|Parnell was the
son of a wealthy, land owning Protestant family.
At twenty nine he decided to enter the political
arena in support of the Irish Home Rule in 1878.
Within 2 years of being elected M.P. for County
Dublin, he was made chairman of the Irish
Political Party in Westminister. Parnell's
speeches electrified Ireland. He became a national
hero for his support of the Land League, fighting
to lessen the grip of the land-lords on their
impoverished tenants. By 1880 this campaign had
developed into a united demand for Home Rule and
Parnell forced a vote on the issue in
Westminister. It was narrowly defeated, but this
in itself was proof enough that Home Rule was not
an idle dream. This seed planted by Parnell took
root in the hearts of young Irishmen and
blossomed into the 1916 Rising and finally
independence in 1922.