John Redmond was responsible for the death of scores of thousands of Irishmen and the incapacitation of as many more between 1914 and 1918 . He was responsible for uncounted deaths and incapacitation of Germans, Austrians, Turks and others who had never injured or insulted Ireland nor contemplated doing so.
Without consulting his party’s MPs nor seeking a mandate from the Irish electorate, Redmond urged them into war. And he cut the ground from under the many Liberal and Labour MPs who might have stopped the Gadarene stampede into its horrors.
So a case can be made that Redmond held himself responsible to nobody and was thus responsible for all the horrors which followed in its wake right through to the present day.
The British Government did not sleep- walk into war, The first paragraph of Lloyd George’s War Memoirs, published in 1929 or 1930 should dispose of that myth.
Tom Clarke and James Connolly, Patrick Pearse and their Irish adherents saved Irishmen form conscription into the British Forces, thus saving their lives and health, and the lives and health of peoples of other nations. Recruitment in Ireland for the British Forces had appreciably declined before the 1916 Rising.
Perhaps some enterprising scholar will prepare a balance sheet comparing the loss of human lives resulting from the Parliamentary belligerence of John Redmond, as against the example of Pearse and his colleagues.
Pearse and his comrades faced Ireland’s enemies in their own streets, then surrendered to those enemies, certain of their own fates. They did this so that the lives of civilians would be saved from British artillery and machine-gun fire and the martial enthusiasm of Captain Bowen-Colthurst and his followers.
Perhaps the presses of Oxbridge and the Ivy League would print such works.
Perhaps, when sows’ ears mutate into silk purses, Irish universities will follow suit.