John Redmond (1856-1918)


Life
[John Edward; J. E. Redmond]; Irish Parl. Party leader; b. 1 Sept. 1856, Ballytrant Hse. [err. Ballytrent], Co. Wexford; son of William Archer Redmond and Mary [née] Hoey, dg. of Major Hoey of Hoeyfield, Co. Wicklow; ed. Clongowes and TCD; appt. to clerkship in House of Commons, where his father was an MP; his mother was Mary [née] Hoey, dg. of Major Hoey of Hoeyfield, Co. Wicklow; elected MP for New Ross, 1881-85; principal lieutenant of Charles Stewart Parnell; toured Australia with William Redmond, MP North Wexford, 1885-91; addressed the Irish Literary Society on ‘Wexford in ’98’, 1885; Gray’s Inn and English bar, 1885, Irish bar 1887; elected Nationalist MP for Waterford, 1891-1918;
 
assumed Presidency of United Irish League fnd. by William O’Brien, making it the party machine of the IPP, 1900 (with 100,000 members by 1901); carried League organisation to American against opposition of Devoy and Clan na Gael; remained loyal to Parnell in Split; leading the remnant; Chairman reunited Party at formation of United Irish League, 1900; protested ‘usurpation of the government of Ireland by the English parliament’ in a nationalist meeting of Aug. 1902 which was held to pronounce party refusal to participate in the coronation of Edward VII; differed with O’Brien and others over implementation of the Wyndam Act, 1906;
 
lectured in America (‘What the last ten years had accomplished for Ireland’, Detroit 1910); lacked support of Tim Healy and William O’Brien; supported Asquith in exchange for Home Rule policy, 1911; forced Asquith and the Liberals to present Third Home Rule Bill of 1912 but resisted women’s suffrage as involving redrawing of electoral constituencies, hence dilating Irish vote in Westminster; allowed only temporary exclusion of Ulster; demanded control of the Irish Volunteers committee through majority of seats on it;
 
assured Government of the loyalty of the Irish Volunteers at the outbreak of war (160,000 men by July 1914); made speech at Woodenbridge, 20 Sept. 1914, urging nationalists to enlist in British Army, seemingly banking on a short war and resulting in diminished popular support for the Irish National League United Irish League [aka United Irish League]; Kitchener’s refusal to form a division based on the Irish Volunteers while incorporating the UVF in toto as the 36th Division further injured Redmond’s prestige;
 
formation of Anti-War committee by James Connolly; 120,000 Irish Volunteers join the British Forces, 10,000, remaining behind to form the force involved in the 1916 Rising - which he called ‘a German intrigue’; Redmond regarded 1916 as ‘a German intrigue’; pleaded for remission of capital sentences; lived in Ireland at Aughavanagh, a big house in Co. Wicklow, formerly the shooting lodge of Charles Stewart Parnell; oil portrait by Henry Hones Thaddeus in the National Gallery of Ireland and another by Sir John Lavery in the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art (Parnell Sq.); Redmond was characterised by Sean O’Faolain as the ‘true Norman type’ in The Irish (1947); his papers are in the National Library of Ireland. JMC ODNB DIB DIH FDA OCIL

Presenting the flag to the Irish Volunteers, 1915.

[For portraits and further images of Redmond,
go the the Multitext Gallery at UCC - online.]

Note: A photo of Aughavanagh Lodge appears in F. S. L. Lyons, Charles Stewart Parnell (Collins 1977), on 336, facing.

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Works
  • Historical and Political Addresses 1883-1897 (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker 1898);
  • Ireland and the Coronation: Why Ireland is Discontented (UIL of Great Britain pamphlets No. 2, 1901);
  • Richard Barry O’Brien, ed., Speeches of John Redmond MP (London: Fisher Unwin 1910);
  • Account of a Visit to the Front of J. E. Redmond, M.P. in November 1915: with a speech Delivered by Mr Redmond on 23 Nov. 1915 (London 1915);
  • Ireland and the War; Extracts from Speeches made in the House of Commons and in Ireland since the Outbreak of the War (Dublin: Sealy, Bryers & Walker 1915);
  • What the Irish Regiments have Done (London: T. Fisher Unwin 1916).
  • Introduction to Michael MacDonagh, The Irish at the Front (London 1916), pp.1-14

Papers of John Redmond in the National Library of Ireland - Collection List No. 118 [online; accessed 10.10.2010.] The list has been compiled by Compiled by Dr Brian Kirby holder of the Studentship in Irish History provided by the National Library of Ireland in association with the National Committee for History. 2005-2006.

