THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Unionist meeting reaffirms its confidence in Carson’s leadership
From the News Letter, February 5, 1920
At meeting held in the Protestant Hall in Antrim under the auspices of the local Unionist Club full confidence was expressed in the leadership of Sir Edward Carson and his ongoing fight against the imposition of home rule on Ulster.
Captain C C Craig MP told the meeting: “We, the members of the Antrim Unionist Club, reaffirm our confidence in our trusted leader Sir Edward Carson. We place on record our abhorrence of the dastardly crimes now so prevalent throughout Ireland, which are a disgrace to civilisation, and we call upon the government to suppress them.”
He added: “We declare once more our continued loyalty to the cause of the Union, under which alone do we believe the best interests of all classes and creeds in Ireland can be served.”
Turning his focus to the Home Rule bill which was due to introduced in the coming months he remarked that he would never change his opinion in opposition to the home rule.
He said: “Just as a leopard cannot change his spots, so we cannot alter the convictions which have held for all our lives that Home Rule, far from being a blessing to Ireland or England would be a curse to both.”
Captain Craig’s remarks received enthusiastic applause.
He added that there was a growing opinion in England that “something must be done to settle the Irish question” but he warned the government it would be unwise of them to ignore the opinions of unionists, as were being expressed that night in Antrim.