01/07/2014 – Minister Deenihan to mark the centenary of the Irish Home Rule Bill being signed into law
Tuesday, July 1st – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, will this evening lead a special event hosted by the Irish Embassy in London to mark the centenary of the Irish Home Rule Bill being signed into law. Among the speakers will be former Taoiseach John Bruton, Lord Paul Bew, Professor Michael Laffan of UCD, and Professor Richard Toye of the University of Exeter. The BBC Foreign Correspondent Fergal Keane will moderate proceedings.
The passage of the Home Rule Bill for Royal Assent was the culmination of the Irish Parliamentary Party’s long campaign for Home Rule, and marked the high-point of the career of their then leader, John Redmond. The outbreak of World War One led to the suspension of the Bill for the duration of the conflict and subsequent events ensured that the Bill was never implemented.
Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Deenihan commented:
“The Home Rule Bill is one of the defining moments in the relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom and was one of the most significant pieces of legislation relating to Ireland to be passed in Westminster between 1800 and 1921.
Building on the work of Daniel O’Connell, Charles Stewart Parnell and the Land League, John Redmond and his Irish Parliamentary Party finally delivered the Home Rule Act in 1914, which was widely greeted with enthusiasm in Ireland at the time.
In many ways, it can be argued that Redmond’s contribution to the creation of modern Ireland has not been fully acknowledged. As part of our decade of commemorations, it is fitting that we acknowledge Redmond and the many Irish parliamentarians who worked to keep the cause of self-determination alive, and stayed hopeful throughout some of the darkest periods.
Each of our guest speakers has their own perspective on, and insight into, the Act and the consequences that flowed from it. I look forward to hearing their views over the course of this evening.”