Note: D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982; 1991), cites J. E. Remond, Ireland and the Coronation: Why Ireland is Discontented (UIL of Great Britain pamphlets No. 2, 1901); Account of a Visit to the Front of J. E. Redmond, M.P. in November 1915: with a speech Delivered by Mr Redmond on 23 Nov. 1915 (London 1915); Introduction to Michael MacDonagh, The Irish at the Front (London 1916), pp.1-14 (Boyce, op. cit., pp.272-73; n., p.292.)

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Criticism
  • L. G. Redmond-Howard, John Redmond: The Man and the Demand, a Biographical Study in Irish Politics (London 1910), ill.;
  • Warre B. Wells, John Redmond: A Biography (London: Longmans 1919);
  • Nicholas S. Mansergh, ‘John Redmond’, in The Shaping of Modern Ireland, ed. Conor Cruise O’Brien (1960);
  • F. S. L. Lyons, ‘Dillon, Redmond and the Irish Home Rulers’, in F. X. Martin, ed., Leaders and Men of the Easter Rising, Dublin 1916 (London 1967);
  • Denis Gwynn, The Life of John Redmond (London: Harrap 1932; rep. [NY:] 1971) [contents];
  • Joseph P. Finnan, John Redmond and Irish Unity, 19121918 (Syracuse NY 2004);
  • Paul Bew, John Redmond [for Historical Assoc. of Ireland] (Dundalk: Dundalgan Press 1997), 67pp.;
  • Dermot Meleady, Redmondite: The Parnellite (Cork UP 2008), 423pp.
  • S. Collins, ‘John Redmond: Discarded Leader’, in Studies, Vol. 98 [No. 390] (Dublin: 2009), pp.123-33;
  • pp. 159-68.
 
See also ...
  • Paul Bew, Ideology and the Irish Question: Ulster Unionism and Irish Nationalism 1912-1916 (Oxford: Clarendon 1994) [promoting higher regard for IPP policies in face of contemporary Northern Unionism];
  • Patrick Maume, The Long Gestation: Irish Nationalist Life 1891-1918 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1999);
  • Pat Walsh, The Rise and Fall of Imperial Ireland: Redmondism in the Context of Britain’s Conquest of South Africa and Its Great War on Germany 1899-1916 (Belfast: Athol Books 2003), 594pp.
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Bibliographical details
Denis Gwynn, The Life of John Redmond (London: George G. Harrap & Co. 1932), 611pp., index. Written from papers entrusted to the author by WA Redmond, DSO (his late son). CONTENTS [each chap. with summary heading]: The Parnellite; The New Leader; Liberal Promises; The House of Lords; The Home Rule Bill; The ‘Ulster’ Agitation; The Offer to ‘Ulster’; The Defiance of Parliament; The eve of War; Home Rule on the Statute Books; The Recruiting Campaign; Disillusionments; The Dublin Insurrection; The Attempted Settlement; The Rise of Sinn Fein; The Irish Convention; Index.

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Commentary
L. G. Redmond-Howard, John Redmond, The Man and the Demand [biographical study in Irish politics] (London: Hurst & Blackett 1910), 9 ills. and port. photo by Poole of Waterford; 352pp., index. CONTENTS, Introduction; Family, Birth, Education; First Years in Parliament, Pubic Life, Election, Colonial Tours; The Parnell Crisis; The Home Rule Bill; The Independent; The New Leader; John Redmond and the Conservatives, The south African War, His Loyalty, Devolution; Redmond and the Liberals, The Education Bills and the Catholic University; [Redmond and the Liberals continued] The Devolution Scheme, the Land and the Lords; The Man; the Man and His Methods; The Message, the Irish Demand; The Mission; The Present Position). Ills. include Strongbow’s Monument; Parliament House, Dublin; Henry Grattan, and a Punch cartoon, ‘The Irony of Circumstances’ [Redmond, ‘Well, if I can’t rule in Dublin I can here’].

