DUBLIN POST OFFICE SEIZED.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY MR. BIRRELL.
LIBERTY HALL SHELLED BY GUNBOAT.
BUUILDING OCCUPIED BY TROOPS.
“SITUATION WELL IN HAND”.
Before the House of Commons sat
in secret on Tuesday Mr Birrell, the Irish 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 the city.
Soldiers have arrived from the Curragh, and the situation is now
well in hand. Telegraphic communication has been cut off.
This week has witnessed history-making with a vengeance. The few
among us with memories stretching back to the momentous days of
’67 felt quite wafted back over the intervening years; while
all were reminded of the period which had come to be regarded
as almost prehistoric, when the only means of communication with
the metropolis was the old postchaise. Since Monday no mails or
Dublin papers reached Ennis from Dublin, and only one train left
the city for the country, yesterday at 6.40 a.m., and one this
morning brought via Rosslare copies of the “Sketch,”
which was eagerly devoured by readers full of the extraordinary
stories which have been current since Monday. Official communiques,
which have been permitted to appear by the authorities, now disclose
the sensational news that since Monday Dublin has been in a state
of armed insurrection, while reports from the West of Ireland
show that in a few places there has been disturbances. The official
message from the Vice Regal Lodge yesterday had the eminently
satisfactory announcement that the situation was “well in
hand.” This would point to a speedy termination of the extraordinary
conflict which has broken out with such remarkable suddenness,
and the return to reason and sanity of the misguided tools and
dupes of a dangerous Pro-German element, which had sought to disrupt
our country in the present great crisis. With the Dublin General
Post Office admittedly in the hands of the Sinn Feiners who had
fled to arms there has been a complete sundering of all telegraphic
and postal communication, and at the local office, by order of
the authorities, no messages of any description, no matter how
pressing, can be accepted by the staff. On the railways no bookings
have been made for Dublin by either the Junction, Nenagh, or Athenry,
and to-day no train was permitted to leave Ennis for Athenry.
This is due to the tactics which have been adopted on the Gort-Athenry
section, where on Tuesday a number of telegraph-poles along the
line were cut down and the wires tangled up. As a result of this
there was a complete failure of the electric staff apparatus,
and the morning train was held up for some hours, while the train
due in Ennis at 11.55 did not reach until close on halfpast 3
in the afternoon. A special left here this morning, with an Inspector
of the Company, to make an examination of the line.
Some travellers from Dublin yesterday morning brought nerve-racking
stories of the scenes in Dublin, but in the absence of official
authorization we are naturally precluded from giving any of the
details so available, but if true, they indicate an appalling
condition had prevailed before the authorities had controlled
the situation, as the tone of the official messages would seem
to imply. No intelligence that the situation is otherwise than
normal has reached us from any part of Clare, and matters are
particularly calm in the Ennis district.
On Tuesday a man named Fahy was arrested in the Gort-Ardrahan
district, and it is stated that in his motor-car were found arms
and ammunition, and documents understood to be of a treasonable
nature. He was brought to Ennis in the motor, under police escort,
in the small hours of Wednesday morning, and sent on to Limerick
to be handed over to the military authorities.
Last night, a young man of the small farmer, or labouring class,
whose name it was stated was Cole, was brought to Ennis in custody
from the Kilcolgan locality, where it is reported there was some
disturbance, and he was sent handcuffed, in custody to Limerick,
by the 8.40 train this morning. Military, it is stated, have taken
charge of the Shannon Bridge, as a precaution against possible
attempts to injure it. During last night a number of police arrived
in Ennis by motor, and other vehicles, and it is believed that
some of these are destined for districts towards the Galway side,
where disturbances are said to have occurred.
The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
announces that during the night the Royal Naval Reserve gunboat
on the Liffey shelled, and the troops subsequently occupied, Liberty
Hall, the headquarters 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.
DEFENCE OF THE REALM.
TRIAL BY COURTMARTIAL.
A Royal Proclamation was published
yesterday which substitutes trial by courtmartial for offences
hithertho triable by civil courts.
THURSDAY’S OFFICIAL MESSAGE.
“SNIPING IN RESTRICTED AREAS.”
The official communique issued
by the Lord Lieutenancy, from the Vice Regal Lodge on Thursday
For the last forty-eight hours satisfactory progress has been
made. The enemy activity is confined to sniping from houses in
certain restricted areas. Additional reinforcements have arrived
from England, and are on hand for disposal as required. Dublin,
Liberty Hall, the Sinn Fein headquarters, has been shelled by
a gunboat in the Liffey, and the building occupied by troops.
Large reinforcements, including 10,000 troops from England, with
artillery, engineering, and medical corps, have landed in Dublin,
and occupied the city. Repairs to the railway line are being rapidly
effected, and the situation is well in hand. The Garrison Commander
at Queenstown states that reports from the provinces indicate
that normal conditions prevail. The situation in Dublin has improved,
and adequate forces are at the disposal of the military authorities
to cope with the situation.
