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Charles Stewart Parnell Quotes

Charles Stewart Parnell
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Charles Stewart Parnell
  • Born: 27th June 1846, Avondale, County Wicklow, Ireland
  • Died: 6th October 1891, Hove, England
  • Occupation: Political leader and Irish nationalist politician
  • Famous for: His diplomacy, negotiation and organisational skills that saw him inspire a small Irish party hold the balance of Westminster power in the mid 1880's and pave the way for future self governance
  • Political party: Home Rule League (1880–1882), Irish Parliamentary Party (1882–1891)
  • Scandals: His long time adulterous affair with the love of his life Katharine O' Shea snatched away a political career that was destined for greatness

"Do what is beyond your strength even should you fail sometimes"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"None of us whether we be in America or in Ireland, will be satisfied until we have destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland bound to England"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"You must show the landlord that you intend to keep a firm grip on your homesteads and lands. You must not allow yourselves be dispossessed as you were dispossessed in 1847"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"I would not have taken off my coat and gone to work had I not known that we were laying the foundations by this movement for the recovery of our legislative independence"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"When we have undermined English misgovernment we have paved the way for Ireland to take her place amongst the nations of the earth"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"No man has the right to fix the boundary of a nation. No man has the right to say to his country; Thus far shalt thou go and no further"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"The government, with its bayonets, will learn in a single Winter how powerless are armed forces against the will of a united determined, and self-reliant nation"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"Why should Ireland be treated as a geographical fragment of England, Ireland is not a geographical fragment, but a nation"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"Fellow citizens; The hour to try your souls and to redeem your pledges has arrived"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"Without the help of the people our exertions would be as nothing"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"Bring English tyranny to its knees"

Charles Stewart Parnell

"Stand together in face of the brutal, cowardly enemies of your race"

Charles Stewart Parnell
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Charles Stewart Parnell Biography

In the history of Irish national politics Charles Stewart Parnell stands out as a remarkable man who shook the British governments grip over Ireland by using their own parliamentary procedures in the heart of Westminster.

The 1880's was an era that produced some giants of British politics with the likes of Lord Randolph Churchill, William Gladstone, Lord Salisbury and Joseph Chamberlain but Parnell managed to outshine them all by organising his Irish Parliamentary Party to disrupt parliament and block vote against the party that did least to favour Ireland. With his commanding voice he cut a striking figure making speeches while his charismatic personality made him what could be described as a perfect politician.

He had the intellect too but it was his political strategies that really made him stand out to the point that Gladstone was quoted describing him as "the most remarkable man I ever met". Indeed such was Parnells political prowess that both the Tories and the Liberals sought alliances with him to gain his political clout.

1885 was a tumultuous political year with the Tories and the Irish voting to bring down Gladstones government in June leading to a delayed election in November. Parnell initially sought to help the conservatives into power but this was likely a ruse that garnered Gladstone's attention to the point he promised enough to establish an alliance with the Irish that saw Gladstone returning to power in 1886.

Parnell grew stronger as the decade was coming to a close only for an affair to surface that was to ruin his political ambitions. Being named as the correspondent in the divorce of his political ally Captain O' Shea and his wife Katharine first raised eyebrows and then headlines after Parnell refused to contest it. The Irish rallied behind him but his political reputation was dealt a killer blow in an era of high moral attitudes. Katharine was the love of Parnells life and he went on to marry her but wore himself out in his futile efforts to revive his political career.

He died in October 1891 but the Irish never forgot him and he was honoured with the largest funeral Ireland had ever seen up until that point. He was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin and in excess of 200,000 people turned up to pay their final respects to the man who had through his peaceful political actions given the people of Ireland renewed hope and self respect.

In a political career of remarkable moments he was also quoted for some remarkable one liners, so here is my compilation of 12 of the best Charles Stewart Parnell quotes.

Quotes About Charles Stewart Parnell

The British stateman David Lloyd George was complimentary: "Mr. Parnell has proved to the world the kind of leader the Irish nation is on the point of losing. He is a man of iron determination, inflexible will, matchless courage and audacity and of peerless skill as a leader"

The British prime minister William Ewart Gladstone was moved to say: "Parnell was the most remarkable man I ever met. I do not say the ablest man; I say the most remarkable and the most interesting. He was an intellectual phenomenon"

The author Francis Stewart Leland Lyons described him thus: "He gave his people back their self respect. He did this ... by rallying an inert and submissive peasantry to believe that by organized and disciplined protest they could win a better life for themselves and their children"

The historian A. J. P. Taylor was impressed to say: "More than any other man he gave Ireland the sense of being an independent nation"

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