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Easter Rising did for Home Rule

Donal Kennedy asserts (Write Back, April 20) that "the sinking of the third Home Rule Bill was partly attributable to an unwillingness of British Army officers to obey orders when called to the assistance of the civil power".

Mr Kennedy's letter suffers from two misconceptions. First, the third Home Rule Bill was not sunk by the Army, partly or otherwise. The third Home Rule Bill was passed into law in September 1914, but was suspended for the duration of the war. What 'sank' the Home Rule project, in the end, was the Easter Rising and its aftermath.

Second, no officers refused to obey orders to assist the civil power.

Brigadier-General Hubert Gough indicated in March 1914 that he and other officers of his brigade at the Curragh could not obey hypothetical orders for the coercive implementation of Home Rule legislation.

However, he made it clear that he would be ready to undertake operations to maintain law and order if required to do so.

C D C ARMSTRONG

Belfast

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