The latest available news of
the Sinn Fein rebellion in Ireland is contained in the statements
made in Parliament yesterday by the Prime Minister and the Irish
Secretary. Mr Asquith’s statement is noteworthy as containing
the first official intimation that the hand of Germany is responsible
for the deplorable outbreak.
Mr Asquith – 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 disturbance have
been reported. 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 they situation in Dublin is satisfactory.
Liberty Hall and St Stephen’s Green have been occupied.
The Lord Lieutenant is in Ireland, has been there all the time,
and rendered great assistance. The rebel associations are going
to be proclaimed illegal. News from Ireland is censored, for the
moment. It is not true that the vice Regal Lodge has been taken.
Eleven insurgents were killed in the occupation of St Stephen’s
Green. Provincial news is reassuring. The 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.
VICEORY’S TELEGRAM TO PERMIER.
The following is taken from
an English newspaper published on Thursday morning :-
“Situation satisfactory. St Stephen’s Green captured.
Eleven insurgents killed. Provincial news reassuring. Inspector
General of the Royal Irish Constabulary reports that at Drogheda
the National Volunteers turned out to assist the military. Many
private persons have offered assistance.”
Such was the message which Mr Asquith, in the House of Commons
the same afternoon, stated he had just received from the Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland.
Previous to the Prime Minister’s statement the following
questions were answered by Mr Birrell, the Chief Secretary for
Colonel Sharman Crawford asked which routes to Ireland were open.
Mr Birrell said that owing to the necessity of the military situation
it was difficult to say what routes were open. They had no information
at Euston that morning whether the Irish mail had left. The Stranraer,
Larne, Fleetwood, Belfast boats were taken off at present.
Colonel Crawford expressed anxiety to return to his battalion
Mr Birrell – If anyone is anxious to adopt this course,
and if he will communicate with me, I might be able to take him
over with me.
Sir F Banbury asked whether they were to understand that the Chief
Secretary was going to Ireland that night.
Mr Birrell – I am going to Dublin if I can make arrangements.
Mr Butcher asked if any further statements could be made on the
Mr Asquith said that troops had arrived from Belfast and from
England. The place called Liberty Hall had already been occupied
by soldiers, and so had Stephen’s Green. Martial law had
been proclaimed in Dublin city and county. Drastic action was
being taken to secure the arrest of all concerned in the movement.
Outside Dublin the country was tranquil. Only three minor cases
of disturbances had been reported. Steps had been taken to make
our friends abroad aware of the real significance of this most
recent German campaign (cheers).
Sir E Carson asked whether news
from Ireland was censored.
Colonel Sharman Crawford asked what steps had been taken in the
county of Dublin to suppress this rebel…… [illegible]
Mr Asquith said …… [illegible] were to be proclaimed.
Mr Ashley asked whether English journalists would accompany the
American journalists who were going over that night.
Mr Birrell – I think so.
Sir Henry Dalziel – Is it true that the rebels have a considerable
number of machine guns, and have the Intelligence Departments
any idea of how many?
Mr. Asquith – So far as I know that is not the case.
Mr Asquith added that there was no reason to believe that the
banks in Ireland were not safe.
Sir. A. Markham asked why the news was censored?
Mr Birrell said they were anxious that news should not reach neutral
countries which would be calculated to give a false impression
of the importance of what had taken place – important as
Mr Birrell said it was not true that the Viceregal Lodge was occupied.
Mr Asquith then read the telegram received from the Lord Lieutenant.
In the House of Commons on Tuesday, referring
to Dublin, Mr Birrell stated telegraphic communication was difficult.
He was unable to give further particulars.
Sir Edward Carson asked if any arrest had been made?
Mr Birrell said it was impossible to give any names.
Sir John Lonsdale – Were any lives lost?
Mr Birrell – Yes, sir; as far as I can say, twelve.
In reply to a further question whether at seven o’clock
on Monday night Dublin was still in the hands of the rebels, Mr
Birrell said that they were in possession of four or five parts
of the city. He added that he had been in telegraphic communication
that day but it was difficult to maintain communication.
THE IRISH CRISIS.
AMERICAN PRESS COMMENT.
New York, Wednesday
The newspapers all comment on
the disturbances in Ireland.
The “New York World” remarks that the Irish revolt
was made in Germany and is not likely to get far. The net result
will be to strengthen Sir Edward Carson. Many thousand of Irishmen
are fighting not merely for Great Britain, but for France, Belgium,
and democracy generally, and their deeds are already high on the
roll of honour, Casement’s treason is treason to them.
The “New York Press” says – The German war machine
plotters must have been mad to think that such a puny miserable
affair as the whole thing was could achieve anything except to
make a laughing-stock of their victims and arouse Ireland more
than ever to send her men to shed their blood for the cause which
is the cause of all civilisation, and to which no people have
been more devoted than the men of Ireland. What fools the military
intriguers in Berlin have always been from the first day to the
The “Tribune” considers that if Dublin was taken by
surprise and without warning, it would seem that the chief difficulties
must have begun before the war, and were attributable to the policy
of “Wait and See,” and the folly of suffering Ulster
to arm and train men – Central News.