INSURRECTION IN DUBLIN
An insurrection broke out in
Dublin on Monday last. Rumour follows rumour of desperate doings
in the Irish Capital, but little information of an authentic nature
has come through, except an official statement from the Lord Lieutenant,
stating that Liberty Hall has been shelled; that 10,000 troops
have been brought from England, and that the situation is well
On Tuesday the “Irish Times” published
the following Proclamation:-
Whereas an attempt, instigated
and designed by the foreign enemies of our King and Country to
incite rebellion in Ireland, and thus endanger the safety of the
United Kingdom, has been made by a reckless, though small, body
of men, who have been guilty of insurrectionary acts in the City
Now, we, Ivor Churchill, Baron Wimborne, Lord Lieutenant General
and Governor General of Ireland, do hereby warn all His Majesty’s
subjects that the sternest measures are being and will be taken
for the prompt suppression of the existing disturbances and the
restoration of order.
And we do hereby enjoin all loyal and law-abiding citizens to
abstain from any acts or conduct which might interfere with the
action of the Executive Government, and, in particular, we warn
all citizens of the danger of unnecessarily frequenting the streets
or public places, or of assembling in crowds.
Given under Our Seal on the 24th
day of April, 1916,
GOD SAVE THE KING
The “Irish Times”
also added the following significant par. :- “Yesterday
morning an insurrectionary rising took place in the City of Dublin.
The authorities have taken active and energetic measures to cope
with the situation. These measures are proceeding favourably.”
The usual crop of wild and extravagant
rumours went their course, but no authentic information came through,
until the following official statement was issued by the Lord
Lieutenant from the Vice Regal Lodge at 2.40 on Wednesday:-
“Royal Naval Reserve gunboat
in Liffey shelled, and the troops subsequently occupied, Liberty
Hall, the head quarters of the Sinn Fein forces. Meanwhile large
reinforcements have arrived in Dublin, including a detachment
of 10,000 troops from England, with artillery, engineering and
medical corps. In other portions of the city the situation is
well in hand. Repairs to lines are now being rapidly effected.”
The following official communiqué
was issued by the G.O.C. in Dublin on Wednesday:-
“Reports from the provinces
indicate that normal conditions prevail. Situation in Dublin has
improved, and adequate forces are at the disposal of the military
authorities to cope with the situation.”
In its report of the Royal Dublin
Society Spring show on Tuesday the “Irish Times” says:-
“A large number of exhibits arrived in the city yesterday,
but owing to the seizure of the railway premises by the Sinn Fein
and Larkanite Volunteers it was not possible to forward many of
them to the Show grounds.”
Mr T. Browne, of Ennis, who happened
to be in Dublin on Monday and Tuesday, in the course of an interview
with our representative, said he saw the Sinn Feiners take possession
of the General Post Office. They went into the P.O. and took forcible
possession. The staff had to leave the premises. They next broke
the windows of the office, and stuffed them with mail bags, placing
a number of men with loaded rifles at each of them; over the post
office the Republican Flag floated, and surrounding it was a barbed
wire entanglement. The volunteers next entered the Metropole Hotel,
out of which they took the beds, and carried them to the G.P.O.
Highly sensational rumours about the seriousness of the situation
in Dublin were current on Wednesday, but were not confirmed. One
rumour had it that the revolutionaries had taken not only the
G.P.O. but the Castle, and were in possession of machine guns.
Another was to the effect that the dead military and civilians
lay in heaps on the streets.
Beyond the official communication and Mr Browne’s information,
no reliable news has, however, come through.
The situation in Clare is perfectly quiet and normal.
In Ennis the situation in Dublin has been discussed with feverish
A review of the Irish Volunteers, announced to be held in Gort
on Monday, was abandoned at the last moment. Extra police were
drafted into Gort, but were subsequently transferred to the coast
around Ballindereen, where, rumour had it, an attempt would be
made to land arms. Evidently there was no foundation for the rumour.
It was also rumoured that isolated police huts in Galway were
raided, but inquiries failed to elicit any confirmation of it.
It is, however, evident that the railway line between Ennis and
Galway, probably near Craughwell, has been damaged. Railway services
with Galway had been interrupted on Thursday. It was also said
that telegraph posts and wires were cut.
