29/01/2013 – January 1913 ratification and rejection of Home Rule Bill a ‘significant moment in our history’ – Deenihan
Tuesday, January 29th – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has described both the ratification of the Third Home Rule by the House of Commons in January 1913, and its rejection by the House of Lords later in the same month, as significant moments in our history.
Minister Deenihan commented:
“Alongside the great agreements that have been reached in recent times – including the Downing Street Declaration and the Good Friday Agreement – we should not forget that the Home Rule Bill stands as one of the defining moments in the relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom.”
In January 1913 the Third Home Rule was passed in the House of Commons but rejected in the House of Lords. Under the Parliament Act of 1911 the power of the House of Lords to veto legislation had been limited, so the effect of the rejection in the House of Lords was to delay the progress of the legislation but not veto it indefinitely. The rejection of the Home Rule Bill on January 30th, 1913, therefore saw the bill returning to the House of Commons for a second vote, which took place in July 1913.
The acceptance in the House of Commons and rejection in the House of Lords of the Home Rule Bill in 1913 showed the complexity of this debate, but the fact of the success of the legislation in the Commons highlighted how the relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom was changing. A range of other actions were also sparked by these votes which had an impact in the following years, and which will be commemorated during the period 2012 to 2022.
Minister Deenihan commented:
“The passing of the Third Home Rule Bill reflected a long collaboration between the Irish Parliamentary Party and the British Liberal party. This collaboration changed the relationship between Ireland and England forever.
“This was an extremely important vote. At this remove, it may be hard for us to appreciate the impact that it had, but a huge level of debate and political comment at the highest levels surrounded these votes.
“Shortly before these votes, the Ulster Volunteer Force was formally constituted by the Ulster Unionist Council. This marked a shift from Irish Unionism to Ulster Unionism, a very significant development as the prospect of the partition of Ireland became more real.”
Minister Deenihan has said that over the course of 2013 a range of commemorative events will be marked, including the Dublin lockout and the foundation of the Irish Volunteers in November 1913:
“As 1913 continued, social unrest in Ireland grew – the Dublin lockout of 1913 saw the first expression of workers’ rights, and great solidarity between trade union members in Britain and their Irish counterparts. British Unions raised funds and food for the striking workers in Dublin.
“The foundation of the Irish Volunteers in late 1913 also marked the gathering strength of a more radical nationalism in Ireland.”