A NARRATIVE AND CRITICAL
ACCOUNT OF THE LATEST
PHASE OF IRISH POLITICS
"LIFE OF JOHN REDMOND," "SIR ROGER CASEMENT," "AN
"THE NEW BIRTH OF IRELAND," ETC.
ONE OF THE FEW HONEST ENGLISHMEN WHO ARE
ENGLISH ENOUGH TO BE ASHAMED OF THE
STORY OF ENGLISH RULE IN IRELAND
The climax of a century of arguments, futile only because of the proverbial dullness of the race to which they
were addressed, the rising has lifted the Home Rule controversy at one stroke from the region of the village
pump into the very midst of the counsels of Europe, for it was a challenge\u2014of madmen, if you like\ue000to the
greatest Empire in the world, at the very moment of its gravest crisis, upon the most fundamental portion of its
policy of interference with the affairs of the Continent, namely, England's claim to be the champion of small
Unless Ireland can be shown to be held by her own free consent, in perfect contentment, the whole of our
contention falls to the ground\ue001for our policy in Ireland is only in microcosm our policy of Empire; and
Germany will be able to point the finger of scorn and ridicule at us, and prove thereby to France and Russia
that, tyrants at home, we only used them to fight a battle we dared not fight alone.
I say nothing here of the motives that inspired the rebels, nor the immediate causes that provoked them to rise, nor the nature of the methods by which they were "stamped out"; I only state the moral of their failure, and I must take this opportunity to thank Lord Decies, the official Press censor, for the freedom with which he has allowed[Pg iv] me to speak at what I feel to be a very critical juncture in the history of my country and of our common Empire; for I have gone upon the principle that it is far better to distribute the blame all round than to try and make the Sinn Feiners the scapegoats of faults which each party contributed towards the catastrophe.
There never was, I believe, an Irish crime\ue002if crime it can be called\ue003which had not its roots in an English folly; and I repeat here what the late Mr. Stead always impressed upon me: Ireland is our school of Empire, and the mistakes which would lose us Ireland would lose us the Empire.
been tending towards isolating their followers in the old ancestral bigotries, instead of drawing them together in sympathy, as Mr. William O'Brien has been advocating for years, with the result that we are now threatened with permanent constitutional separation for another generation.
It is a mistake which all the younger men deplore, and which could easily have been avoided by bringing in
the men of Ulster into the national deliberations, as they have every right, in the name of their Southern
followers, and then giving them the option to veto the application of any measure to their own
districts\ue004which would have been the best guarantee of justice which the Nationalists could have given and
the most they had a right to expect of England, whose political position of dependence upon the Irish vote is a
scandal of empire.
These things, however, are beyond the scope of the present pages, and I shall confine myself with thanking
those of my many friends who have helped me in compiling this volume\ue005notably Councillor Keogh, who
was with me during the Battle of Mount Street Bridge, and[Pg v] others, whose criticisms helped me
considerably. Likewise I must thank my publishers and Mr. O'Keefe, of O'Keefe's Press-cutting Agency; and
Mr. George Atkinson, who designed the cover, and Mr. Crampton Walker; and also Mr. Marsh, the manager
of the Coliseum, with whom I had several dangerous adventures while in Sackville Street; and lastly, those
among my Sinn Fein friends who enabled me to get an inner view of a movement to which I have
endeavoured to do the best of justice\ue006that of a true statement of their intentions.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?