Irish National Federation

Irish National Federation
Leader Justin McCarthy
John Dillon
Founded 1891
Dissolved 1900
Split from Irish National League
Merged into Irish Parliamentary Party
Ideology Irish nationalism
Religious conservatism
Colours Green

The Irish National Federation (INF) was a nationalist political party in Ireland, founded in 1891 by former members of the Irish National League (INL) who had left the Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) in protest when Charles Stewart Parnell refused to resign the party leadership as a result of his involvement in the divorce proceedings of Katharine O'Shea, the separated wife of a fellow MP with whom he had a long-standing relationship.

The group, which had a larger membership than the rump of the former Irish Party or National League (INL) who stood by Parnell under the leadership of John Redmond and became known as the Anti-Parnellite faction, was led first by Justin McCarthy then by John Dillon. The INF was supported by the Catholic clergy who strongly influenced the elections of 1892 and 1895 and by-elections. The Irish Times reported on 23 February 1893 that ‘the priests...swarmed at all the polling stations, and kept the voters constantly in view’.

Membership declined after the United Irish League (UIL), which sought party reunification, was founded in 1898 by William O'Brien. As a result, in 1900 the Federation joined the UIL in merging with the INL under the leadership of John Redmond in a new Irish Parliamentary Party.


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