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Kildare has reverted to Whiggery

By James Durney

In the 1895 General Election Co. Kildare returned two anti-Parnellite MPs prompting the Leinster Leader to declare: ‘Kildare has reverted to Whiggery, not through the free unfettered choice of the electors, but owing to the ceaseless covert and insidious intimidation of the clergy.’ With only 5,007 people legally qualified to vote in the North Kildare constituency Charles John Engletow, Irish National Federation, or Federationist (F), received 1,944 votes, while his rival James Laurence Carew (Irish Party) got 1,712 votes. However, 27 per cent of the electorate had stayed away from the polls, possibly sick of the internecine strife or generally apathetic. In the South Kildare constituency Matthew Minch had also been victorious for the Federationists. A week after the election the Leinster Leader, of 3 August 1895, mourned the loss of Kildare:

The record of Kildare, one of the brightest in the history of Ireland, has been blotted by the name of Engledow. Kildare, the land of Lord Edward and Wolfe Tone, the Saviour of the National cause in the days of danger and distress; Kildare that has always and ever disdained the policy of crawl; Kildare the pioneer of National freedom, has been betrayed and dishonoured by her enemies from within. Her birthright has been stolen from her by those who should be the guardians of her honour and integrity. Quis custodiet eustoeds? They have betrayed their trust. They have foisted on the constituency whom? Oh, name him not – an unknown, an adventurer, a political tramp, here to-day and away to-morrow, a tool, who, when he has served the purpose of his employers, will be set aside without ceremony.

In the 1895 General Election Co. Kildare returned two anti-Parnellite MPs

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