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The story of Irish Home Rule

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A Protestant Truth Society's women's meeting in Carton Hall, to protest against Home Rule for Ireland. A show of hands as approval of a petition to the King (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

A Protestant Truth Society's women's meeting in Carton Hall, to protest against Home Rule for Ireland. A show of hands as approval of a petition to the King (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Getty Images

A Protestant Truth Society's women's meeting in Carton Hall, to protest against Home Rule for Ireland. A show of hands as approval of a petition to the King (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

In this Saturday’s Irish Independent, discover the story of Home Rule, the push for self-government for Ireland that was spearheaded by the nationalist leader John Redmond, a figure admired and criticised in almost equal measure.

Home Rule became law on September 18, 1914 but it was almost immediately suspended due to World War 1 which many thought would last for just a few months.

At the heart of this complex story is John Redmond who at the time of Home Rule was the 58-year-old MP for Waterford. In Home Rule@100, two of the most knowledgable historians in the country, Dermot Meleady and Conor Mulvagh of UCD, outline his career and the path of the third Home Rule bill.

We look at life in Ireland in 1914, explain the political map of the time and tell you who the 10 main players in the Home Rule story were, from Daniel O'Connell to Margot Asquith, the wife of the British Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith

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Photographed is John Redmond (Picture: Mary Browne)

Photographed is John Redmond (Picture: Mary Browne)

Photographed is John Redmond (Picture: Mary Browne)

We've rounded up historical documents with the help of UCD and the National Library of Ireland, pulled stunning archive photographs from the unrivalled archives of the Irish Independent and reports from the time to assist in telling the story

After it gained royal assent in 1914, Home Rule was put on ice. Redmond died in March 1918, his dreams of Irish-self-rule unrealised. 'Father, I am a broken man," were the last words he uttered on his deathbed in London.

As part of their feature research for the supplement, Graham Clifford and photographer Mary Browne recently visited the final resting place of Redmond in Wexford town.

What they found shocked them; a graveyard under lock and key and poignantly the fact that Redmond, a giant figure in Irish history's defining era, lies seemingly forgotten. Even his family in London admit they rarely spoke of their famous relative - until now.

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Photographed is John Redmond in 1912 (Picture: Mary Browne)

Photographed is John Redmond in 1912 (Picture: Mary Browne)

Photographed is John Redmond in 1912 (Picture: Mary Browne)

Recent heated political debate shows that many people have a view on Redmond and the story of Home Rule. But can we possibly appreciate the enormous pressures the nationalist leader faced, the adversaries he encountered and the duplicity of those who tried to hinder Home Rule?

Was Redmond naive, did he fully understand the wrath of Ulster people who opposed Home Rule and the fury of Irish Volunteers who resented the idea of fighting what they regarded as Britain's Imperial war?

Discover these compelling stories, viewpoints and features about Ireland in 1914 in Home Rule@100, free inside this Saturday's Irish Independent.

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John Redmond addresses a home rule meeting at the Parnell Monument in Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street), Dublin, in 1912

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