Home Rule & First World War

Home Rule was achieved in 1914 although its enactment was placed on hold with the outbreak of the First World War. It remained one of the main political topics of print. Issues such as the agreed exclusion of Ulster were apparent in the newspapers of 1916.  John Redmond, the Home Rule leader, supported the view that Irish Volunteers should join the British war effort. The British Army recruitment campaign was evident in the large numbers of print advertisements and fliers circulating in 1916 Ireland. 

The Irish Home Rule movement enjoyed considerable influence over mainstream nationalist news and opinion. The Freeman’s Journal was the unofficial organ of the Irish Parliamentary Party, coupled with a strongly Redmondite regional press. Its principal nationalist competition, the William Martin Murphy owned Irish Independent, was a political critic of Party failures and Redmondite policies. The southern Unionist Irish Times, conversely, was ideologically opposed to the Home Rule project.