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Joseph Devlin, leader of the Nationalist Party in Northern Ireland:
Mr Devlin was the principal speaker at a gathering in Wexford yesterday in commemoration of the anniversary of the death of Mr John Redmond, leader for many years of the Irish Nationalist Party in the House of Commons.
  In the course of an eloquent tribute to his former leader, Mr Devlin said that in the last few years the scales had been dropping from the eyes of the Irish people. Disillusion had followed on disaster: there had been a rude awakening.
 ‘Is the solidarity of the Irish race as secure now as it was in John Redmond’s day,’ Mr Devlin asked. ‘Is the integrity of the nation assured? Are the prospects of fraternity between North and South as hopeful as in the days when John Redmond was disarming Orange prejudices and those of us who believed in his methods and policy were conscious of the up-growth of a broad and generous spirit of patriotic comradeship between the Nationalists of the North and an ever-increasing section of the more intelligent and cultured of those who differed from us in religious beliefs? I need only ask these questions to suggest the answer.
 The past could not be undone, Mr Devlin said, and if the future was to be fashioned aright Irishmen most agree to sink their differences and devote themselves to a work of co-operating, as far as, might be, in building up a nation of prosperous free men. Was it any wonder that in these days, in view of all that had occurred and all that John Redmond had sought to prevent, his countrymen were beginning to turn with deep and heartfelt yearning towards the silent grove in Wexford? The great gathering there twelve months ago had been a wonderful revelation of a new phase of national thought in Ireland, and that revelation was confirmed by the great gathering again this year. It was, of course, part of the natural reaction after a period of painful delusionment but it was more. It marked a slow, gradual return to the paths of true patriotism. Nations could not live for long in an atmosphere of fevered unrest. Irelnd would have to get back to the pracical, is somewhat prosy and unpicturesque, world of making their country a happier, healthier, more prosperous land, where a people at peace with each other could enjoy a little more of the brightness and sweetness of life, of its comforts, its culture, its social amenities, and all those things that made for the moral and material advances of the masses.
 Brighter prospects for the farmer, improved conditions for the labourer, sanitation in the town and villages, better housing accommodation, the abolition of the slum and the sweating system, a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work, and, with equal emphasis, a fair day’s work for a fair day’s wages, lighter taxation, increased trade, improved transit, new industries - these things and many others of a kindred character were vitally important. No doubt, such work was lacking in histrionic effect. They had had sufficient thrills and enough limelight effects for their generation.

Reprinted in The Irish Times (9 March 2013, Weekend Review, p.6; also available [with password] at Irish Times Archive - online.

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James Stephens, Insurrection in Dublin (1916): ‘Mr Redmond told that lie [that Ireland was on England’s side in the war] and he is answerable to England for the violence she had to be guilty of; … without his lie there had been no insurrection … Ireland must in ages gone have been guilty of abominable crimes or she would not at this juncture have been afflicted with John Redmond.’ (Cited in Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences, 1947, p.146-47).

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Rev. Robert O’Loughran, Redmond’s Vindication (Dublin: Talbot Press; London: T. Fisher Unwin 1919), ded. to Mrs. Redmond; Foreword; The War and Prussia; Redmond; ‘Ireland Again’; America and Ireland; The Allies; Russia; The Leader’s Fate. Letter to author from Augustine Birrell (My Dear Fr. O’Loughran), prefixed. TEXT: ‘In the modern world nations have tried to think of their nationality as the chief treasure to be guarded; and the Celt has fallen into this error too. There is a tendency not only to overrate our national characteristics, but to place ourselves outside Europe. We believed that the world has inherited everything from us. Beside us, we argue the Latin peoples are decadent and the Saxons dull. The whole tendency is to become provincial in our national outlook. Germany ought to cure us of this folly. […] This great war should make us not only more Irish, but also more European. The Celt, whether in France, Cornwall, Scotland, or Wales, is fighting for Europe against a people who have fallen into our provincial error far more resolutely than we ever fell into it … [so] filled with an overwhelming sense of their own nationality that they have lost their sense of Europe.’ [xii] Goes on to evoke Swift and Lucas, and blames England and Germany for the war. ‘When Redmond offered the hand of friendship to England in Aug., 1914, he had at his back four times the number of young men that Grattan had. England missed her supreme chance of settling the Irish Question then. Ireland had forgiven England but England had not…. when the war began Ireland forget seven centuries of horrible torturings and butcherings perpetrated by English soldiers in Ireland [xvi] … Had England trusted John Redmond as Ireland did since Parnell’s death, there would be no need of vindicating him before his countrymen. [xvii] … The Irish exiles have carried their vengeance and their glory to foreign fields. John Redmond spent his life trying to unite Celt and Saxon. It was no easy task. For misrule and anti-democratic policy has made the grass grow on the quays of Limerick and causes the lordly Shannon to roll down to the sea, bearing on her majestic bosom no mark of national greatness and no emblem of a nation’s pride. Providence has done her part for Ireland, but England has neglected hers. Ireland, walled in by the sea, is destined to be independent and free. This is her patent from heaven. No Irish leader since the Act of Union brought her so near the Promised Land as John Redmond. And it is certainly not his fault, that now in Ireland rebellion appears on the back of a flying enemy and revolutionary flames on the breast-plate of a victorious warrior. English misrule in Ireland has caused both.’ (Queenstown, May 9th 1918.)

