I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Charles Lysaght

A Servant of the Crown

When old age pensions were introduced in 1908 there was a fear among senior administrators in Ireland that they would be massively abused by ‘a class of people who have brought scheming for the purposes of obtaining state and charitable aid to a pitch of perfection’.

For Ireland and the Crown

Whigs like William Monsell were blackguarded by nationalists as corrupt place-seekers and toadies and Whig became a dirty word in the Irish lexicon – one thinks, not without a feeling of irony, of Francis Cruise O’Brien, father of Conor, berating Father Delaney, the Jesuit head of university college Dublin as "a decayed old Whig". This spread to a general denigration of all who accepted official posts under the union, be they policemen, civil servants, judges or politicians. Yet such preferment was necessary if one was to meet the grievance of Irish Catholics that they were denied their fair share in the governance of their country. Ireland did not have to go a different way from Scotland and Wales.