Reconciling the Irish to Empire (McCarthy, 1901)

1.643. Michael J.F. McCarthy, Five Years in Ireland: 1895-1900, (London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co.; Dublin: Hodges Figgis & Co., 1901), pp. 10-11. BL W.48/3221

An extract from Michael McCarthy, Five Years in Ireland (1901), on the possibility of reconciling Ireland to Imperialism.

In this extract, McCarthy quotes from a Daily Mail article of April, 1900, entitled ‘The Golden Moment’, the author of which sees the opportunity to reconcile the Irish to the idea of Empire:

Were, then, the “treasuring up” of wrongs and the nursing of racial hate, evidences of teachability? Was the “wrong” all on one side? Is England still an enemy of ours? “England itself is no longer a unit against Ireland’s claims. We have the British democracy on our side.” A great London daily paper, five years after these words of Mr. Davitt’s, writes:—

¶¶Let us frankly recognise that a passionate love of Ireland, a sturdy devotion to Irish interests, is by no means opposed to fealty to the Empire. If we will but act wisely, such sentiment may become one of the strongest links of our Imperial chain. Home Rulers and Unionists (to use old names that are fast losing their meaning) are agreed that fresh legislation must be so framed as to add to, and not to weaken, the supremacy of the Imperial Parliament and the power of the central Government. Both are agreed that many purely Irish affairs can be best dealt with by the Irish people themselves. Agreeing on so much, can we not arrive at some genuine understanding? If we are to do so, the first necessity is that we shall trust each other.

¶¶Yes, I agree with the writer, we are bound to arrive at a “genuine understanding,” we are bound to trust each other. But, let us, above all, know each other.

Advertisements