The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Irish Parliamentary Party

In 1882 Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, formed the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP), replacing the Home Rule League, as a parliamentary party with strict rules. Each member was required to swear an oath to sit, act and vote with the party, one of the first instances of a whip in western politics. The members were also given a salary from party funds, long before other MPs, which helped both to increase parliamentary turnout and to enable middle-class members such as William O'Brien or D.D. Sheehan to be elected. It was instrumental in laying the groundwork for Irish self-government.

Following Parnell's fall in 1891, it split into Parnellite and anti-Parnellite wings, but reunited in 1900 under the leadership of John Redmond and his deputy John Dillon. Following the 1910 general elections the party eventually achieved Home Rule for Ireland under the Third Home Rule Act 1914, but the outbreak of World War I led to its suspension for the duration of the war. The 1916 Easter Rising and the British response to it, radicalised Irish politics to such an extent that the IPP lost massively in the 1918 general election to the more radical Sinn Fein, and was dissolved. Many IPP members went on to join the pro-Treaty Cumann na nGaedheal.

Leaders of the Irish Parliamentary Party, 1882-1918

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Last updated: 05-07-2005 15:27:42
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04