“Some remarkable incidents cropped up at the meeting of the North Kildare Women’s Unionist Asociation held at Killadoon, Celbridge, on Monday,” the Leinster Leader reported on 2 March 1912. “Our readers will pardon me for dealing with them very briefly.
Lady Londonderry wrote from London to inform the meeting that “Ireland owed all its prosperity to the Act of Union passed in 1800”.
This is one of those simple statements that anybody with sufficient scorn for over a century of history can set down without turning a hair. The Act of Union found Ireland prosperous.
We have had over a century of it and its effect is written on the face of our country. Our industries have been suppressed, more than half our population is gone, our tillage has disappeared, our taxation is the highest of any country in Europe.
We have had famines and misery, little or no education, stagnation and depression, for the century and a decade we have lived under the Act of Union. What sort of an opinion has Lady Londonderry of the intelligence of the Unionist women of North Kildare? Hysteria may pass muster in many directions but it must steer clear of history.”
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