December 24, 1889

Captain William O’Shea files for divorce, citing Parnell as his wife Kitty’s lover, which in turn caused the loss of Parnell’s political power. O’Shea, who had known about the Parnell and Kitty’s affair, only filed for divorce after his wife’s inheritance was lost. O’Shea, an MP for Galway, had also been swayed to the side of Gladstone who wanted to bring down Parnell’s movement for Home Rule. After the divorce was filed, Parnell and Kitty refused to contest in the hopes that they could marry following the trial. However, public sentiment turned against Parnell. The Irish Parliamentary Party quickly divided and he was forced to step down as head.

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