In a robust gathering of the Nationalists in Newcastle-West, the local branch of the United Irish League (U.I.L.) witnessed a rejuvenation under the chairmanship of Mr R. K., with Mr John O’Connor, the U.I.L. Organiser, marking a notable presence. The assembly was convened on Sunday with the prime agenda of reorganising the branch and reaffirming allegiance to the Nationalist movement and its leadership, particularly in the turbulent times they find themselves in.
The Chairman, in his opening remarks, emphasised the unparalleled importance of staying connected with their National leader, asserting that the spirit of Nationalism in Newcastle has never waned and will persist until the establishment of a Parliament on College Green. His sentiments were echoed with applause, setting a tone of unwavering loyalty and resolve among the attendees.
Mr John M’Donnell, J.P., taking the second chair, underscored the imperative of keeping the United Irish League a vibrant force until Ireland achieves autonomy in managing its own affairs. His proclamation was met with applause, highlighting the collective aspiration for Irish self-governance.
The Organiser, Mr J. O’Connor, received an enthusiastic welcome and reminded the audience of the National leader’s directives, as articulated during a significant meeting in Limerick. He stressed the necessity of maintaining the National Organisation’s strength and the convention system for selecting parliamentary representatives until the convening of the Irish Parliament. Mr O’Connor warned of the detrimental effects of abandoning these systems, referencing the King’s County contest as a case in point.
Further, Mr O’Connor outlined the numerous reforms and concessions attained through the efforts of the Organisation. Addressing the ongoing war, he described it as a critical juncture for the Irish people, advocating for unity and loyalty to Ireland and distancing from dissenters and anonymous detractors in the media. He expressed confidence in Ireland’s ability to emerge victorious from the conflict.
The election of officers for the ensuing year was conducted with unanimous agreement, appointing Raymond K. Sheehy as President, John M’Donnell, J.P., as Vice-President, Michael Murphy, T.C., as Treasurer, Benjamin Reidy as Secretary, and a committee comprising distinguished members, further solidifying the leadership structure of the local branch.
A resolution was unanimously passed, led by Mr R. K. Sheehy and supported by Mr T. Hart, reaffirming the Newcastle-West Nationalists’ unwavering support for Mr John Redmond and the Irish Party. This act of solidarity was a testament to the deep-rooted faith in their leadership and the collective vision for Ireland’s future.
This gathering not only marked a significant moment in the reorganisation of the United Irish League’s local branch but also reaffirmed the Nationalist movement’s dedication to its leaders and the overarching goal of Irish self-determination. Amidst political turbulence and the shadow of global conflict, the Nationalists of Newcastle-West have demonstrated a resolute commitment to their cause, signalling a continued struggle for autonomy and national unity.
Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 16 January 1915