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Irish Tensions Boil Over In House Of Commons: Sectarian Strife Dominates Debate – Limerick Gazette

Irish Tensions Boil Over In House Of Commons: Sectarian Strife Dominates Debate

June 17, 1901 – Yesterday afternoon, the House of Commons witnessed firsthand the volatile nature of Irish character when religious matters are brought to the forefront. In an attempt to retaliate against Nationalists’ interference in Belfast, Mr Johnston cited the case of a Protestant doctor in Limerick. He implied that the doctor was being persecuted and deprived of his rights as a British citizen due to the instigation of specific Roman Catholic priests.

The mentioning of this case stirred a passionate response from eight Nationalist members, who leaped to their feet to express their discontent. Their tempers and excitement illustrated an almost comical level of intensity, exemplified by Mr Flavin’s declaration that he wished to address the point made by the Treasury Bench. In reality, the Irish Secretary had yet to provide an answer, and was merely waiting for an opportunity to speak as he watched the eruption of Irish sectarian emotions before him.

Once the question was answered, the controversy resumed with fervor, as Nationalists passionately cried out “proselytiser” with various accents. However, the Speaker eventually intervened, ruling that the dispute must come to an end. Despite this authoritative order, the scent of the ongoing sectarian strife was too strong to resist, and the heated debate persisted.

This incident in the House of Commons serves as a vivid illustration of the deep-rooted tensions and sectarian emotions that define Irish politics during troubled times. The impassioned response to the Limerick case by Nationalists underscores the ongoing challenge of reconciling religious and political divisions

Dundee Evening Post – Wednesday 19 June 1901