James Connolly


No Compromise – No Conciliation


Irish Worker, 15 August, 1914.
From the collection: Ireland Upon the Dissecting Table, Cork Workers’ Club 1975.
Transcription & HTML Mark-up: Einde O’Callaghan for the Marxists’ Internet Archive.

The Carsonites remain as obdurate and anti-Irish as ever. It is noticeable that all the talk about a “union of North and South in defence of Ireland”, about “blending the Orange and Green”, about “marching united as Irishmen against the common foe” and all the other claptrap has been strictly confined to the Nationalist side. No response has come from the Ulster Volunteers; no Carsonite official has made the smallest overture towards peace; there has not been the slightest melting of the sour bigotry of the Orangeman. The following extract from the columns of a Belfast evening paper of last week is a valuable index of the present state of mind of these people:–

“The verdict of a Dublin coroner’s jury on the victims of the Bachelor’s Walk shooting is not so extreme as was expected. Counsel sought to have a verdict of wilful murder brought in against persons by name, but the jury wisely did not go that length. A great deal of vindictiveness was displayed during the enquiry by some of the counsel against the soldiers. These men, it is clear, did not fire till they were in deadly peril from a mob of Dublin hooligans, who are the greatest cowards on earth. The testimony of the witnesses who sought to show that nothing more harmful than banana skins were thrown at the military was disapproved by abundant testimony. It is to be hoped that no more will be heard of the affair now that the country has sterner things to do than squabble about the incident.”

One cannot but admire in this connection the tact and skill with which Sir Edward Carson has conducted and still continues to conduct his campaign against any extension of liberty to the Irish people. It has been marked by one long series of success. Despite sneers and jeers and laughter, despite reason and justice, despite threats and against seemingly overwhelming odds, he had kept serenely on his way pursuing the policy he had marked out for himself and his followers. For him there was no compromise, no conciliation. He met each fresh concession with studied insult, at each fresh offer of peace he shook fresh rifles in the face of the Government; when the Home Rule Party basely consented to put the question of the integrity of their country at the mercy of a local majority of bigoted traitors of Ireland, he put machine guns upon the streets of Belfast and Lisburn. Mr. John Redmond now blatantly declares in the House of Commons that the National Volunteers will defend Ireland for the Government. Sir Edward Carson says grimly that nothing is yet altered in Ireland, and the Belfast Orange Press warns the Ulster Volunteers against being sent out of Ireland and leaving Ulster to the mercy of a Government that they cannot trust. Like the Irish after the Battle of the Boyne; the National Volunteers should offer to “swop leaders” with the Orangemen. It would be to Ireland’s advantage if Sir Edward would fight for Ireland so skilfully and as courageously as he has fought against her.


Last updated on 14.8.2003