Rome Rule
"Rome Rule" was a term used by Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

Unionism in Ireland
Unionism in Ireland is an ideology that favours the continuation of some form of political union between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain...

 and socialists
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 to describe the belief that the Roman Catholic Church would gain political control over their interests with the passage of a Home Rule Bill. The slogan
A slogan is a memorable motto or phrase used in a political, commercial, religious and other context as a repetitive expression of an idea or purpose. The word slogan is derived from slogorn which was an Anglicisation of the Scottish Gaelic sluagh-ghairm . Slogans vary from the written and the...

 was coined by the Radical
Radicals (UK)
The Radicals were a parliamentary political grouping in the United Kingdom in the early to mid 19th century, who drew on earlier ideas of radicalism and helped to transform the Whigs into the Liberal Party.-Background:...

 MP and Quaker John Bright
John Bright
John Bright , Quaker, was a British Radical and Liberal statesman, associated with Richard Cobden in the formation of the Anti-Corn Law League. He was one of the greatest orators of his generation, and a strong critic of British foreign policy...

 during the Home Rule crisis in the late 19th century and continued to be used in the early 20th century.


The term has been documented as used in the House of Commons as early as 12 July 1871. The Local and Personal Act
Local and Personal Acts of Parliament in the United Kingdom
Local and Personal Acts of Parliament are laws in the United Kingdom which apply to a particular individual or group of individuals, or corporate entity. This contrasts with a Public General Act of Parliament which applies to the entire community...

 (Ireland) Bill had been proposed by Denis Caulfield Heron
Denis Caulfield Heron
Denis Caulfield Heron LL.D QC was an Irish lawyer and Catholic Liberal MP for Tipperary.Born in Newry, County Down, he was educated at Downside Abbey, Stratton-on-the-Fosse....

, MP for Tipperary
Tipperary (UK Parliament constituency)
Tipperary, also known as Tipperary County, was a parliamentary constituency in Ireland, which from 1801 to 1885 returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom.-Boundaries:...

. The Nationalist MP for Westmeath
Westmeath (UK Parliament constituency)
Westmeath is a former UK Parliament constituency in Ireland, returning two Members of Parliament 1801–1885 and one in 1918–1922.-Boundaries:This constituency comprised the whole of County Westmeath, except for the Parliamentary borough of Athlone 1801–1885....

, Patrick James Smyth
Patrick James Smyth
Patrick James Smyth "Nicaragua Smyth" was an Irish politician and journalist.He was educated at Clongowes Wood College where he became friends with Thomas Francis Meagher, with whom he joined the Repeal Association in 1844...

, rose to second the Bill and used his speech to advocate repeal of the Union. In reply John Vance
John Vance (MP)
John Vance was a Conservative MP for Dublin City from 1852 until his defeat in 1865. He was later elected unopposed for Armagh City and represented the constituency from 30 June 1867 until his death....

 stated The constituents of the honourable member for Westmeath would not be satisfied with the homeopathic dose of "home rule" embodied in the present bill and his own opinion was that "home rule" in Ireland would prove to be "Rome rule".

Traditionally anti-catholicism amongst the Protestant population remained latent since the end of the 18th century:
"Most Irish Protestants were deeply afraid of a repetition of the events of 1798 and the years just before.
They tended to consider Roman Catholicism and possible rebellion as almost identical terms.
To keep things as they were in Church and State seemed the guarantee of safety"

Ensuing out of the anti-‘Catholic landowner’ slogan "To Hell or Connaught" after the Battle of the Diamond
Battle of the Diamond
The Battle of the Diamond was a violent confrontation between the Catholic Defenders and a Protestant faction including Peep o' Day Boys, Orange Boys and local tenant farmers that took place on 21 September 1795 near Loughgall, County Armagh, Ireland. The Protestants were the victors, killing...

 in 1795, the "No Popery" slogan prior to Catholic Emancipation
Catholic Emancipation
Catholic emancipation or Catholic relief was a process in Great Britain and Ireland in the late 18th century and early 19th century which involved reducing and removing many of the restrictions on Roman Catholics which had been introduced by the Act of Uniformity, the Test Acts and the penal laws...

