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  #131  
Old 20-01-2018, 12:37 PM
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great stuff Cogs.......and thanks Gerry........
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  #132  
Old 20-01-2018, 05:50 PM
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Default The Irish Convention

After the Lloyd George negotiations ended in failure in the Summer of 1916, the issue of Home Rule was again put on the back-burner, amidst the more pressing concerns of the terrible losses sustained at the Somme and the sinking of British merchant ships by German U-Boats. Redmond made an attempt to re-introduce the subject in October 1916, telling the House of Commons that government policy in Ireland was "inconsistent with the principles for which the Allies are fighting in Europe," blaming this for the "unhappy events" of the Spring and the "state of feeling in the country." Joe Devlin then suggested that the various Irish factions meet to try to resolve the difficulties. In December, Lloyd George became the new Prime Minister, heading up a coalition government that was more Unionist in its composition than the previous one. He told Redmond that he had "no intention presently of making any move for settlement of the Irish question." He did, however, agree to the release of the remaining untried prisoners just before Christmas.
Negotiations were recommenced in early 1917, and these gained momentum during the Spring due to pressure from America, who entered the war in April. The Government and the IPP were both alarmed by the success of the separatists in the Roscommon and Longford by-elections, and after the victory in South Longford Lloyd George wrote to Redmond and Carson, offering either to implement Home Rule for the 26 counties, or to hold "a convention of Irishmen of all parties for the purposes of producing a scheme of self-government." Redmond had a tough decision to make; if he could gain self-government for 26 counties the party might be redeemed in the eyes of the Irish people. On the other hand, he would be held responsible for the exclusion of the Ulster counties. He decided to opt for the convention, in the hope that if it went favourably the party would be restored to its former popular position and constitutional politics embraced again by the nationalist public. It would also, of course, present an opportunity to further negotiate the question of exclusion.
On 21st May Lloyd George announced that a Convention was to be held, saying that it would be "a real representation of Irish life and activity in all their leading branches", and would be an opportunity for Ireland to "try her hand at hammering out an instrument of government for her own people."
The composition of the Convention was announced on 11th June, and on 15th June it was announced by Bonar Law that the remaining 120 prisoners were to be released "in order that the Convention may meet in an atmosphere of harmony and goodwill."

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  #133  
Old 20-01-2018, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by cogito View Post
Plunkett's earlier convention...

Attachment 70276

Courtesy of Gerry Adams...

https://twitter.com/gerryadamssf/sta...602245?lang=ar

Nice to see so many people who dreamed about a united IRELAND.....Sadly it did not happen.....
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  #134  
Old 20-01-2018, 10:30 PM
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Many of those who were invited to the Convention had mixed feelings about it, and there was a degree of division within the various groups. On the Nationalist side, some IPP members, notably T. P. O'Connor and Stephen Gwynn, saw it as the party's last chance for survival. William O'Brien, however, turned down the two seats allocated to his All For Ireland Party. He believed that the Convention was simply too big to be successful, suggesting that a much smaller conference would be more likely to succeed. Some Ulster Unionists, also, had reservations, worried about what might be foisted upon them as a result of the Convention, but Carson persuaded them that their attendance was vital in order for their interests to be protected and to achieve a result that was acceptable to them. The Southern Unionists, who had for the most part come round to the principle of Home Rule - as long as this was within the framework of the Empire, and Ireland was committed to playing an active role in the war - saw the Convention as an opportunity to speak out against partition, which they were vehemently against as they felt it would leave them isolated. Sinn Fein turned down the five seats they'd been offered, because the concept of complete independence from Britain was not up for discussion. There were some delegates, however, who were sympathetic to the Sinn Fein viewpoint, such as the writer George W. Russell.
The Convention opened on 25th July at Regent House, Trinity College. It was chaired by Sir Horace Plunkett. There were 95 delegates, made up mainly of MPs and council representatives.
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  #135  
Old Yesterday, 07:35 AM
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Good thread, Katie
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  #136  
Old Yesterday, 11:25 AM
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Good thread, Katie
Thank you Jembo, it's hard work but I'm really enjoying it and learning so much as I go along.
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  #137  
Old Yesterday, 02:55 PM
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The aim of the Convention was to work out a system of government for the whole of Ireland that would be acceptable to all of the main groups concerned - Nationalists, Ulster Unionists and Southern Unionists. The only stipulation for what form this government should take was that it must be within the British Empire. Had the delegates approached the Convention with open minds it might have had a chance of success, but the various factions were so entrenched in their views that it was doomed to failure from the start. Another important factor was that Sinn Fein, which was fast becoming the party of choice for the majority of nationalists, was not involved.
The Convention can be divided into several phases. The first phase began with a three-day session dealing with matters of procedure. After a short adjournment the delegates reconvened on 17th August. Over the next six weeks, during what was known as the "Presentation Phase", there were 18 sittings, in Dublin, Belfast and Cork. It was hoped that during these early meetings the focus would be on finding common ground between the various factions and breaking down barriers. However it wasn't long before the delegates became divided over several issues. Any suggestion of Ulster having any control over its own affairs was blocked by the bishops, amid fears of such an administration being dominated by Protestants. There was also disagreement over fiscal matters and the degree to which an Irish administration should be autonomous in the area of customs and excise duties.
At the end of this first phase, a Committee was set up consisting of prominent representatives from each of the groups. The Ulster Unionist contingent consisted of H.T.Barrie MP, lord Londonderry, H. McD Pollock, Sir Alexander McDowell and John Irvin, Moderator of the General Assembly. The Nationalists were represented by the MPs John Redmond, JJ Clancy, Joseph Devlin, Stephen Gwynne and two bishops, Revs. Patrick O'Donnell of Raphoe and Denis Kelly of Ross. The Southern Unionists on the committee were Lord Midleton, Lord MacDonnell, John Powell, and Rev. John H. Bernard, Protestant Archbishop of Dublin. There were also three independent nationalists, William Martin Murphy of the Irish Independent, Edward MacLysaght, and George W. Russell, and representing the Labour movement were James McCarron and Robert Waugh.
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