De Valera on Ulster.

Posted By: July 02, 2019

ON THIS DAY [in Irish history]

The Irish News, July 2, 1919

Eamon Phoenix. Irish News. Belfast. Tuesday, July 2, 2019

President de Valera, addressing the Massachusetts Legislature yesterday, declared that if a plebiscite could be taken the people of Ireland would vote in favor of a Republic by four to one. ‘It is said that the people of Ireland are divided,’ he continued. ‘This is not so. In some parts of Ulster very small majorities are opposed to a Republic, but in others, the majority sympathize with most of the people of Ireland. The minority has a right to look for guarantees from the majority, but they have no right to be unreasonable.’ Mr de Valera denied that this was a question of religious differences, declaring that the Irish people would be found to be united in supporting Irish sovereignty

            The New York correspondent of the [Liberal] Daily News writes: It is necessary once more to explain the influence of the situation of the Irish vote. At Boston, Mr de Valera has had a royal welcome from immense crowds. He is hailed as the Lincoln of Ireland. De Valera is failing to move the mass of the people for two reasons. First, he gives the impression that he will destroy the brotherhood of nations for the sake of Ireland. Second, he still puts the Irish case as simply Catholic propaganda. The sectarian presentation of the Irish cause was emphasized yesterday by a manifesto from the Catholic Archbishop Hayes of New York. (De Valera’s views on the North would soften considerably form his 1918 Bessbrook speech when he declared that the Unionists were ‘a rock in the road which Sinn Fein must ‘blast from its path’. By August 1921 in the secret Dail Sessions before the Treaty negotiations, he advocated allowing Unionist counties to ‘opt out of the Republic’ to a shocked Dail.  In 1938, as Taoiseach, he proposed a federal Ireland.)