  becoming law in 1829 – an event the Protestant Orangemen had long dreaded, their sentiments continued to be aroused by such writings as the Rev. Thomas Drew’s, one pamphlet reading:
"I learn by the doctrines, history and practices of the Church of Rome that the lives of Protestants are endangered,
the laws of England set at nought, and the crown of England subordinated to the dictates of an Italian bishop"

The 1885 Home Rule Bill

After the collapse of the 1798 United Irish rebellion
Irish Rebellion of 1798
The Irish Rebellion of 1798 , also known as the United Irishmen Rebellion , was an uprising in 1798, lasting several months, against British rule in Ireland...

 and the passing of the Act of Union in 1801 the Orange Order was stronger than ever before, but began to decline and fell into disrepute towards the middle of the century. Despite this, Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

 had trouble arranging rallies in Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...

 for his Repeal Association
Repeal Association
The Repeal Association was an Irish mass membership political movement set up by Daniel O'Connell to campaign for a repeal of the Act of Union of 1800 between Great Britain and Ireland....

, that sought repeal of the Act of Union. Having successfully arranged supportive "monster meetings" in the rest of Ireland, his visit to Belfast in 1841 was marked by stonings, hostile and supportive crowds, and threats of riots. Long before the 1885 Bill it was already clear that a significant number of Irish people wanted to maintain the Union, particularly those resident in Ulster who were not Roman Catholics.

Anglicans of the established Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 and the other Protestant groups such as Presbyterians had had different legal rights and priorities, and mutual disagreements, until the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland by the Irish Church Act 1869. While the Act was passed to reflect the small percentage of Church of Ireland members in the Irish population, and to increase the self-esteem
Self-esteem is a term in psychology to reflect a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame: some would distinguish how 'the self-concept is what we think about the self; self-esteem, the...

 of Irish Roman Catholics, the resulting level playing field allowed the different Protestant groups to act as political equals for the first time.

From 1882 Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell
Charles Stewart Parnell was an Irish landowner, nationalist political leader, land reform agitator, and the founder and leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party...

 turned his attention from Irish land reform to pursuing Home Rule
Irish Home Rule Movement
The Irish Home Rule Movement articulated a longstanding Irish desire for the repeal of the Act of Union of 1800 by a demand for self-government within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The movement drew upon a legacy of patriotic thought that dated back at least to the late 17th...

. As his National League grew, so did the Irish Protestants' fear of Home Rule. When Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone
William Ewart Gladstone FRS FSS was a British Liberal statesman. In a career lasting over sixty years, he served as Prime Minister four separate times , more than any other person. Gladstone was also Britain's oldest Prime Minister, 84 years old when he resigned for the last time...

 made known his conversion to Home Rule in 1885 and introduced the First Home Rule Bill
Irish Government Bill 1886
The Government of Ireland Bill 1886, commonly known as the First Home Rule Bill, was the first major attempt made by a British government to enact a law creating home rule for part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland...

, the Orange Order experienced a dramatic revival, became highly respectable and a very powerful political organisation working for the maintenance of the Union. Ironically some leaders of the Irish Nationalist movement such as Isaac Butt
Isaac Butt
Isaac Butt Q.C. M.P. was an Irish barrister, politician, Member of Parliament , and the founder and first leader of a number of Irish nationalist parties and organisations, including the Irish Metropolitan Conservative Society in 1836, the Home Government Association in 1870 and in 1873 the Home...

 and Charles Stewart Parnell were not Roman Catholics, but the majority of their supporters were.

While southern Ireland was clamouring for repeal of the Union with Britain, Ulster came round to the view that Union with Britain suited her better than any form of self-government for Ireland. For one thing she saw that the Union was to her economic advantage, since she was far more industrialised than the agricultural south, and her future clearly depended on the continuance of friendly trade with Britain. Due to the industrial revolution Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

 had grown bigger than Dublin. Ulstermen were proud of their achievements and would have seen them as proof of the Weberian
Max Weber
Karl Emil Maximilian "Max" Weber was a German sociologist and political economist who profoundly influenced social theory, social research, and the discipline of sociology itself...

 theory of the "Protestant work ethic
Protestant work ethic
The Protestant work ethic is a concept in sociology, economics and history, attributable to the work of Max Weber...

