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Limerick Voices Resound in Support of Home Rule |

Limerick Voices Resound in Support of Home Rule

In a gathering of unprecedented magnitude on the historic streets of Limerick, Ireland, the fervent call for Home Rule echoed through the crowd as speakers passionately addressed the assembly. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm as people from every corner of the nation converged to make their stance clear on the pivotal question of Ireland’s self-governance.

The headline event featured Mr John Dillon, Member of Parliament, who received an enthusiastic ovation as he took the stage. The cheers that erupted lasted for several minutes, underscoring the intensity of the moment. Mr Dillon wasted no time in delving into the purpose of the mammoth assembly, declaring, “Fellow-Nationalists, I ask you first for what purpose has this mighty assemblage been called? It has been called together to ask Ireland whether Ireland is for or against Home Rule.”

Dispelling any notion that the assembly aimed to preemptively accept a specific Home Rule Bill. He emphasized that the primary objective was to provide Ireland, through its representatives, with the opportunity to declare its stance on national government versus the rule of the stranger. Amidst resounding cheers, the attendees affirmed their collective support for the national government.

Mr Dillon took a moment to address the orchestrated campaign against Home Rule, waged by various entities, including Unionist newspapers in England and paid agents of the Unionists in Ulster. He highlighted a particularly egregious tactic employed by these agents, whose purpose was to spread misinformation and cast aspersions on their fellow countrymen.

The assertion that Ireland, having achieved prosperity, had grown indifferent to Home Rule was vehemently rejected by Mr Dillon. He emphasized that while Ireland had indeed overcome the hardships of the past, the fight for national rights and self-governance remained undiminished. The prosperity, he argued, was a result of long and disciplined agitation, imprisonment, and suffering endured by the Irish people themselves.

Drawing attention to the historical context, Mr Dillon reflected on the thirty years of struggle that had seen the undoing of centuries-old confiscation and persecution. The achievements of Ireland in reclaiming its land were hailed, but he cautioned against portraying the nation as indifferent to its national faith.

Refuting claims of indifference to Home Rule, Mr Dillon highlighted the extraordinary nature of the assembly in Dublin, where Protestants and Unionists were allowed to hold their meetings without hindrance. He commended Dublin for upholding the principles of free speech, contrasting it with the tactics employed by Lord Londonderry and Sir Edward Carson in Belfast.

The speech took a critical turn as Mr Dillon addressed the methods used by Unionist agents in Ulster to malign Home Rule. He condemned their livelihood earned by spreading lies and bigotry, emphasizing the clean record of the southern part of Ireland in contrast to the allegations.

Touching upon a peculiar phenomenon involving false claims of Rome’s tyranny, Mr Dillon exposed the cowardly tactics of these agents who, unable to express their views in the House of Commons, resorted to spreading falsehoods behind closed doors. He called for the repudiation of such calumny, asserting that it had no place in a just and decent society.

In the backdrop of a tumultuous week in the House of Commons, dominated by discussions on the coal strike, Mr Dillon underscored the unyielding spirit of Ireland in its quest for freedom. He criticized the Tory Party’s constant cry to suppress the strike, emphasizing the futility of forcing men to work against their will.

The assembly reached a crescendo of support for Home Rule as Mr Michael Short, J.P., Chairman of the Armagh Urban Council, seconded the resolution. Representing Ulster, Short affirmed that the oft-repeated assertion that the region did not want Home Rule was untrue. The sentiments expressed in Limerick were a testament to the unity of purpose among Irish nationals, transcending geographical and historical divides.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 06 April 1912

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