Wednesday 11 November 1998
However, Lord Kitchener, Minister for War, who was of a rack-renting Anglo-Irish family in Ireland, refused to allow these men to have their own divisions, unlike the Ulster Protestants, because he regarded the Catholics as "not loyal" and insisted that they be distributed throughout other formations.
To claim that some of the Catholics were shot by the IRA upon their return can only be anecdotal, since the IRA evolved in December 1918 from the survivors of the Irish Volunteers, who returned home to find that Lloyd George had reneged on the Irish Home Rule Bill, which had received Royal Assent in September 1914 but had been put into abeyance until the end of the conflict, with Redmond's approval. Had Redmond withheld the Irish Volunteers until 1915, when Britain was desperate for manpower, he could have had Home Rule for the asking and these men would have come back to an Irish government.
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