". Religious faith combined with business acumen to arise in Ulster a fixed opposition to Home Rule, which was later expressed in the popular slogan, Home Rule means Rome Rule.

Her Protestant majority became fearful of one day finding herself dominated by a Roman Catholic Parliament in Dublin:
  • They saw Catholic priests playing a big role in the pro-Home Rule IPP
    Irish Parliamentary Party
    The Irish Parliamentary Party was formed in 1882 by Charles Stewart Parnell, the leader of the Nationalist Party, replacing the Home Rule League, as official parliamentary party for Irish nationalist Members of Parliament elected to the House of Commons at...

  • Would Home Rule, they wondered, become Rome Rule, with Catholic bishops telling Catholic MPs how to vote?
  • Might Irish Protestants not thereby lose their civil and religious liberty?

This was the background against which the English Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 played the Orange Card. Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill MP was a British statesman. He was the third son of the 7th Duke of Marlborough and his wife Lady Frances Anne Emily Vane , daughter of the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry...

 played it with gusto. In 1886, the year of Gladstone’s first Home Rule Bill, Churchill crossed to Belfast to make an inflammatory anti-Home Rule speech in the Ulster Hall
Ulster Hall
The Ulster Hall is a concert hall and grade B1 listed building in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Situated on Bedford Street in Belfast city centre, the hall hosts concerts, classical recitals, craft fairs and political party conferences...

, and a little later, coined the memorable phrase, "Ulster will fight, and Ulster will be right".

Parnell's political opponents pointed out that he was the only non-Catholic MP in his party. To avoid further accusations about Rome Rule he nominated 6 other non-Catholics for safe seats (out of the IPP's new total of 85 MPs) in the 1886 election
United Kingdom general election, 1886
-Seats summary:-See also:*MPs elected in the UK general election, 1886*The Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885-1918-References:*F. W. S. Craig, British Electoral Facts: 1832-1987**...


Other elements

As the Irish nationalist movement recovered in the 1890s from the division caused by Parnell's relationship with Mrs O'Shea, it embraced Gaelic games
Gaelic Athletic Association
The Gaelic Athletic Association is an amateur Irish and international cultural and sporting organisation focused primarily on promoting Gaelic games, which include the traditional Irish sports of hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, handball and rounders...

 and a growing Irish language
Irish language
Irish , also known as Irish Gaelic, is a Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is now spoken as a first language by a minority of Irish people, as well as being a second language of a larger proportion of...

 revival movement, which were often encouraged by the Catholic Church for the good of its parishioners, but which also alienated Irish Protestants. The fate of Bridget Cleary
Bridget Cleary
Bridget Cleary was an Irish woman killed by her husband in 1895. Her death is notable for several peculiarities: the stated motive for the crime was her husband's belief that she had been abducted by fairies with a changeling left in her place; he claimed to have slain only the changeling...

 in 1895 suggested that many rural Irish Catholics were still unduly superstitious. An "Irish-Ireland" ideology of nationalism was developed by David Moran, who stated in 1905 that it was essential to be Catholic to be Irish.

The resurgent Church's dogma on the Syllabus of Errors
Syllabus of Errors
The Syllabus of Errors was a document issued by Holy See under Pope Pius IX on December 8, 1864, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, on the same day as the Pope's encyclical Quanta Cura.- Format :...

 (1864) and Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility
Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals...

 (1871) were unattractive. For observant Protestants the encyclical "Apostolicae Curae" in 1896 had simply denied the validity of the Anglican hierarchy. In 1907 Modernism
Modernism (Roman Catholicism)
Modernism refers to theological opinions expressed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but with influence reaching into the 21st century, which are characterized by a break with the past. Catholic modernists form an amorphous group. The term "modernist" appears in Pope Pius X's 1907...

 was proscribed in "Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Pascendi Dominici Gregis
Pascendi dominici gregis was a Papal encyclical letter promulgated by Pope Pius X on 8 September 1907.The pope condemned Modernism, and a whole range of other principles described as "evolutionary", which allowed change to Roman Catholic dogma...