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Peter Costello, The Heart Grown Brutal: The Irish Revolution in Literature from Parnell to the Death of W. B. Yeats 1891-1939 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1977): ‘John Redmond, speaking for the Irish middle classes, offerd the Irish Volunteers to the British government, and most of them followed his brother to the ranks.’ [&c.] (p.86.)

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Joseph Lee, Ireland 1912-1985 (CUP 1989), William O’Brien, the maverick Home Ruler, suggested that ‘Ulster’ should have a veto in the Irish parliament, a suggesting enthusiastically supported by Redmond (See Gwynn, John Redmond, p.238). ‘It was not until Redmond actually urged his followers to enlist in the British Army, at Wooden Bridge, Co Wicklow, 20 Sept. 1914, that the more extreme nationalists left compelled to repudiate him … Home Rule went on Statute Book Sept. 1914, its operations suspended till the end of the war, and with special provisions allowed for Ulster.’ (p.21.) ‘Perhaps only 13,000 of the 188,000 Irish Volunteers seceded from Redmond, whose group became known as the National Volunteers.’ (p.22.) Lee notes that the figures cited vary but the order of relative magnitude remains constant. (Idem.) ‘Redmond’s Freeman’s Journal represented the Easter Rising it as a German plot, as he himself did in his speech in Westminster (p.29.) Lee argues that Redmond’s ‘one nation’ theory left him powerless to combat Unionism, while Sinn Fein’s abstention from Partition talks gave the Unionists a free hand. [47]. Lee quotes Gwynn’s biography to the effect that Redmond believed England to be fighting ‘in defence of right, of freedom and of religion’ and broadly acknowledges of Redmond’s ‘genuine if imaginative conviction’, (op. cit., 20-24.)

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Paul Bew, on Parnell, Fortnightly Review, Oct. 1991: [After 1903 Wyndham land act] ‘a substantial minority, led by William O’Brien, argued that a new era had dawned, that the old slogans of struggle and knee-jerk anti-landlordism inevitably also anti-Protestantism) were irrelevant. An equally substantial minority, led by John Dillon, argued that exploitation of agrarian grievance was essential to the vitality of nationalism and it was necessary to maintain the traditional watchwords. The ‘middle’ of the Irish party remained silent; in his heart, Redmond preferred the O’Brien version, but he allowed himself - slowly and with obvious reluctance - to live with the Dillon line … conciliation of creeds and classes … never got its chance … slogans of agrarian warfare … merely set Catholic-nationalist farmer against Catholic-nationalist farmer.’ (p.20.)

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Paul Bew, reviewing David Dutton, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, The Unionist Party in Opposition 1905-15 (Liverpool UP 1992): ‘Bonar Law warmly told Redmond that his action in supporting the British war effort ended fears of a security-risk to Britain through Home Rule in Dublin. The essence of his case was a view that no government has a right to expel a substantial coherent community which wished to remain on terms of equality within the UK polity. […] Bonar Law’s Blenheim Speech contains the highly provocative if windy phrase, “We can imagine nothing which the Unionists in Ireland can do which will not be justified”. But the intellectual nub of it lies elsewhere, he told his British Unionist audience of 30,000, “Does anyone imagine that British troops will be used to shoot down men, who enjoy no privilege which is not enjoyed by you, whose only offence is that they refuse to surrender the rights which none of you would surrender? The thing is unthinkable.” it is worth remembering that many influential Liberals agreed on this point. (The Irish Times, 3 Oct. 1992.)

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D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982): ‘What Home Rule Stood For, 1891-1918’, espec. 280ff., ‘Joyce Redmond’s inability to make home rule a reality, to establish some kind of separate government in Ireland, even at the price of partition, was fatal to his cause. Redmond had claimed that Irishmen were sacrificing themselves for freedom; but freedom was as far away in 1918 as it had beenin 1914, and the whole concept of home rule, with its emotional symbolism, with its associations of Irish dignity, [287] freedom, and nationhood, was now seen to be a trick, a chimera, almost an insult to the nation. The home rulers had lost an ideology, and not yet found a role, for the union of hears was also in ruins, and the withdrawal of the parliamentary party from Westminster over conscription amounted to a denial of the long standing conviction that Ireland’s battles could beset be fought [there.]’ (pp.287-88.) Quotes Redmond: ‘as a nationalist, I do not regards as entirely palatable the idea that for ever and a day Ireland’s voice should be excluded from the councils of an empire which the genius and valour of her sons have done so much to build up, and of which she is to remain a part.’ (Gwynn, Redmond, 1932; Boyce, p.280; See further under Quotations, infra.)

