James Connolly


A Matter of Coercion


Irish Worker, 3 October, 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.

It was freely alleged in the North that Sir Edward Carson was in league with the Kaiser and that, therefore, it was the duty of every Nationalist capable of bearing arms to enlist for service against the Germans. To a people who have lived for generations under the domination of Orangism as the Nationalists of North-East Ulster have done, that was an almost irresistible appeal. And when it was coupled with a declaration that “Home Rule was now upon the Statute Book” the poor workers of Belfast and district were momentarily swept off their feet. No mention was made of the fact that Mr. Asquith had definitely promised that the Amending Bill would go into operation as soon as the Home Rule Bill, nor yet that he had pledged his word that the coercion of the Carsonites was to him and his colleagues absolutely unthinkable; or, as it was excellently put by the Provisional Committee, that they would not dream of coercing the Unionists of Ulster, but that they were quite ready to coerce the Nationalists of Ulster.


Last updated on 14.8.2003