" and "Lamentabili Sane", indicating that no Protestant, being a heretic
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

, could ever be well regarded by a Catholic-led government.

The Ne Temere
Ne Temere
Ne Temere was a decree of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Council regulating the canon law of the Church about marriage for practising Roman Catholics....

 papal decree of 1907 required non-Catholics married to a Catholic to agree to educate their children as Catholics, and often the non-Catholic was required to convert before the marriage. Ne Temere was tolerated by the UK parliament as it had little impact in Britain; Irish Protestants felt that it would have a much greater impact in a future Catholic-dominated Home Rule Ireland. In 1911 debates both views were considered, and notably those against Ne Temere were unionists and those tolerating it were not.

From 1898 the "Index"
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

, or list of books forbidden to Catholics was modified by Pope Leo. Along with indecent works it still included forbidden authors such as Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 and Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe , born Daniel Foe, was an English trader, writer, journalist, and pamphleteer, who gained fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. Defoe is notable for being one of the earliest proponents of the novel, as he helped to popularise the form in Britain and along with others such as Richardson,...

, and the scientists John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 and Galileo
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

, that most Europeans would by then have found unexceptional.

Socialist theorists on Rome Rule

The English socialist organizer Harry Quelch
Harry Quelch
Henry "Harry" Quelch , known exclusively by his nickname "Harry," was one of the first Marxists in Great Britain. He was a socialist activist, journalist and trade unionist...

 wrote in his 1902 essay, "Home Rule and Rome Rule":
  • "It is not too much to say that from the time that a Pope of Rome formally sold Ireland to an English King, the Church of Rome has been the persistent, unrelenting enemy of Ireland and the Irish people."
  • "A Roman Catholic writer, Mr. Michael J. F. McCarthy
    Michael McCarthy (Irish lawyer)
    Michael John Fitzgerald McCarthy was an Irish lawyer and an anti-clerical author.-Youth:...

    , in a book on “Priests and People in Ireland,” makes a vigorous and uncompromising attack on the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland. He ascribes the ills of Ireland mainly to a single cause, that is sacerdotalism. In his opinion it is the priesthood which is keeping Celtic Ireland “poor, miserable, depressed, unprogressive.” Mr. Frank Hugh O'Donnell
    Frank Hugh O'Donnell
    Frank Hugh O'Donnell , born Francis Hugh MacDonald was an Irish writer, journalist and nationalist politician.-Early life:...

    , himself a Roman Catholic and an Irish Nationalist, declares that notwithstanding the appalling poverty of masses of the Irish people, large sums are obtained by the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Ireland. He says that:- “All over Ireland urgent wants of the lay Catholic community are left unattended. All over Ireland, not even wants, but mere caprices of the clergy are the excuse for costly outlay. All over Ireland, and outside of Ireland, the sight of collecting priests on all sorts of mendicant missions is an abiding vision. Sometimes it is to construct a sumptuous cathedral in a hamlet of grog-shops and hovels. Sometimes it is to raise a memorial church of marble at a cost of £80,000 on an uninhabited hillside in Kerry out of respect to the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell. Sometimes it is to defray the mistake of an architect. Sometimes it is to defray the bill of a Jew purveyor of decorative monstrosities. Never is it to endow the most crying needs of a Catholic university."
  • "We hear from time to time that the Irish people are determined to formulate their own politics, and not to take them from Rome; but events constantly demonstrate that not only the religion but the politics of Ireland are those of the Church of Rome, and that the Irish people are still being exploited in the interest of clericalism and for the proselytising of England. The question is: How long will the people of Ireland permit themselves to be used in this way, and to constitute one of the most effectual barriers to Irish independence by the suspicion that Home Rule only means Rome Rule?"

The Irish socialist and nationalist James Connolly
James Connolly
James Connolly was an Irish republican and socialist leader. He was born in the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, Scotland, to Irish immigrant parents and spoke with a Scottish accent throughout his life. He left school for working life at the age of 11, but became one of the leading Marxist theorists of...

 wrote much about religion and politics, but did not consider the insecurities of Irish loyalists. His optimistic view in 1910 was that the Catholic Church would accommodate itself with an Irish "Workers' Republic", and so Rome Rule could never occur:
  • "North and the South will again clasp hands, again will it be demonstrated, as in ’98, that the pressure of a common exploitation can make enthusiastic rebels out of a Protestant working class, earnest champions of civil and religious liberty out of Catholics, and out of both a united Social democracy."


