The Irish convention and Sinn Fein

IN CONTINUATION OF “A HISTORY OF THE
IRISH REBELLION OF 1916″

BY

WARRE B. WELLS & N. MARLOWE

PREFATORY NOTE

This book is written in continuation of “A History of the Irish Rebellion of 1916,” by the same authors. In it, as in its predecessor, their attitude is, to the best of their capacity for political detachment, purely historical. They endeavour “to exhibit, not to criticise, conflicting tendencies in present-day Ireland. Their especial purpose is to place the work of the Irish Convention in its due relation to contemporary events in Irish history.

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I.
The Origin of the Convention.

Ireland after the Rebellion—The Growth of Sinn Fein—The Military Aspect—Nationalist Party’s Position—The Conscription Question—Mr. Redmond’s New Policy—The Dublin Police Incident—Ireland and the New Government—Release of Interned Prisoners—Convention Policy versus Sinn Fein Policy—The Irish Conference Committee—North Roscommon Election—Arrests in Ireland—Nationalist Manifesto to America—The First Sinn Fein Convention—South Longford Election—The Convention Scheme—Its Reception in Ireland—Constitution of the Convention—Major Redmond’s Death—The General Amnesty—First Meeting of the Convention.

CHAPTER II.
Sinn Fein Policy.

The East Clare Election—Mr. de Valera’s Ascendency—The Intervention of Mr. Austin Harrison—Hunger Strikes—The Death of Thomas Ashe—Attitude of the Government —Clericalism and Sinn Fein—The “Hidden Hand”—The Sinn Fein Convention—Constitution of the Movement —Its Aims and Programme—Sinn Fein and Labour—The Peace Conference Policy—Its Theoretical Basis—Its Practical Possibilities—Sinn Fein and the Food Supply—Raids for Arms—The South Armagh Election—Sinn Fein and America—A Success for the Parliamentary Party.

CHAPTER III.
The Convention.

Its Representative Claims—Personal Notes on the Delegates—Mr. Redmond, Sir Horace Plunkett, and “AE”—The Ulster Unionist Delegates—Labour Members—Local Representatives—The Southern Unionists—Churchmen and Statesmen—The Nominated Members—Mr. Murphy’s Position—Full Last of Delegates—The Secretariat—Proceedings of the Convention—Its Secrecy—Preliminary Procedure—Grand Committee Appointed—Visits to Belfast and Cork—Reference to Grand Committee—The Midleton Compromise—Resumed Sittings of Full Convention—The Deadlock—Mr. Lysaght’s Resignation—Sir Edward Carson’s Position—Intervention of the Government—America, and the Convention—Delegation to the Cabinet—Mr. Dillon and Sinn Fein—”Bolshevism” in Ireland—Proclamation of Clare—Reassembly of Convention.

CHAPTER IV.
The Report and After.

Death of Mr. Redmond—The Southern Unionist “Cave”—Waterford Election—Drafting of Convention’s Report—A Remarkable Coincidence—Conscription for Ireland—Convention’s Report Presented to the Government—The Prime Minister and Ireland—The Report of the Convention—Ulster and Finance—The Chairman’s Letter of Transmission—Ireland and Conscription—Organisation of Resistance—The Dublin Mansion House Conference—Action of the Hierarchy—The Pledge against Conscription —Rationalist Party’s Abstention Policy—The General Strike—Reaction on Home Rule Proposal—”No Popery” —Sir Edward Carson’s Veto—The Wreck of the Convention—Changes in Irish Executive—Sir Horace Plunkett’s Appeal—The End of a Chapter.