John Redmond

John Redmond John Edward Redmond (1 September 1856 – 6 March 1918) was an Irish nationalist politician, barrister, and MP in the British House of Commons. He was best known as leader of the moderate Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) from 1900 until his death in 1918. He was also leader of the paramilitary organisation the Irish National Volunteers (INV).

He was born to an old prominent Catholic family in rural Ireland; several relatives were politicians. He took over control of the minority IPP faction loyal to Charles Stewart Parnell when that leader died in 1891. Redmond was a conciliatory politician who achieved the two main objectives of his political life: party unity and, in September 1914, the passing of the Irish Home Rule Act. The Act granted limited self-government to Ireland, within the United Kingdom. However, implementation of Home Rule was suspended by the outbreak of the First World War. Redmond called on the National Volunteers to join Irish regiments of the New British Army and support the British and Allied war effort to restore the "freedom of small nations" on the European continent, thereby to also ensure the implementation of Home Rule after a war that was expected to be of short duration. However, after the Easter Rising of 1916, Irish public opinion shifted in favour of militant republicanism and full Irish independence, so that his party lost its dominance in Irish politics.

In sharp contrast to Parnell, Redmond lacked charisma. He worked well in small committees, but had little success in arousing large audiences. Parnell always chose the nominees to Parliament. Now they were selected by the local party organisations, giving Redmond numerous weak MPs over whom he had little control. Redmond was an excellent representative of the old Ireland, but grew increasingly old-fashioned because he paid little attention to the new forces attracting younger Irishmen, such as Sinn Féin in politics, the Gaelic Athletic Association in sports, and the Gaelic League in cultural affairs. He never tried to understand the unionist forces emerging in Ulster. Redmond was further weakened in 1914 by the formation by Sinn Féin members of the Irish Volunteers. His enthusiastic support for the British war effort alienated many Irish nationalists. His party had been increasingly hollowed out, and a major crisis—notably the Easter Rising—was enough to destroy it. Provided by Wikipedia

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by Redmond, John Edward
Published 1902
United Irish League of Great Britain