The phrase took on a new lease of life from the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill
Home Rule Act 1914
The Government of Ireland Act 1914 , also known as the Third Home Rule Bill, was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to provide self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The Act was the first law ever passed by the Parliament of...

 in April 1912. Ulster loyalist opponents of Home Rule formed the Ulster Volunteers and their opponents in the rest of Ireland set up the Irish Volunteers
Irish Volunteers
The Irish Volunteers was a military organisation established in 1913 by Irish nationalists. It was ostensibly formed in response to the formation of the Ulster Volunteers in 1912, and its declared primary aim was "to secure and maintain the rights and liberties common to the whole people of Ireland"...

 in 1913. Both paramilitary groups imported arms, and by mid-1914 it seemed likely that an Irish civil war would erupt, with people's allegiances based largely, if not primarily, on their parents' religions.

The Protestants’ fears about a Dublin Parliament may have been exaggerated, and the history of Ireland since independence has, on the whole, tended to suggest that they were, but they did not think so at the time, and it was upon that belief that they acted. "Home Rule", they declared, "would be Rome Rule, and that was all there was to it". "It may seem strange to you and me," Bonar Law told Lord Riddell
Riddell Baronets
There have been three Baronetcies created for people with the surname Riddell, one in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia, one in the Baronetage of Great Britain and one in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom....

, "but it is a religious question. Those people are . . . . prepared to die for their convictions".

Indeed, occasional speeches by leading Nationalists designed to allay Liberal
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 fears that "Home Rule really would be Rome Rule," were in 1911 clearly making some Catholic churchmen anxious. The end and the reward of Home Rule commanded the sympathy of all of us, but the question is: Are they not as likely, or more likely, to have as their reward Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 in the Schools?

The nationalist view was also indicatively divergent:
"Our home was a Catholic household; all the children were at Catholic schools and the Catholic University, so all the children’s friends were Catholics, and all my grandmother’s subtle match-making and her ambition’s pre-supposed Catholic dynasties. Home Rule means Rome Rule said the Ulster Protestant slogan. Not at all. . . . . . . It was 'our people', neither Rome nor the Protestant ascendancy, who should rule in Ireland. 'Our people', through an élite, sprung from it, trained for its service, . . . . . . The Jesuits were helping to train such an élite".

The envisaged threat from both Home Rule and Rome was expressed in an angry poem by Rudyard Kipling
Rudyard Kipling
Joseph Rudyard Kipling was an English poet, short-story writer, and novelist chiefly remembered for his celebration of British imperialism, tales and poems of British soldiers in India, and his tales for children. Kipling received the 1907 Nobel Prize for Literature...

 Ulster 1912’’ 4th verse:
’’We know the war prepared
On every peaceful home,
We know the hells declared
For such as serve not Rome –-

It so happened that Pius X was Pope in 1903–1914, the period when the policies of Ulster unionism were cast. His general policy of church supremacy led to antagonism across Europe between secular governments and his Church. Unlike other Catholic churches in Europe, such as in Spain or Portugal, the Irish Church was no longer semi-autonomous but had been assigned in 1833 to the Congregation of Missions in Rome. As a result the Irish Church could be governed under canon law
Canon law (Catholic Church)
The canon law of the Catholic Church, is a fully developed legal system, with all the necessary elements: courts, lawyers, judges, a fully articulated legal code and principles of legal interpretation. It lacks the necessary binding force present in most modern day legal systems. The academic...

 by the relatively informal motu proprio
Motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....

 system. Concern about this led to proposals for safeguards in the debates that led to the Home Rule Act 1914
Home Rule Act 1914
The Government of Ireland Act 1914 , also known as the Third Home Rule Bill, was an Act passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom intended to provide self-government for Ireland within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.The Act was the first law ever passed by the Parliament of...


