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Clare Champion

Monday Evening May 6 1916 - Part 2


The Dublin Revolution has come and gone – gone to join the shades of many another attempt on the part of desperate Irishmen to establish an Irish Republic. The Revolution has gone – broken and crushed in less than one week – but Dublin the proud and beautiful capital of our country, the pride of our people and our race, “dear” and as it is affectionately called “dirty”, Dublin, lies prostrate, maimed and bleeding. Its ancient streets, some of them pre-eminent amongst the finest in Europe, a mass of ruins: its people – and who has not loved them – sunk deep in misery and despair. It is not for us to sit in judgment, and useless would it be to weigh the evidence which has as yet filtered through. History alone, in the clear, cold light of time can do it justice, and to it we leave the task. We may however, say one word or two. Nationalist Journalists, feeling fully the responsibilities which this moment imposes on all, we would appeal to those who are now in power to be merciful to the misguided masses who were drawn into this conflict. Now that the danger has passed, we must all look to the future, and let us not forget that justice finds a truer and grander vindication in mercy than in force. We believe that a wise, prudent and paternal administration just now would effect far more permanent good in the country than an example of strict and stern justice. Mr. Redmond makes a like appeal, Sir Edward Carson supports it. Moderate and thoughtful Irishmen will give it their assistance, and behind it, as far as we have read it, the English Press stands. The majority of the English and Irish people have begun to understand each other. Ireland’s part in the great war has not been forgotten by the leaders of Parties in England and we are convinced that magnanimity and mercy – and the more generous it is the better – just now would absolutely complete the good work which Mr. Redmond had begun, and would not alone restore Ireland to its position as the “brightest spot” in the whole situation, but would make an impression on our people which would never be forgotten or effaced. We need not say that we congratulate our own county on its magnificent and unanimous loyalty to Mr. Redmond. Claremen, the bravest fighters of them all, kept the peace, not because they knew and felt that peace and good order were the greatest essentials to the welfare of Ireland’s cause. They have had their reward. Home rule has not been destroyed, and the Irish Leader assures us that it its indestructible. When the last shell bursts in Flanders, and when the Dublin debacle has become but a memory, it will become the law of the land; and the last cause for Irish discontent having been removed, sensible Irishmen will sit down to manage their own affairs in the security of perfect peace and content.


At the meeting of the Ennis Urban Council on Thursday evening, Mr. Peter E. Kenneally, J.P., (Chairman) presiding, reference was made to the rebellion.
Mr Kerin regretted very much to have to move the following resolution;-
“That we, the members of the Ennis Urban Council, while sympathising with the families of those who have fallen on both sides in the combat in the Metropolis of Ireland, deeply deplore this awful bloodshed and on behalf of the people whom we have the honour to represent, disassociate ourselves with and detest the action of those on whose shoulders lay the responsibility for so many innocent victims cut down in the prime of manhood. That we sympathise with the leader of the Irish race now battling for the freedom of our native land for the stumbling block placed before him and repose our implicit confidence in him now more than ever, and trust that God will help him to carry on the good cause to which he had unhesitatingly devoted his lifetime. That we also congratulate the people of Clare for the wise attitude they have adopted, following step by step the dictates of their wise and noble leader, Mr. J.E. Redmond, whose work was handed down to him from our late lamented Chief Charles Stewart Parnell, and who has been for some twenty years an unparalleled success but now more than ever it is our belief that the Irish People should follow his good advice and wise counsel, and if they do so, Ireland’s aspirations will be realised – A Nation Once Again! That we are awed at the action of those professors in an Irish University who, instead of teaching students subjects for which their parents sent them forward, literature which railed their young blood to such a state of overflow that many of them today have given up their young lives in a cause detrimental to the future prosperity of the land that gave them birth.

Continuing, Mr Kerin referred to the terrible tumult caused by the insurrection and the awful scenes enacted in Dublin. They all knew very well that the country just now was beginning to become prosperous, and that before long under the able leadership of Mr John Redmond, they would have a native Parliament in College Green. He dealt with the formation of the Volunteer Forces in nationalist Ireland which were intended to counteract Carson, and also spoke of the unfortunate split as a result of which the Irish Volunteers sprang up. “If,” said Mr. Kerin “Eaon [Eoin] MacNeil, instead of taking into his confidence the Larkinite mob of Dublin – Connolly and his disciples of Socialism – had an all-Ireland convention at the time there was a disagreement with the Irish Party’s control of the Volunteers, he would have every man in Ireland now behind him. If he were over the Volunteers instead of teaching the youths he was placed over and directing them on the right paths, he had been responsible for their being shot on the streets of Dublin. It was said that it was the Sinn Feiners stopped conscription. Well, they were the first to enforce it in Dublin at the choice of being shot if one refused. He asked:- Was it blackguardism like this that got the land for the Irish Tenant farmers? Only for this blackguardism Ireland would be today a peaceful and happy country. He hoped that this would be a lesson, and that it would be taken by the young men of Clare, and Ireland, who were embroiled by a lot of ….. especially some school teachers, but not many. He contended Eaon [Eoin] MacNeil and The O’Rahilly would not have stuck so tenaciously to their task only for there was German money behind them and now they saw how their unfortunate dupes had been caught. Those unfortunate wretches in their cold cells in England would now have time to see the folly of their ways, and curse those who brought them to such degradation. Incidentally, he remarked that it was shocking to see school teachers looking for sympathy with their Sinn Fein ideas. He did not mean teachers in general, but some of them.