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D. G. Boyce, ‘Separatism and the Irish National Tradition’, in Colin H. Williams, ed., National Separatism (Cardiff: Wales UP 1982): ‘John Redmond’s inability to make home rule a reality, to establish some kind of governent in Ireland, was fatal to his cause. Redmond claimed that Irishmen were sacrificing themselves for freedom; but freedom was as dar away as ever in 1918, and the whole concept of home rule, with its emotional symbolism, its association with Irish dignity, freedom, and nationhood, was now seen to be a trick, a fraud, almost an insult to the nation. Home rule had stood for independence, and a nation once again; but from 1912, and especially from 1914, its image had been transformed; and now it stood for devolution and a wider British patriotism. This might not have proved unsuccessful in the short term (though its eventual triumph was always doubtful) if all had gone well during the war; but the rising and the conscription crisis had drained home rule of its mystique, and the aprty suffered losses at by-elections in 1917 and 1918, and then a complete defeat in the general election of December [96] 1918, because it could no longer claim that it stood for the onward march of a nation: “we could get all that we required and all that would be good for us”, on home ruler declared [Willie Redmond, in Munster Express, 14 Dec. 1918]. The new voice of nationalist Ireland, Sinn Féin, captured the ideology of home rule, affirming that it stood in the Parnellite tradition […] In short, “republic” was now the Irish for independence, just as home rule had been between 1886 and 1912.’ (pp.96-97.)

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Margaret Ward, ‘“The Suffrage Above All Else!”: An Account of the Irish Suffrage Movement”, in Irish Women’s Studies: A Reader, ed. Ailbhe Smyth (Dublin: Attic Press 1993) - re. a women’s franchise Conciliation Bill: ‘On March 28, 1912, in the second session of Parliament, after the government had promised that the bill would receive time to go through all the necessary stages, it was defeated by fourteen votes - and this time, only four irish MPS had voted in its favour. Sylvia Pankhurst was convinced that the wrecking of the Bill was a direct result of this unexpectedly large Irish voting pattern. There was another reason for this abrupt change of heart: Redmond’s realisation of the repercussions involved in franchise reform. if the franchise was extended, this would have to occur along with general election reform, including redistribution of seats. Giving the vote to the working class and women would assist the rise of Sinn Féin, while a redistribution of seats would strengthen the Unionists in Ulster. The Irish Party was confronted by “the devil of Sinn Féin and the deep sea of Ulster manchinations inside the Unionist party” (d. Morgan, Suffragettes and Liberals, Oxford: Blackwell 1975, p.147.) Redmond was painfully aware that any measure of female suffrage was an opening of the floodgates. / Redmond’s opportunism came in for increasing [27] criticism, and not only from suffragists. C. P. Scott, editor of the Manchester Guardian, tried to urge him to reconsider his attitude by pointing out the inconsistency of a home rule party betraying the very principle of home rule - “that emancipation for Irish men [would be] purchased at the cost of its refusal for English women.” (Morgan, op. cit., p.113.) it was only with considerable reluctance that many Liberals continued to support the aspirations of the Irish Party.’ (pp.27-28.)

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Margaret Ward (‘“The Suffrage Above All Else!”: An Account of the Irish Suffrage Movement”, 1993) - further notes that Redmond’s meeting at the Gresham in Feb. 1912 was the object of a demonstration demaning Home Rule for Irish women as well as men while two months later they were told my him that he would never support female suffrage under any circumstances (Irish Citizen, 4 Jan. 1913). A Home Rule rally of April 1912 specifically precluded women causing the suffragettes to retaliate with a meeting at the Antient Concert Rooms on 1 June 1912 attended by Mary Hayden and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington among representatives of 19 organisations from all parts of Ireland. (Ward, p.29.) Mrs. Sheehy-Skeffington warned that if the franchise of women were not supported, they would ‘find other ways’ of pursuing their claims. (Ward, p.30.) Francis Sheehy-Skeffington disguised himself as a clergyman in order to attend the reception meeting for Asquith in July 1912, before being ejected on calling for votes for women and an end to forced feeding of women prisoners - as narrated in Cousins and Cousins, We Two Together, India: Talbot 1950, p.187). On that occasion the English premier was struck by a small blunt hatchet. (Ward, p.31.) [Cont.]

