One of my final duties today – Commem at Glenalmond College. So I paused to pay my respects to the Founder, William Ewart Gladstone, in the Quad.
It was Gladstone who came to the conclusion that Ireland should have Home Rule and who gave effect to that in a series of Home Rule Bills. The third was passed but its implementation was delayed by the First World War. And then matters were pre-empted by the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin. It’s another of the great ‘what if’s’ of history.
But somehow I think that Irish Partition could never have been avoided – for the Ulster Protestants were signing the Covenant in their blood