The Irish and Their Faith

Justin McCarthy
Chapter IV | Start of Chapter

The condition of Ireland was now one of chronic rebellion. The political or national warfare, the fight for Irish independence, had been embittered and infuriated to the last degree by the struggle of the old form of religion against the new. The Roman Catholics were not allowed any chance of coming into political harmony with the conquering race. The ordinary man may submit when a system of political rule is bearing down upon him which he sees no chance of resisting with success, but if he must also abjure the Faith of his fathers or hold his home and life at the mercy of his conquerors, he will naturally feel compelled to try the last and to die for his creed. This was the feeling in the hearts of the Irish Catholics. The defence of the ancestral soil became identified with the defence of the ancestral faith. So strongly did these sentiments take hold of the great majority of the Irish that almost any foreign Power which happened to be the enemy of England was regarded as the friend of Ireland.