Carson: The Man Who Divided Ireland by Geoffrey Lewis

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By Geoffrey Lewis

The partition of eire in 1921, and the start of Northern eire as a political entity, was once the paintings of 1 guy principally. Edward Carson, born in Dublin in 1854, was once an excellent attorney whose cross-questioning of Oscar Wilde at his libel trial led to Wilde's downfall. An inspiring orator and a political heavyweight at Westminster, his defence of Unionism within the years prior to the 1st international warfare, and of the rights of Ulster to not be swamped in an self sustaining eire, made a united eire a political impossibility. whereas a few of his activities have been denounced in England as with reference to treason, Carson's idealism and spiritual tolerance have been untypical of the sectarian bigotry that marred the later background of Northern eire. Carson: the guy Who Divided eire is the 1st smooth biography of an enormous determine in either British and Irish politics.

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There was a large minority of Catholics, attracted into the city by its demand for labour, who were divided from the Protestants by street plan and by class. There were no middle-class Catholics. Below a layer of wealthy Protestant professionals and businessmen, the Catholics formed an urban proletariat living cheek by jowl with working-class Protestants. The sectarian line between the Falls and the neighbouring Shankill had been drawn by the time Gladstone introduced the first Home Rule Bill in 1886.

In the election the Unionists did well in Ireland, but in Britain there was a resurgence of support for Gladstone. It would not be long before Home Rule became an issue once more. Madden, the Irish Attorney-General, became a judge and Carson was appointed Solicitor-General. It was therefore with the excellent credential of an Irish Law Officer appointed by the Unionist Government that he contested the vacant seat in the two-Member constituency of Trinity. There were three candidates, the other sitting Member, who was almost bound to be re-elected, Carson and a Colonel Lowry.

Amid the din, John Dillon was heard to move that Saunderson be no longer heard. Gladstone and Balfour appealed for dignity. 10 Carson and Saunderson became collaborators. Before the session began, Balfour asked Carson to come to see him, to inform him of the state of Ireland and to discuss tactics. Balfour told him that, notwithstanding that it was to be Carson's maiden speech, he wanted him to make the main speech on Ireland. 12 If he was nervous, he did not betray it. Nor did he hesitate to adopt the pugnaciously forensic style for which he would become famous.

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