Edward Carson, the father of modern Irish loyalism, was born at number 4 Harcourt Street and the location is marked today by a small plaque. For many years, Carson’s birthplace sat in a decaying condition and looked likely to be demolished:
While researching something entirely different, I stumbled across this ‘obituary’ to Carson in the pages of the left-wing Republican Congress newspaper in 1935. The Republican Congress emerged out of the left of the republican movement in the period, and many important figures like Frank Ryan, Nora Connolly O’Brien, Peadar O’Donnell and George Gilmore were active participants for varying lengths of time. This piece on Carson’s death ran on the papers front page on October 26 1935. It’s far from complimentary!
Lord Carson is dead- twenty five years too late. No tears will be shed for the maker of partition and the father of sectarian strife.
There was nothing inconsistent in the fact a Dublin lawyer should espouse a sectarian Belfast cause. It was the call of his class that Carson answered when he led the opposition to Home Rule.
In pursuit of personal gain Carson wrecked the unity of the nation. He got his reward- the power and pelf he sought. His dupes had to face disillusionment. Carson lived longer than most expected. But Castlereagh and the Sham Squire have boon company now!