An Irish Volunteer Organiser named Fahey was arrested at Craughwell
on Tuesday, and conveyed through Ennis to Limerick by motor. He
was handed over to the military authorities. On Wednesday night
Thomas Coen, Ardrahan, was arrested and escorted, via Ennis, to
Though the situation in the provinces, on the whole, appears to
be normal, it is understood that a proclamation proclaiming martial
law all over the country is about to be issued.
Wednesday’s “Daily Sketch,” which arrived in
Ennis on Thursday, published an official statement by Mr Birrell.
“Before the House of Commons
sat in secret on yesterday Mr Birrell, the Irish Chief Secretary,
revealed the disquieting fact that armed rebellion had broken
out in Ireland.
Answering Captain Craig, Mr Birrell said:
“At noon on Monday grave
disturbances broke out in Dublin.
The Post Office was forcibly taken possession of, and twelve lives
have been lost.
The rebels are in possession of four or five different parts of
Soldiers have arrived from the Curragh, and the situation is now
well in hand. Telegraphic communication has been cut off.”
In the course of a very remarkable
article on the capture of Sir Rodger [Roger] Casement the “Sketch”
says:- “That he (Casement) is a traitor to Ireland there
is little need to prove. The response of that country to her leader’s
call to arms, and the deeds of her regiments in the field, meant
that Ireland was heart and soul for the war.
We knew that there was a disloyal minority – but so there
was in Wales, England and Scotland. Ireland as a Notion [Nation]
stood for the Alliance in word and deed.
There are a few pro-Germans in Ireland and probably disturbances
were arranged to coincide with the ‘invasion’. It
will be regrettable if these now come off, but nobody in or out
of Ireland will overate their significance. We, too, have our
traitors and their only difference between theirs and ours is
that ours have not the Irish pluck.”
In its news columns the “Sketch”
“Sir Rodger Casement, whose arrest in connection with the
abortive attempt to land arms in Ireland from a German vessel,
was brought to London on Sunday morning. He was met at Euston
by officers from Scotland Yard, and is now detained in military
custody. It is understood that evidence as to his proceedings
in Germany since the outbreak of the war will be produced at his
The “Sketch” further
says:- “Sir Rodger Casement published an extraordinary pamphlet
for private circulation in New York, the preface of which was
written in 1911. It was circulated by the German Foreign Office,
and contained the following –
‘The day the first German comrade lands in Ireland, the
day the first German warship is seen proudly breasting the waters
of the Irish Sea, with the Flag of Ireland at the fore, that day
many Irishmen must die in the sure peace of God that Ireland may
Mr Asquith stated in Parliament
on Wednesday that troops have arrived from Belfast and England
in Dublin. Martial law has been proclaimed in Dublin city and
county. Drastic action to suppress the movement and to secure
the arrest of all concerned is being taken. Outside Dublin the
country is tranquil. Only three minor cases of disturbances have
Steps are being taken to acquaint neutral countries of the real
significance of this most recent German campaign.
It is not the case that the rebels have machine guns. I have just
received a telegram saying that the situation in Dublin is satisfactory.
Liberty Hall and St Stephens Green have been occupied.
The Lord Lieutenant is in Ireland, had been there all the time,
and rendered great assistance.
The rebel associations are going to be proclaimed illegal.
News from Ireland as to the condition? has been censored, for
It is untrue that the Vice Regal Lodge has been taken.
Eleven insurgents were killed in the occupation of Stephen's Green.
Provincial news is reassuring.
Inspector-General of the Royal Irish Constabulary reports that
at Drogheda the Nationalist Volunteers turned out under arms to
assist the Government.
Many local persons have offered assistance.
Mr Birrell said: I am going to Ireland so I can make arrangements.
It is difficult to say whether any route to Ireland is open or
A wireless from Rome states that the Pope strongly disapproves
of the recent disturbances in Dublin and has ordered a telegram
to be sent to the Archbishop, asking for particulars. His Holiness
recommends the people to remain quiet.
What an Ennis Man witnessed
Mr P. O’Halloran, Church
St., Ennis, who was in Dublin for the Easter holidays, and returned
to Ennis after some difficulty on Wednesday, has related his experience
to our representative. “While out walking on Sunday night,”
he said, “there was a sort of electrical feeling in the
air, as if something was expected,” but there was nothing
to indicate anything to him. Next day, when returning from Failyhouse
Races, at 4.30 the railway bridge at Cloncilla was injured, just
after the train passed and large numbers were obliged to walk
into Dublin. As he came from Broadstone, he met women and children
with bundles of boots, and later saw that Tylers and Mansfields
shops had been looted. He saw the General Post Office in the possession
of the Volunteers, the windows of which were barricaded with mail
bags, chairs and tables. Over it floated two flags, one green,
white and yellow and the other green and gold. There were armed
men on the roof, while others paraded outside. There were proclamations
posted up by the Volunteers, proclaiming Ireland a Republic, and
informing the D.M.P. and R.I.C. that their services were not required,
that the city was in the hands of the Volunteers.
