|John Dillon by Carlo Pellegrini ('APE')|
John Redmond said:
"Let us have national freedom and imperial unity and strength."
Anonymous man from Cork and a unionist said in 1921 to Wilfred Ewart:
"Everybody’s taken a step to the left. Your old Nationalists have joined pacifist Sinn Fein; pacifist Sinn Fein has become active Republican; we Unionists take our stand on the old Nationalism. Although, Dillonism is dead."
John Redmond said on August 5 1914:
"This undoubtedly is the greatest opportunity that has ever occurred in the history of Ireland to win the Irish people to loyalty to the Empire, and I do beg of you not to allow threats of any kind used to prevent you from taking the course which will enable me to preach the doctrines of peace, goodwill, and loyalty in Ireland."
John P. Hayden said in May 1921, twenty-one years Nationalist Member of Parliament for South Roscommon:
"If I did not think the Irish people would be satisfied today with self-government within the Empire my whole life would be a lie."
In the preface to 'The Case for Home Rule' (1911) by Stephen Gwynn, Redmond repeatedly stressed that Home Rule was a means to gain loyalty from Ireland. Like today's constitutionalists, Redmond and John Dillon had revolutionary credentials.
We have risked our lives a hundred times to bring about this result. We are held up to odium as traitors by those men who made this rebellion."
Todd Andrews said:
"Dublin [in 1901] was a British city and accepted itself as one."
Home Rule would have granted legislative and executive control of all purely Irish affairs to Dublin, except finance and foreign affairs, subject to the supreme authority of the Imperial Parliament.
Sean McDermott, one of the Rising’s executed leaders, said:
"The Irish patriotic spirit will die forever unless a blood sacrifice is made in the next few years. It will be necessary for some of us to offer ourselves as martyrs if nothing better can be done to preserve the national Irish spirit."Another, Desmond Fitzgerald, who survived, wrote:
"[If things continued as they were] it would be futile to talk of ourselves other than as inhabitants of that part of England that used to be called Ireland. In that state of mind I had decided that extreme action must be taken."
Desmond Fitzgerald (Gaelic League, Sinn Fein and IRB activist) also said:
"The reaction of the Irish people after the declaration of war filled me with the conviction that we had reached a point where the Irish people had accepted completely their absorption by the British."
John Fitzgibbon asked, in the interest of the Empire is it not the duty of unionists to come together with Loyal nationalists? Fitzgibbon of Mayo South said on July 31 1916:
"[Some in the 6-counties of Ulster] go so far as to question the loyalty of the other twenty-six counties. They take unto themselves the idea that they are the loyal portion of Ireland. Take them at their own valuation. For themselves, and for us, if they are actuated by these high motives of loyalty to this Empire, and assuming that the giving to Ireland of Home Rule from their point of view would be a danger to the Empire, does the House not think that in the interests of the Empire it would be the duty of these men to come in and watch our movements in the Irish Parliament? That is the view I think that any loyal subjects of this Empire should take. I believe that once… We should be your strong right arm. We should be a country prosperous and happy, and to bring that about should be the duty of Englishmen, if they only recognised what is good for this country and for the Empire at large. I have made my little contribution to this Debate. I speak not only my own feelings, but I speak the mind of thousands of my countrymen with whom I am intimately acquainted."
Lloyd George to Andrew Bonar Law, January 12 1918, said:
"This is the opportunity for Ulster to show that it places Empire above everything. If the little protestant community in the South, isolated in a turbulent sea of Sinn Feinism and Popery can trust their lives and their property to the majority there, surely the powerful community of the North might take that risk for the sake of the Empire in danger."
Home Rule meant: an Irish Parliament with an Executive responsible to it, created by Act of the Imperial Parliament, and charged with the management of purely Irish affairs (land, education, local government, transit, labour, industries, taxation for local purposes, law and justice, police, leaving to the Imperial Parliament, in which Ireland would probably continue to be represented, but in smaller numbers, the management, just as at present, of all Imperial affairs—army, navy, foreign relations, customs, Imperial taxation, matters pertaining to the Crown, the colonies, and all those other questions which are Imperial and not local in their nature, the Imperial Parliament also retaining an overriding supreme authority over the new Irish legislation, such as it possesses to-day over the various legislatures in Canada, Australia, South Africa, and other portions of the Empire.