2012: Home Rule Bill (1912)

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Historical Background

1912 finally saw the passing of the Home Rule Bill by the British Parliament. This was the third attempt to get the bill through parliament. The bill was introduced to the House of Commons by British Prime Minister Herbert Asquith 19 years after Prime Minister William Gladstone introduced the first bill aiming to give Home Rule to Ireland.  John Redmond MP as leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party agreed to support the Parliament Act 1911 and the Liberal’s budget in return for the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill.

There was bitter opposition to the bill in Ulster and this was shown with the creation of the Ulster Volunteers and signed the Solemn League and Covenant. An anti-Home Rule stance was also seen in the rest of Ireland with the Irish Volunteers and Irish Republican Brotherhood being formed and a continued rise in nationalism. Although passed, Home Rule was never implemented in Ireland due to the outbreak of World War 1.

Dublin City Council commemorated the passing of the Home Rule bill with a major exhibition at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.