On 12 March 2012 an exhibition, organised by the Northern Ireland Office, was launched in Westminster to commemorate the centenary of the introduction of the third Home Rule Bill. Secretary of State Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and the Rt Hon the Lord Strathclyde, the Leader of the House of Lords, welcomed the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to Westminster Hall on the centenary.
In Westminster, the Taoiseach attended the opening of this specially commissioned exhibition. The exhibition offers a balanced overview of the key figures and events that shaped developments at the time. The exhibition subsequently travelled to Dublin and then Belfast. Speaking at the launch, Owen Paterson said that ‘following on from his meeting with the Prime Minister today, I am proud to welcome the Taoiseach to this splendid exhibition to mark the centenary of a key event in our shared history. Importantly, this exhibition shows that it is possible to commemorate past events in a balanced way that reflects different perspectives of history. The third Home Rule Bill has different significance for different groups but, importantly, it was an event in which all sides were able to have their say. Too often in Northern Ireland, celebration of the past is a cause of division. As we move forward into a decade of key anniversaries I would urge all of those with influence to ensure that the commemoration of other events is carried out in a respectful manner that educates and promotes mutual understanding’.
For the text of the exhibition, written by Prof. Paul Bew (Lord Bew), click here.
From BBC History: Dr. James McConnell on Irish Home Rule.
From Century Ireland: What was Home Rule?
Click here to listen to the History Ireland Hedge School: ‘Home Rule: lost opportunity or sell-out?’
Or watch the recording here.