There were no trams, and the police seemed to have been withdrawn
– there were none about the streets. At 9 o’clock
he witnessed systematic looting of shops in O’Connell Street
by women and little boys. They always turned on the electric lights.
The volunteers guarded all the Banks with the object of preventing
raiding. There were sentries posted on the roof of Wynne’s
Hotel where he stayed. The Volunteer tried to put down looting
and fired shots at the looters to deter them. During the night
he heard continuous firing for about an hour in the Capel Street
direction between opposing forces. At seven o’clock on Tuesday
morning he heard reports of two very loud explosions. He saw Abbey
Street being barricaded with motors, bikes and bicycles taken
from a sho? and with bales of paper taken from the “Times”
offices. Trinity College was held by the military, and officers
with glasses were on the roof.
So far as he saw, the Volunteers did not interfere with any member
of the public. They were well armed and disciplined and he never
looked at a more determined lot of men. Every man seemed bent
on doing the work he had taken on hands regardless of the consequences.
With other friends he left Dublin on Tuesday. They walked some
five miles to Finglas and met parties of Volunteers coming in
from the country to the city. Motoring to Mullingar, they got
a train to Athlone. There they were informed that all communication
was cut off with Athenry. They heard Ennis was burned, Limerick
was in the hands of the Volunteers, that 15,000 from Galway were
marching on Athlone, and other wild and extravagant rumours. Motoring
again from Athlone to Loughrea, they drove from Loughrea to Ennis
and found things normal as they went along but had received instructions
to avoid Craughwell.
SATURDAY APRIL 29th 1916
In the maze of rumours little or no light has been thrown on present
happenings in Dublin. The disturbances which the Chief Secretary
describes as grave, broke out at noon on Monday when the Post
Office was taken and twelve lives lost. On Wednesday, Liberty
Hall was shelled from a gunboat in the Liffey, and possession
of it was afterwards taken by military. Troops have been sent
to the capital from England, Belfast and the Curragh. In Parliament
on Wednesday, Mr Asquith stated that the rebels had not machine
guns and that eleven of them had been killed in the occupation
of Stephen’s Green. In Drogheda, the National Volunteers
turned out under arms to assist the Government. The Premier assured
Parliament that outside Dublin the country was tranquil, only
three minor cases of disturbance being reported. In Clare, there
is perfect quiet and the situation is discussed in the light of
the effect which it will have on Home Rule. A wireless from Rome
says that His Holiness the Pope recommends the people to remain
quiet. The “New York World” and the “New York
Press” lay the blame for the revolt on Germany. The “Tribune”
attributes the outbreak to the policy of wait and see and the
fatal policy of suffering Ulster to arm and train men. Neither
in Parliament nor in the English Press does there, up to the present,
appears to be any desire to over-estimate the significance of
the affair. The “Sketch” says that the response of
Ireland to her leaders call to arms, and the deeds of her regiments
in the field, means that Ireland was heart and soul for that war.
“We knew,” it goes on “that there was a disloyal
minority but so there was in Wales, England and Scotland. Ireland
as a nation stood for the alliance in word and deed.” To
Mr Redmond’s followers, the moment is full of keen anxiety,
and one and all wait for some statement from the sorely-tried
Irish leader whose superhuman endeavours succeeded in placing
the Irish case in a position of unassailable power. What effect
the Sinn Fein revolt will have on the Irish question, or the granting
of Home Rule, time alone can tell. We do not think that the Government
itself can be held to be blameless. The arming in the North, and
the illegal threats of rebellion was undoubtedly the origin of
the trouble. If the Ulster Volunteers had been suppressed when
they preached sedition, we have little doubt that Dublin would
be peaceable to-day. It is late now, however, to discuss those
matters, and one can only hope and pray that the worst has come
and gone, and that prudence and patience may save our unhappy
country from a fate which one likes not to contemplate.