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Margaret Ward (‘“The Suffrage Above All Else!”: An Account of the Irish Suffrage Movement”, 1993) - cont.: ‘In June 1914 Redmond managed to inveigle control over the Volunteers (in order to preserve unity, militant nationalists remained silent) and feminist fury [39] exploded. Not only were women excluded from the Volunteer executive, and were confined to meekly raising money for the men, but they were actually working for the man who had opposed women being given the vote in the New Ireland. Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington in exasperation dismissed Cumann na mBan as merely an “animated collection box for men”, whose “blind sacrifice” was accustoming men to “acquiesce in women’s enslavement”’ (Irish Citizen, 12 June 1915). [...] Even Countess Markievicz, President of Cumann na mBan, admitted that the organisation’s main function was “to collect funds for men to spend”, a process which she believed demoralised women and deprived them of initiative and independence (Irish Citizen, 23 Oct. 1915). At this time she was far more involved in Connolly’s Citizen Army, which accepted women and men on an equal basis. Markievicz did not take Cumann na mBan seriously until after the 1916 Rising, by which time the organisation had changed considerably as the new recruits took on a much more active military role in response to the demands of guerrilla warfare.’ (pp.39-40.)

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Carol Shloss, ‘Molly’s Resistance to the Union: Marriage and Colonialism in Dublin, 1904’, in Molly Blooms: A Polylogue on "Penelope" and Cultural Studies, ed. Richard Pearce, Wisconsin UP 1994): ‘John Redmond, the leader of the Irish Nationalists, was vehemently opposed to women’s enfranchisement, and although the I.WY.L. [Irish Women’s Francise League] was intent on ensuring that votes for women be incorporated within the proposed Home Rule Bill, he persisted in believing that including women in the bill would divide the nationalist ranks and also lead to the resignation of British Prime Minister Asquith. Should the Liberal government fail, Redmond reasoned, the Home Rule Bill would be jeopardized just as completely as it had been in the time of Parnell. Kitty [Katharine] O’Shea, in one generation, and the women suffragists in the next, played the role of demon lovers whose acknowledgment had broken/would break the solidarity and effectiveness of the Irish Party. Despite a variety of tactics on the part of women - some of them rhetorical and some of them violent - the Home Rule Bill of 1913 left the women of Ireland without a vote. / C. P. Scott, editor of The Manchester Guardian, “tried to urge [Redmondl to reconsider his attitude by pointing out the inconsistency of a Home Rule party betraying the very principle of Home Rule - ‘that emanciipation for Irish men [would be] purchased at the cost of its refusal [114] for women’.” […] Only when Padraic Pearse read the Republican Proclamation in front of the General Post Office at the Easter Rising of 1916 was the principle of equal citizenship for Irish men and Irish women affirmed. In 1922 the franchise was finally extended to women.’ (Quoting Margaret Ward, ‘“Suffrage First - Above All Else!”, An Account of the Irish Suffrage Movement’, in Feminist Review, 10, 1982, pp.21-26, in which is quoted David Morgan [q.source] on C. P. Scott; and see also Ward, supra.]

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Quotations
House of Commons Speech (3 Aug. 1914): ‘The House will remember that in 1778, at the end of the disastrous American War, when … the military power of this country was almost at its lowest ebb, and when the shores of Ireland were threatened with foreign invasion, a body of 100,000 Irish volunteers sprang into existence for the purpose of defending her shores … from the very first day, the Catholics of the South and West subscribed money and sent it towards arming of their Protestant fellow-countrymen … in the North. May history repeat itself today? There are in Ireland two large bodies of Volunteers … I say to the Government that they may tomorrow withdraw every one of their troops from Ireland. I say that the coast of Ireland will be defended from foreign invasion by her armed sons., and for this purpose nationalist Catholics in the South will be only to glad to join arms with the armed Protestant Ulstermen in the North …’ (Hansard 5th ser., lxv, cols 1828-9, 3 Aug. 1914; FDA3 624.)

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Irish battalions: ‘[W]henever a battalion of the Irish brigade goes into action there may be a battalion of the Ulster Division alongside of them. I need not point out the moral to you. That is the way to end the unhappiness and the discords and the confusion of Ireland. Let Irishmen come together in the trenches and spill their blood together and I say there is no power on earth that when they come home can induce them to turn as enemies one upon another.’ (Account of a Visit to the Front of J. E. Redmond, M.P. in November 1915: with a speech Delivered by Mr Redmond on 23 Nov. 1915, London 1915; cited in Boyce, op. cit., p.284.)

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Self-government: ‘Our ideal in the movement is a self-governing Ireland of the future, when all her sons, of all races and creeds, within her shores will bring their tribute, great or small, to the great total of national enterprise, national statesmanship, and national happiness’ (quoted in Gwynn, John Redmond, p.220; cited in Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland, 1982, p.281.)

