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Session 4

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1. How true is it to say that the Church of Ireland (ie. the Irish branch of the Anglican Church/Communion) gained more than it lost by Disestablisment?
Facts: (1) Before Disestablishment the majority of the bishops appointed to Sees in Ireland were Englishmen.
(2) They held extensive lands and the rentals from them, apart from their other sources of income. At the end of the 18th century the Protestant bishop of Derry had an income of about £80,000 Stg per annum (about one £ 1000,000 in today's terms).
(3) After Disestablishment, almost all the personnel of the C of I were Irishmen (and women), not imported clergy given preferments and benefices in Ireland as favors by the English Establishment.
(4) In having a national Synod (General Council), composed of both clergy and laity, it governed itself and made its own appointments in a democratic fashion.
(5) From the point of view of the Irish Catholics, it finally did away with the curse of tithing to an alien Church, though much religious bigotry remained on both sides.

2. Distinguish the various forces and ideals which helped to create a new kind of nationalism in Ireland during the years 1880-1914. Was it really a new nationalism?
Look at the various movements in Irish nationalism in this period. They are new in terms of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but are they really new in the long view? What were their separate aims, remembering that they were all politically motivated, had a substantial overlap in membership. Many persons were members of several groups, and many also belonged to the IRB.

Copyright ©2008 Aidan Breen, Ph.D.