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United Irish League Rally |

United Irish League Rally

In a significant gathering at Knocklea, Co. Limerick, the local branch of the United Irish League (U.I.L.) held a special meeting last Sunday, underlining the fervent spirit of Irish nationalism and the ongoing efforts to maintain organisational solidarity. The meeting was chaired by Mr M. Butler, and saw the passage of a resolution that reaffirmed unwavering support for the Irish Parliamentary Party, led by Mr Redmond. This resolution, proposed by Mr Clancy, seconded by Mr T. O’Neill, and supported by Mr J. P. O’Connor, also commended Mr Redmond’s leadership in assuming control of the Volunteer movement, highlighting the critical role of solid unity and organisation in the fight for Irish rights and autonomy.

Alderman Joyce, MP.., delivered a stirring speech that captured the attention and admiration of all present. His message focused on the essential need to place the U.I.L. on a robust and enduring foundation, emphasising the directive of their leader, Mr Redmond, and responding to the call of the Nationalists in Knocklea, Donoughmore, and beyond. Joyce portrayed the U.I.L. as a pivotal force in the struggle for Irish freedom, tracing its lineage back to the Land and National Leagues, and crediting it with securing significant concessions from both Liberal and Conservative British governments.

Highlighting the historical accomplishments of the Irish Parliamentary Party, Joyce reminded the audience of the transformative Land Acts, beginning in 1881, which were pivotal in improving the conditions for Irish tenant farmers. These legislative achievements were not the endpoint but rather milestones in a continuous journey towards greater autonomy and justice for the Irish people. The efforts of the Irish Parliamentary Party extended beyond the farmers, aiming to uplift the conditions of agricultural labourers and urban dwellers alike through initiatives like the Town Tenants’ Act and housing reforms.

Central to Joyce’s address was the broader agenda of the Irish Parliamentary Party, which included the establishment of a National University in 1908 and, most notably, the passage of the Home Rule Act. This act represented a monumental step towards self-governance, offering the Irish people the opportunity to shape their destiny according to their own ideals and aspirations.

Amidst the backdrop of the ongoing global conflict, Joyce acknowledged the current challenges but remained hopeful for the future. He stressed the importance of unity and the vital role of the Irish Volunteer force in supporting the political leadership. Joyce’s speech also touched upon the broader context of the war, recognising England’s role in defending small nations and expressing a nuanced stance towards the British efforts, particularly in light of the defence of Belgium.

The meeting in Knocklea was not just a demonstration of political support but a reaffirmation of the Irish commitment to self-determination and the belief in the power of organised, collective action. As Ireland navigates the complexities of war and the aspirations for independence, the words of Alderman Joyce and the resolve of the U.I.L. serve as a beacon of hope and a call to unity for the Irish people, signalling a determined step towards achieving their national ambitions and the establishment of a parliament that truly reflects the will and welfare of Ireland.

Weekly Freeman’s Journal – Saturday 09 January 1915

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