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Limerick Unites in Protest Against Home Rule |

Limerick Unites in Protest Against Home Rule

LIMERICK, Thursday – The vibrant city of Limerick witnessed a formidable gathering of Unionists from both County and City, converging at the Theatre Royal, the largest venue in the region, to voice their resolute opposition to the proposed Home Rule. The assembly, comprising the most representative Unionist gathering in Limerick in recent memory, showcased a spirited and sustained enthusiasm against the policy of disintegration.

The principal speaker, the Right Hon. George Wyndham, MP.., brought an extraordinary stimulus to the Unionist ranks. The atmosphere within the Theatre Royal crackled with energy for nearly three-quarters of an hour, underscoring the significance of the occasion. The Right Hon. Lord Massy, chairing the gathering, was met with applause as he took charge of the proceedings.

The gathering, organized to send a robust message against Home Rule, reflected a poignant historical parallel. Lord Massy remarked on a similar meeting he attended twenty years ago in the very same venue, convened for the identical purpose of vehemently opposing Home Rule. The resonance of that historical context provided added weight to the present-day protest against what the Unionists view as a perilous move for Ireland.

In addition to the charismatic presence of George Wyndham, the meeting featured correspondence from various prominent figures expressing regret for their inability to attend. Lord Barrymore, in a letter, conveyed his remorse due to prior commitments in Cork, emphasizing the South’s concerns over the potential consequences of Home Rule. Other dignitaries, including Mr J. Greene Harry, extended their apologies, illustrating the gravity attached to the gathering.

Lord Massy, addressing the assembly, passionately emphasized the need for a united front against Home Rule. He drew attention to the importance of dispelling misconceptions prevalent in England about the strength of Unionism in Ireland beyond Ulster. The Chairman underscored that while Unionists outside Ulster may be fewer, their determination matches that of their Northern counterparts.

The central question posed by Lord Massy focused on who truly desires Home Rule, pointing out that besides Mr Redmond and his Nationalist followers, no other discernible class in Ireland demonstrates a fervent desire for it. He challenged the prevailing notion that Unionists, large capitalists, financiers, merchants, tradesmen, and professionals, collectively reject Home Rule.

In a compelling conclusion, Lord Massy urged a realistic appraisal of the current prosperous state of Ireland under the Union. He questioned the wisdom of dismantling an arrangement that has contributed to the country’s unprecedented prosperity. With a tone of caution, he warned against the potential financial ruin and civil unrest that might accompany the implementation of Home Rule.

The gathering in Limerick, a staunch bastion of Unionist sentiment, marks a poignant chapter in the ongoing debate over the future governance of Ireland. As the rhetoric against Home Rule echoes through the Treaty City, the nation watches, anticipating the unfolding of this crucial chapter in its political history.

Dublin Daily Express – Friday 11 October 1912

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