The Act of Union (1800)

The major short-term consequence of the 1798 Rebellion was the decision of the British government to abolish the Irish parliament and rule directly from London. Between 1799 and 1800 the Act of Union was debated vigorously in the Irish House of Commons. The barrister George Ponsonby humiliated the government ministers in numerous encounters and  another lawyer, William Plunket, contemptuously dismissed the Chief Secretary, Viscount Castlereagh, as "a green and sapless twig". The Bar even met publicly to declare its opposition to the Union. Never the less, despite the excellent arguments employed, the Union was passed - thanks in part to bribery and corruption - and the Irish parliament ceased to exist on 1 January 1801.

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