W. S. Armour

Life
fl. 1934-1938; b. Ballymoney; son of James Brown Armour; editor of The Northern Whig; wrote a life of his father as Armour of Ballymoney (1934), dealing with such questions as the Irish Land War, the 1859 Religious Revival in Ulster, Edward Carson and the Ulster Volunteers and Sir Roger Casement’s nationalist career; also Facing the Irish Question (1935) and Ulster, Ireland, Britain: A Forgotten Trust (1938).

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Works
Armour of Ballymoney (London: Duckworth 1934), 393pp.; Facing the Irish Question (London: Duckworth 1935); Ulster, Ireland, Britain: A Forgotten Trust (London: Duckworth 1938) [see extract].

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Criticism
J. S. Crone, ‘Sgéala ó Chathair na gCeó’, review of Armour of Ballymoney, Irish Book Lover, Vol. XXII (Sept-Oct 1934), pp.102-03 [infra]; D. Ó C., review of Armour of Ballymoney, Irish Book Lover, Vol. XXIII (July-Aug. 1935), pp. 100-01; J. J. H., review of Facing the Irish Question, Irish Book Lover, Vol. XXIII (Sept-Oct 1935), p 120; ‘T.’ review of Mankind at the Watershed, Irish Book Lover, Vol. XXIV (Nov.-Dec 1936), p 141.

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Commentary
J. S. Crone, ‘Sgéala ó Chathair na gCeó’, Irish Book Lover, Vol. XXII (Sept-Oct 1934), , writes: “Mr. W. S. Armour, formerly editor of The Northern Whig, … I have read the proofs [of Armour of Ballymoney] and am well pleased with the treatment.” (pp.102-03.)

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Quotations
Ulster, Ireland, Britain: A Forgotten Trust (1938):
The Uses of Fiction” [Chap. VII]:
‘Century after century I see nothing in the arrangements made for Ireland (prior to modern remedial legislation) which had anything to do with either the welfare of the Irish people, the welfare of the setters as a whole or with the military protection of Great Britain. This “garrison” theory was devised, as Lecky points out, to secure monopolies in power. Nor as late as 1920 would any soldier have devised a winding frontier on a continental scale in a small [82] island for the supposed protection of great Britain. The purpose of the Act of Union was to maintain the ascendancy of a small caste at the cost of a whole population presumed hostile. So local political considerations, and nothing else, determined the are excluded from Ireland in 1920, with the collaboration of allied agencies in Britain.
Originally, of course, as is the case with all aggressors, the arrangements made to secure power were of necessity military, and the original fears never died down on the part of the organisations, nor yet the sense of wrong-doing, with which they infected whole innocent populations. What has been remarkable from the beginning is the determination that the original wrongs must never be righted. One might have supposed that in seven hundred and fifty years there would have been a place for repentance, some effort to drop the load of centuries of guilt. But this was and is the unpardonable sin, and indeed has amounted to High Treason, if anybody either in Britain or Ireland has made any effort to right the wrong. For North East Ulster the Imperial parliament has prevented even the opportunity of repentance.
From the eighteenth century onward the chief burden of responsibility for Ireland’s wrongs was placed on Landlords, but here the Imperial Parliament by abolishing the Dublin Parliament made itself directly responsible for fresh breaches of trust. “Every one of the Acts of parliament dealing with Irish land, between the Union and 1870”, says Lord Morley, “was in the interest [83] of the landlord and against the tenant.” The Acts of 1870 and 1881, though supposed to favour the tenant, were each construed in favour of the landlord. Lord Morley puts the blame on ignorance at Westminster, and suggests that British Cabinets made Irish Land Laws out of their own heads. if this was the case they worked with mathematical accuracy in favour of one side.’ (pp.82-84.)
Further:
‘Britain's first duty is surely to the Irish, as she admits that her first duty in India is to the Indians, not to the Planters: though neither are excluded from justice.’ (Ibid., p.205).

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