Military might: ‘No people can be said to have rightly proved their nationhood and their power to maintain it until they have demonstrated their military powers; and though Irish blood has reddend the earth of every continent, never untilnow have we as a people set a national army in the field … It is heroic deeds entering into their traditions that give life to nations - that is the recompense of those who die to perform them.’ (Introduction to Michael MacDonagh, The Irish at the Front, 1916; cited in Boyce, op. cit. 1982, p.285.)

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Sinn Féin?: ‘What is called the Sinn Féin movement is simply a temporary cohesion of isolated cranks in carious parts of the country, and it would be impossible to say exactly what their [176] principles are, or what their objects. In fact, they have no policy and no leader and do not amount to a row of pins as far as the future of Ireland is concerned.’ (quoted in Maurice Headlam, Irish Reminiscences, 1947, p.177.)

St Patrick’s Day, 1917 (Speech), ‘Unionist and Nationalist, Catholic and Protestant … combined for a common purpose, to fight the good fight for liberty and civilisation, and, in a special way for the future liberty and honour of their own country’; quoted in Bryan Cooper, The Tenth [Irish] Division in Gallipoli, 1918; rep. Dublin: IAP 1993; reviewed by Keith Jeffrey, Linen Hall Review, Autumn 1994.)

Redmond in 1917 - To one of the Ulster delegates who asked him to put his cards on the table: ‘I have no cards. I am a leader without a party’ (Quoted in A. T. Q. Stewart, Edward Carson, Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 1981, p.114.)

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War dead: ‘Every Irish soldier who gave his life on the battlefield died for Ireland as truly as any of Ireland’s martyrs of the past.’ (Quoted Kevin Myers, reviewing in Irish Times, 8 Oct. 1992).

Partition: ‘Irish nationalists can never be assenting parties to the mutilation of the Irish nation; Ireland is a unit … The two nation theory is, to us, an abomination and a blasphemy.’ [John Redmond; cited in Anthony Alcock, Understanding Ulster (Lurgan: Ulster Society 1994); quoted from David Trimble, The Foundation of Northern Ireland (Lurgan: Ulster Soc. 1991), p.8-9.]

 

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, ‘three main points gained, control of local govt., ownership of land, and statuary establishment of Irish parliament with executive responsible to it; nationalist, devoid of hostility to Britain, who aimed at free Ireland within the Empire.’

Justin McCarthy, gen. ed., Irish Literature (Washington: University of America 1904); ‘First Steps Toward Home Rule’, extract from speech in Chicago, Aug. 18 1886.

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Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, selects Speeches of John Redmond MP (1910), ‘Ireland and the Boer War’ (Westminster 7 Feb. 1900); also ‘The Administration of Justice in Ireland’; and Ireland and the War [339-46]; his tactics of conciliation misunderstood unionism … unlike Parnell in relying on British politicians to deliver Home Rule … [his] policy of conciliation culminated in his Woodenbridge speech … leading to no political gain [Seamus Deane, ed.], 211-[13]; Thomas Clarke testifies to John Redmond’s responding to his prison letter with many a visit, and ‘whose kindness I can never forget’, 282-83; Eoin MacNeill’s analysis of unionism (1913), ‘Ireland is to be held for the empire or for the empyrean, against the pope, against John Redmond, or against the man in the moon’, 287; [320n]; Redmond, ‘I assert my belief that the dethronement of Mr Parnell will be the signal for kindling the fires of dissension in every land were the Irish race has found a home’ (6th Day in Committee room No.15, reported in T. P. O’Connor 1929), 326; John Redmond, ‘He is the master of the Party. Then Mr Healy cried, ‘Who is to be mistress of the Party?’ [ibid.], 327; [331]; ‘leading the little band who still upheld the name of the Parnell’, 335; William O’Brien, ‘The Case of Mr Redmond’, The Downfall of Parliamentarianism (1918), Chap. VI, ‘..the best defence of Mr Redmond’s leadership is that he never was the leader … managed to persuade himself that his optimism was not insincere, the true explanation of the almost uninterrupted series of blunders which characterised the course of his nominal leadership, is that he found himself compelled to pursue a programme in which he profoundly disbelieved … ’, 350-51; Shaw’s ironic comments on British expectations of Redmond, ‘if he began to use his powers to make himself agreeable instead of making himself reckoned with by the enemy … ’ (Pref., John Bull’s Other Island 1904), 477, and note on his loss of leadership through support of enlistment, 478n; urged Irish to enlist in British army during WWI in return for promise of Home rule, threatened resignation at 1916 executions, lost ground to Sinn Féin, humiliated [not to ibid], 506; Douglas Hyde, in Necessity &c., ‘whether Mr Redmond or Mr MacCarthy lead the largest wing of the Irish party [of no importance], 532. [Cont.]