Loyalists were unspecific about the likely effect of "Rome Rule", but it became an effective slogan in maintaining the loyalty of the Protestant working class, and contributed to the lack of trust which caused the near-civil war prior to the 1914 Third Home Rule Act and the Partition of Ireland
Partition of Ireland
The partition of Ireland was the division of the island of Ireland into two distinct territories, now Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland . Partition occurred when the British Parliament passed the Government of Ireland Act 1920...

 during 1914–25. From the Easter Rising
Easter Rising
The Easter Rising was an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, 1916. The Rising was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War...

 in 1916 on a number of prominent Nationalist Protestants or lapsed Catholic
Lapsed Catholic
A lapsed Catholic is a person who has ceased practicing the Catholic faith, in the sense of attending Mass. Such a person may still identify as a Catholic.-"Lapsed Catholic" and "ex-Catholic":...

s even felt the need to conform to be considered fully involved in the nationalist movement.

During the Irish War of Independence
Irish War of Independence
The Irish War of Independence , Anglo-Irish War, Black and Tan War, or Tan War was a guerrilla war mounted by the Irish Republican Army against the British government and its forces in Ireland. It began in January 1919, following the Irish Republic's declaration of independence. Both sides agreed...

 the Irish Republic
Irish Republic
The Irish Republic was a revolutionary state that declared its independence from Great Britain in January 1919. It established a legislature , a government , a court system and a police force...

 sought international recognition from other countries including the Holy See
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

. Its envoy Seán T. O'Kelly
Sean T. O'Kelly
Seán Thomas O'Kelly was the second President of Ireland . He was a member of Dáil Éireann from 1918 until his election as President. During this time he served as Minister for Local Government and Minister for Finance...

 wrote to Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV
Pope Benedict XV , born Giacomo Paolo Giovanni Battista della Chiesa, reigned as Pope from 3 September 1914 to 22 January 1922...

 in 1920 in terms suggesting that the war was a part of a long religious struggle, and identifying the Irish Republic with "Catholic Ireland". The letter was not published until recently; it included:

"Irish Catholics believe that their devotion to their religion and to the Holy See handicaps their efforts for independence. While this in no way shakes their adherence to the Faith, they naturally resent the audacity of an officially heretical government approaching the Holy See on occasions through Catholic or non-Catholic channels, seeking to procure, on pretexts of faith and morals, the condemnation of Catholic Ireland. It is true that the latter happens to be weak and England strong; hence England tries to turn into an instrument of further oppression a force on which Ireland should obviously have paramount claims and for which Ireland suffered and fought and bled while the oppressor repudiated, blasphemed and persecuted it."

After 1922 Rome Rule was occasionally used as a disparaging term by anti-clerical socialists in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 who opposed the Church's views on social policy. In a campaign against Ireland's laws forbidding contraception the Irish feminist
Feminism in Ireland
Second-wave feminism in Ireland began in the 1970s fronted by women such as Nell McCafferty, Mary Kenny, June Levine and Nuala O'Faolain. At the time, the majority of women in Ireland were housewives...

 Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny
Mary Kenny is an Irish author, broadcaster, playwright and journalist. She was a founder member of the Irish Women's Liberation Movement, though she has modified her radical past, but not rejected feminist principles....

 stated in 1971 that – "Ian Paisley was right; Home Rule is Rome Rule".

In 2009 Professor Ronan Fanning of UCD
University College Dublin
University College Dublin ) - formally known as University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin is the Republic of Ireland's largest, and Ireland's second largest, university, with over 1,300 faculty and 17,000 students...

 considered that – " an overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland, the old Unionist taunt that Home Rule would mean Rome Rule had no force because Rome Rule had become more a cause for pride than for shame."

Outburst in 1988

The slogan continued to be used for decades in unionist politics in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

, and explains the visceral outburst by Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Baron Bannside, PC is a politician and church minister in Northern Ireland. As the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party , he and Sinn Féin's Martin McGuinness were elected First Minister and deputy First Minister respectively on 8 May 2007.In addition to co-founding...

 in the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 against the presence of Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 on 12 October 1988. Paisley referred to the Pope as "The Antichrist
The term or title antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner...


Culmination 2009


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