Asquith and Bonar Law both undid Home Rule

Anthony J Jordan tells us that 100 years ago Arthur Griffith advised that a "provisional government be set up in Dublin" by John Redmond and Edward Carson (Letters, August 4).

Asquith and Bonar Law both undid Home Rule

That ignores the problem that, led by Carson and James Craig, a half a million unionists had signed a covenant to “use all means necessary”, including civil war, to stop a parliament being set up in Dublin. Despite that, the Home Rule Act, giving limited self rule to Ireland, had already been passed by the most powerful parliament in the world and signed into law by the monarch.

The problem was that it was not implemented.

The people to blame were, firstly, HH Asquith, liberal prime minister, and his government, who did not do what parliament told them to do, and secondly, Andrew Bonar Law, leader of the conservative opposition, who backed civil war against an act of his parliament. Ireland paid a high price for the failures of two powerful politicians to confront opposition to an act of parliament. One failed to confront violent opposition to an act of parliament. The other backed that threat of violence.

A. Leavy

1 Shielmartin Drive


Dublin 13w

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