Henry Grattan

Henry Grattan was one of the more enlightened members of the Protestant Ascendency. He was in favour of Catholic Emancipation and wanted to include Presbyterians into the political system also. He worked hard to secure legislative independence from Britain through the repeal of Poyning's Law in 1782. Britain was feeling under pressure due to the American Revolution and was feeling that it was time to devolve some powers to ensure that Ireland did not follow in America's footsteps. However, this victory was only a brief one as Grattan failed to halt the dissolution of the Irish Parliament and the Act of Union in 1800. Much of his work was undone by the 1798 rebellions that sought help from Revolutionary France.

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by Stephen Luscombe