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Seamus Deane (The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing, 1991), Vol. 2 - cont.: Irish Council Bill rejected by, 740; Aodh de Blacam (in Towards the Republic, 1918) asserts that in Western Ireland ‘you may meet strong farmers who have never heard of John Redmond’, 985; Gaelic League applauded by Redmond (Frederick Ryan reports), 998; [370: Works & Criticism, as supra.] Vol. 3 [Joyce’s “Home Rule Comet”: ‘the Irish leader Redmond proclaimed the happy news to a crowd of fishermen’, 11; Joyce, “Ivy Day”, no direct ref.], 25n; Seán Ó Faolain, ‘once the Land Acts had been won, John Redmond was the weaker for it’ (The Bell, 1943), 103; [compared to Birmingham, 411; Sean O’Casey, ‘H. H. Asquith, Prime Minister, stood side by side with John Redmond at a recruiting meeting in the house of Dublin’s Lord Mayor, but the forest of British guns and bayonets round the building kept his voice from travelling; and Dublin roared out her contempt for the pair of political brokers, but still the swinging columns of Kellys, Burkes, and Sheas tramped to the quays, and, singing, went forth to battle for England, little nations, and homes unfit for humans to live in … ’ (Drums Under the Window, 1945), 456; Bulmer Hobson at odds with McDermott over admission of Redmond’s nominees to the Irish Volunteers (Ireland Yesterday and Tomorrow, 1968), 504; Patrick Shea, ‘.. a body blow had been dealt the Irish Parliamentary Party. John Redmond, its leader, had urged his followers to join in the fight for the freedom of small nations; he had lost his brother at the battle of the Somme … the Sinn Fein party had benefited enormously’ (Voices and the Sound of Drums, 1981), 537; [‘Faolain, no word Gael in Redmond, et al., 570; [nul 622]; Redmond’s Westminster speech of 3 Aug. 1914 [see supra], 624; [Deane, ed., Redmond at Woodenbridge in 1914, ?err], 683; [not wanted, in Larkin’s ‘Scathing Indictment, 1913 [printed ?1920], 711; imprisoned in 1888 [cited in the dock by Francis Sheehy-Skeffington, 716; Connolly on IPP recruitment policy, ‘reveal in a most striking and unmistakable manner the depths of betrayal to which so-called Nationalist politicians are willing to sink’, 725; ‘the betrayal of the national democracy’ [ibid.], 726; [more, ibid.], 727.

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Belfast Public Library holds Great Irishmen (1920); Historical and Political Addresses (1898); Home Rule Speeches, ed. R. Barry O’Brien (1910). Also (biog.), Stephen Gwynn, John Redmond’s Last Years (1919).

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Notes
Who Fears to Speak? John Redmond addressed the Society on ‘Wexford in ’98’ in 1885 (see W. P. Ryan, The Irish Literary Revival, 1894, p.24).

Francis Ledwidge would not be associated with a motion congratulating Redmond at Navan Rural Council, 10 Oct. 1914, following Woodenbridge; see remarks quoted by Seamus Heaney in an article on Francis Ledwidge, in The Irish Times, 21 Oct. 1992 [under Ledwidge, supra].

James Joyce held a copy of What the Irish Regiments have Done (London: T. Fisher Unwin 1916), stamped “J.J.”, in his Trieste Library. (See Richard Ellmann, The Consciousness of James Joyce, Faber, p.125 [Appendix].

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Portraits of John Redmond: 1] oil by Sir John Lavery, Municipal (see Anne Crookshank, Irish Portraits Exhibition, Ulster Mus. 1965); a bust of 1910 by Francis W. Doyle-Jones in the House of Commons, rep. as frontispiece port. in Denis Gwynn’s Life of Redmond; also as photograph in Rosslare Strand Hotel, Co. Wexford; a photo-card of same in copy placed beside funerary plaque with last words of ‘love’ from J. E. Redmond, his grand-uncle, of Wexford town (d.1865).

United in death: There is a photograph of the men of the 16th (Irish) and 36th (Ulster) Divisions standing at the grave of Major Willie Redmond, Sept. 1917, in the Imperial War Museum collection. (See Fortnight [Belfast], June 2003, p.8.)

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Poster boy: A poster of 1910, designed by G. R. Halkett under the caption “Their Irish Master”, shows John Redmond leading Asquith (PM), Lloyd George and Winston Churchill by the nose towards Home Rule. A rare surviving copy measuring 30 x 90 inches and intended for display at a meeting was auctioned by Bloomsbury, London, on St. Patrick’s Day, 2011, with a reserve prise of £150.

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