THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Portadown methodist remain resolutely opposed to Home Rule

From the News Letter, March 13, 1912

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 6:00 am
A bird's eye view of a bustling Market Street, Portadown, Co Armagh. Date: ca. 1900. NLI Ref: EAS_0117. Picture: National Library of Ireland

The Methodists of the Portadown circuit met this week in 1912 to protest against the Government’s proposal to grant Home Rule to Ireland, reported the News Letter.

The chair of the meeting, Mr D G Shillington, JP, reminded those attending the meeting that Methodist conferences in 1886, 1892 and 1893 had all rejected Home Rule and this remain the case.

He declared: “Why, then, should we remain silent now when we are confronted with the same position of affairs, and while still the large majority of our people hold the same view?”

Mr A T Farrell, one of the secretaries of the Portadown circuit, also addressed the meeting and said that they as a church would not have Home Rule and he called on all who could to attend the large demonstration planned for Belfast.

Mr John Collen, DL, moved the following resolution: “That this meeting of the Methodists of Thomas Street and Edenderry Memorial Churches and 13 other churches and preaching places on the Portadown circuit hereby declare our intention to give out heartiest support to the great Methodist demonstration which is to be held in Belfast on Thursday next to protest against the proposal to grant Home Rule to Ireland. And we hereby declare it to be our firm belief that in this, the largest centre of Methodism in Ireland, outside of the cities of Dublin and Belfast, that not one per cent of our people sympathise with or would give any countenance to such Home Rule legislation as our conference and country rejected in 1886.”