MR. DEVLIN, M.P., IN INVERT CARGILL. This gentleman, who is visiting ' the colony in the interests of Home Rule for Ireland, and of the Irish Nation al Party in the Imperial Parliament, Arrived at the Bluff from Melbourne on Monday morning, and was wel corned by members of the local reception committee. He was received on arrival at Invercargill by His Worship the Mayor (Mr W. B. Scandrett) and after being driven round the town was publicly welcomed at the Municipal Hall, where an address ■was read on behalf of the committee by Mr Gilfedder, secretary. In the evening, the Mayor presiding, Mr Devlin addressed the audience of between 500 and 600 persons in the Municipal Theatre, and proved himself one of the ablest speakers heard locally on the subject. He held that bad Government was responsible for Ireland’s deplorable condition, and in proof contrasted the prosperity that existed when she had a parliament of her own with the misery that had since been the lot of that unhappy country. People were leaving at the rate of '40,000 a year —the brain and muscle of’the nation. He was there to appeal not only to his own countrymen, but to every lover of liberty, to help to restore happiness to Ireland. The state of things was a disgrace to the Empire. While it was a parish question it was also an Imperial question, and he claimed the attention of everyone interested in the prosperity of the Empire. Ireland, with less crime than Scotland, was paying a million a year more for police, half a million more for the Justice Department, and three-quarters of a million more for local government administration. Throughout all, the system of blood-sucking went on, and was a 'disgrace not only to the British Empire, but to the Christian era. He denied that Home Rule meant dismemberment. Why, he asked, were the colonies loyal ? Because they enjoyed freedom. It was also objected that Home Rule would mean Rome Rule, but that idea had been set on foot by persons eager to excite sectarian animosities —the people of Ireland had never shown a spirit of persecution against those who differed from them on matters of religion. Of 86 Irish members in the House of [Commons, 25 were Protestants, and they owed their elections to Catholic majorities. He, a Catholic, represented the Protestant constituency of Belfast. A third argument was that the Irish were incapable of self-gov-ernment, but the ability of Irishmen in that respect the world over was a sufficient reply as to that. He hoped that the next delegate from Ireland .would come to tell the people of New Zealand that Erin w r as free. At the close of the address, which was repeatedly applauded, a resolution in favour of Home Rule was unanimously passed on the motion of the Rev. Dean Burke, seconded by Mr M. Gilfedder, both gentlemen delivering able addresses in support. Mr. Hanan, ■M.H.R., also addressed the meeting, and concluded by moving a vote of thanks to Mr Devlin. This was seconded by Mr M. Carr, and carried with enthusiasm, Mr Devlin replied, and the meeting closed with cheers for the gentleman and the Mayor. The Garrison Band played a selection, and Miss- Sweeney sang “ The Dear Little Shamrock,’- and was recalled. Over £75 was afterwards collected in aid of the movement, and it is expected that Invercargill’s contribution will exceed £IOO. The sum of (£16,500 has been collected in Ause tralia, and the N.Z. tour will probably bring the total up to £20,000.
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Southern Cross, Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 42, 15 December 1906
Home Rule. Southern Cross, Volume 14, Issue 42, 15 December 1906
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