The Irish Parliament

Justin McCarthy
Chapter VIII | Start of Chapter

Grattan made it his object to secure for Ireland the independence of her Parliament—that is, the right of the Irish Parliament to introduce and discuss its own measures without asking the previous permission of the King and his Council, and of carrying them into enactments under the same constitutional checks and control as were provided for the Parliament of England. The change he desired to introduce may be made clear by explaining that Grattan wished to obtain for Ireland just such a domestic and national Parliament as that which has long been established for Canada, and more lately for the Australian Commonwealth, and has made these Colonies contented, prosperous, and loyal. Grattan actually succeeded in his object, and was able, in his own words, "to address for the first time the Parliament of a free people." That Parliament, thus described by the man who called it into existence, was as completely a part of England's constitutional system as the Parliament which now meets at Westminster. We shall have to consider the influences, the accidents, the great upheavals at home and abroad, which marred for the time the permanent success of Grattan's great achievements, and brought about yet another conquest of Ireland.