Page:The World's Famous Orations Volume 6.djvu/266

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THE WORLD'S FAMOUS ORATIONS


made by the Sovereign, Lords and Commons of Ireland. We specifically deny the moral or legal and constitutional right of the English Parliament to legislate for Ireland. Upon what does this claim rest? The Irish Parliament—people certainly in England seem quite oblivious of the fact—the Irish Parliament was almost coeval with and absolutely coordinate with the Parliament of England, and the first Irish Parliament of which we have any authentic records sat in 1295, and from 1295 until 1495 that Parliament was absolutely supreme, a sovereign Parliament, and no law made in England was binding in Ireland, and altho in 1495 what was known as Poyning's Law was passed, which provided that the heads of all bills to be introduced into the Irish Parliament were first to be approved by the king and privy council of England, still that law was an Irish law passed by an Irish Parliament, and did not sacrifice the indedependence of the Irish Parliament or recognize England's right to make laws for Ireland; It reserved a coordinate authority with the English Parliament, and this condition remained unbroken—aye, remained unquestioned until the reign of George I., and then, in 1719, an English Act was passed declaring that the English Parliament had power of making laws for Ireland.

Now, that clause was always resisted by this country. Ireland never for one hour ceased to protest against it, until at last, in 1782, the freedom of the Irish Parliament was obtained by

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