On March 1, 2018, An Post will issue a stamp to commemorate the centenary of John Redmond’s death.
John Edward Redmond was an Irish nationalist politician, barrister and Member of Parliament (MP) in the British House of Commons. He was best known for having helped to pass an act in parliament in 1914 that granted 'Home Rule' - a devolved parliament - to Ireland.
Redmond came from an old Irish family, considered to be part of the ‘Catholic gentry’ of County Wexford. The first unusual thing Redmond did was to study at Trinity College, Dublin, which was regarded as an overwhelmingly Protestant institution at the time. In 1876 he moved into politics when he became his father's assistant in Westminster and it was there that he became a follower of one of the best-known Irish politicians of all time: Charles Stewart Parnell.
Parnell supported Redmond's candidacy for the parliamentary seat of New Ross which he won in 1881 when he was just 24 years old. In 1910, the IPP supported the formation of a Liberal Party government led by HH Asquith. The price for cooperation was bringing the Home Rule bill to parliament. In September 1914 the Irish Home Rule Act granted limited self-government to Ireland but its implementation was interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War.
Redmond asked his fellow countrymen to fight alongside Britain to restore the ‘freedom of small nations’ on the European continent. In 1916, they rose in rebellion and the IPP lost its dominance in Irish politics. In the December 1918 general election, the IPP was wiped out and Sinn Féin swept the polls nine months after Redmond’s death.