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Chief Secretary sets out future of a united Ireland
A sight the Chief Secretary does not want to see - Henry Duke expressed his hopes for a settlement to the Irish question that included a united Ireland. Taken from Puck Magazine, 8 Aug 1914. Photo: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Chief Secretary sets out future of a united Ireland

Dublin, 15 January 1917 - Unionist Ulster’s concerns must be addressed before she can be won.

The Chief Secretary of Ireland, Henry Duke made the remark during a speech after the Corinthian Club dinner at the Gresham Hotel this week. He noted that this was a vital fact that the Irish Parliamentary Party ‘still fails utterly to appreciate’.

After some remarks on Ireland's propensity for ‘mercurial ... temperamental … boisterous demonstrations', Mr Duke said that he had come to the country intent on bringing to all events a 'dominant note of dullness'.

He expressed his hopes for a united Ireland, for a just and fair settlement of the Irish question, but restated his view that unity is the task of Irishmen.

The unionist Irish Times lauded Duke's speech and concurred with its sentiments: 'If Ireland wants a satisfactory settlement of her eternal question, she must not only reach agreement within her own borders: she must secure the goodwill of Great Britain and the whole Empire.'

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.