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In 1840 Irish statesman Daniel O'Connell formed the Repeal Association, which was popular all over Ireland except Ulster, where the majority supported the Union with Britain. The UK's response was, in expectation of an uprising, to station 25,000 troops in Ireland. With O'Connell’s death, the Great Famine and the subsequent mass emigration, the Repeal movement lost steam, but its goals kept hopes of self-government alive.
In 1886 Charles Stewart Parnell came closer to a deal with Gladstone, but it was defeated in the House of Lords. On 18th September 1914, the Home Rule Act was finally passed by the UK parliament.
This tune and others can be found in my Irish Collection.