland was then divided up – with the North remaining under the control of the UK .

Today, with the UK leaving the EU and Ireland still divided but with an International treaty protecting the rights of its citizens in the north, the decisions taken by politicians and unelected Lords in 1913 have had devastating consequences for many generations.

By Michael 1952 via Wikimedia Commons

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