After a pause, Mr. Brennan seconded the resolution.

The Chairman said it was not his intention to say anything to the resolution. It was very difficult to find words to fit in with a serious occasion of this kind. But what he would say would be on behalf of the people, and that was that they all sympathised with the citizens of Dublin in the trying ordeal they were after going through. They were not in a position to know how the thing began or to know who were the real movers responsible for the outbreak – that outbreak which had caused pain all over Ireland, and not alone Ireland but all over Europe. It would take a lot of wearing down. He regretted very much the resignation of Mr. Birrell who was the best Chief Secretary every sent to Ireland. During his nine years he had always proved himself a friend of Ireland, and now when her liberty was at hand it was too bad he should go. While the Dublin business was regrettable, it was heroic of those who were sacrificing their lives in the cause which they believed to be right. They were giving their lives for their country. The sacrifice was an awful one, and he hoped God would reward them and be merciful to them.

Mr. Kerin referred to the taxation resolution, which was supported by Mr. Wm M. Murphy’s “half-penny rag.” It was the wrong time to bring up for discussion the financial relations between Ireland and England, and he did not see why Ireland should not pay reasonably for the war.

The resolution was adopted.


A resolution from Waterford Corporation requesting the Government to pay teachers salaries monthly was read:
“Sinn Fein National Teachers,” observed Mr. J. Kerin. “I may have something to say to that resolution in a minute.”
The resolution was adopted, and subsequently Mr. Kerin pointed out that he did not say all teachers were Sinn Feiners, but some he knew were.


In the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr. Asquith stated that
H.F. Pearse
T.J. Clarke
Thomas McDonagh
three of the Irish rebel leaders, who had signed the republican proclamation, had been tried by Court-Martial. They were found guilty and sentenced to death, and the sentence duly carried out on Tuesday morning.

Three other leaders named
were sentenced to three years penal servitude.
Mr W. Thorne was asked when would Sir Roger Casement, who was the forerunner, be tried. Mr Asquith said he would … [illegible]


Mr. Birrell, Chief Secretary for Ireland has resigned.
In the House of Commons on Thursday evening, he rose to make a personal statement, but before he could proceed to say anything, Mr. Ginnell interrupted and objected to any statement being made. He refused to sit down when called to order, and the House continued to roar “Order, order.”
Mr Ginnell a number of times began “I beg to give notice,” but was unable to say anything more. Before he was finally crushed, however, he managed to get out that he would call attention on the adjournment to the “shotting of innocent men by the Hunnish Government.”
He continued to shout after sitting down. Referring to Mr. Birrell he said “We have got rid of him at last.”
The Speaker :– I must ask the hon member to control himself. If he cannot I will have to ask him to leave. Mr Birrell was then able to proceed. He said they had been promised a full, true, searching and particular inquiry into the cause of the insurrection in Ireland and as to the degrees of responsibility of the Irish Government for what had taken place. In that inquiry he would, as a private member, be able to take part.

When he was assured that the insurrection was quelled he placed his resignation in the hands of the Prime Minister who had accepted it. There was no other course open.
Mr. Birrell admitted that he had made an under estimate of the Sinn Fein movement. But if there was error on his part it had not proceeded from any lack of consideration or anxiety on his part. He could assure his critics that they must change their tactics. He might have made errors, but he asked the House to consider what some of the consequences might have been had the mistake been made in suppressing the movement. Despite what had been done, the unity of Ireland had been preserved. This was not an Irish rebellion (cheers). He hoped that although it were to be put down, as it must with courage, at the same time that humanity would be displayed towards the dupes led astray by their leaders.
Mr Asquith said that the matter was one for inquiry. He would only say that he was sure the House had listened to this hon friend with sympathy and emotion.
Mr Redmond said he frequently expressed the belief to Mr. Birrell that no such ourburst was possible, and if the Right Hon Gentleman was influenced that he accepted the responsibility. He appealed to the Government not to treat with undue hardship and severity the masses concerned on this recent outbreak.

Sir E. Carson paid a tribute to Mr. Birrell, and said the Sinn Fein revolt had no connection with any of the political parties in Ireland. He said no true Irishman would call for revengeance upon the mass of the insurgents.
It is computed that the damage caused by the Dublin rebellion amounts to two million pounds.
In the Dublin hospitals alone 188 persons have died including 72 soldiers, 100 rebels, or civilians; women 6; children 5; police 1 and loyal Volunteers 4.
General Maxwell commanding the forces, especially wishes to express his gratitude to the Irish regiments which so largely helped to crush the rising.

The 1916 Rising in the Clare Newspapers