Following the example of America and France The Society of United Irishmen rebelled in 1798. In response the British closed our parliament and ran things from London with the Act of Union 1801.
The Great Famine of 1845-49 with its huge loss of life and mass emigration highlighted the mismanagement of Ireland by a largely indifferent Westminster government. Two further rebellions took place – The Young Irelanders in 1848 and the Irish Republican Brotherhood (Fenian Rising) in 1867.
However, a campaign to restore the Irish Parliament using constitutional politics was begun by Isaac Butt with the Home Rule League. This campaign led to the formation of the Irish Parliamentary Party with 46 seats at Westminster following the 1874 election. It was also known as the Home Rule Party.
Modeled on the political clubs in Britain such the Conservative Club, Home Rule Clubs, were established as a means of supporting the principles of the Irish Party to pursue the goal of an Irish parliament. We are the only such club remaining in the country and an important reminder of the constitutional path trod by leaders such as Butt, Biggar, Parnell and Redmond.
A third Home Rule bill finally passed in 1912 when after two elections in 1910 the Irish had 84 seats and the balance of power. It was due to become law in 1914 but due to World War I it was put on hold. Meanwhile the Easter Rising of 1916 took place and the rest is, as they say, history.
Club Minutes 9th August 1894