Only now, when Dublin is slowly
awaking from the nightmare of horror and devastation, which in
a single week, at one of the holiest times of the Christian year,
has reduces our fair Capital to a pitiable spectacle, the only
counterpart to which we can find would be the ruins of one of
the unhappy cities of Belgium, and details are gradually leaking
through, can we realise the extent of the damage wrought in this
unhappy attempt to create an “Irish Republic.” That
the forces responsible for the orgy of bloodshed and pillage were
well prepared cannot be doubted. Military equipment for thousands,
in rifles, and even machine guns, was in the city, and ammunition
in abundance and it will probably be a matter for inquiry afterwards
how such huge quantities of war material came to be ready at hand,
and the source whence it came. The outbreak was curiously coincident
with the sensational appearance of unhappy Sir Roger Casement
on the Kerry coast, the reported fate of certain German vessels
off the coast, and sudden dash of a German squadron on the English
coast, whose only contribution to a hoped upsetting of Britain
was the killing of a baby, a woman and two men! That the insurrection,
whether it was premature or otherwise, was deeply involved with
German intrigue there can be little doubt, and that the leaders
looked for aid from the Continent is shadowed forth in the flamboyant
language of the proclamation of the “Irish Republic,”
to “gallant Allies in Europe.” What allies for the
brave, but misguided young Irish dupes and tools – the wreckers
of poor Belgium, the violators of her Nuns, the murderers of her
priests, and the burners of her Cathedrals and Churches! The new
school of “intellectuals,” many of them in well-paid
Government positions, who have of recent years come to the front
of Irish politics, hating and denouncing England, has a heavy
responsibility upon its shoulders for the shattered ruins in one
of the fairest cities of the United Kingdom. Already three of
the signatories to the Republican proclamation have paid with
their lives for their acts of amazing madness. War is the soldier’s
game, and does not lie readily to the hand of the scholar, student,
or working man. The forces who rallied to the raising of the green
flag of the Republic which died in its birth, fought with splendid
bravery and reckless enthusiasm, and we feel that they should
be acquitted of individual blame for the acts of murder, and robbery,
which will ever make Irishmen blush for shame, for the first time,
at an ill-fated effort at achieving separation from England. The
Citizen Army, of ill-omen, with its attendant mobs of ill-conditioned
and vicious followers, which made their mark in the unfortunate
strikes of four years ago, was only too ready to join in the insurrection,
and it was these mobs which on the very opening day of the outbreak
started on their old game of loot and pillage. The Sinn Fein Volunteers
seemed powerless to stem this flood of disorder and of course
they will ever be associated in this, to use the words of Mr John
Redmond, “insane and anti-patriotic movement,” with
the un-National acts of the … [column ends here].
THE DUBLIN TRAGEDY
O’CONNELL ST. BURNED.
NEARLY £2,000,000 DESTROYED
Dublin, Saturday, 6 p.m.
The Stephen’s Green insurgents
surrendered at three o’clock on Sunday afternoon, and were
marched to Richmond Barracks after laying down their arms. The
notorious Countess Markievitz (nee Gore-Booth), who had been taking
an active part in the revolt, wearing a man’s uniform, was
in the contingent of Sinn Fein snipers, and went with them to
Undoubtedly the collapse of the revolt was hastened be then unconditional
surrender of the rebel leaders, Pearse and Connolly. Both men
– the latter is badly wounded, and had been reported dead
– pleaded hard with General Sir John Maxwell, the Commander-in-Chief,
to secure some kind of terms for the rank and file, but in the
end when they agreed to recommend the immediate cessation of hostilities
as far as lay within their power. The rebels who are coming in
to-day become prisoners unconditionally. At the time of writing
there are upwards of 1,000 prisoners confined in the Dublin area.
BARRICADES AT EVERY CORNER.
In the area immediately west
of Sackville Street, between Parnell Street and Abbey Street,
the barricades are unusually strong. They include brewer’s
wagons, gipsy vans, and every conceivable article of furniture.
There is one at every corner across every street and alley, no
matter how narrow. The firemen made several attempts to check
the incendiarism at the risk of their lives. On Friday they were
repeatedly sniped at from house-tops to prevent their directing
water to burning buildings in Sackville Street. All the incendiary
fires were started with inflammatory materials, arranged by experts.
On Friday night a fire was started in Lord Edward street, near
City Hall, in the hope that it would reach Dublin Castle, but
it was extinguished before doing material damage near the Castle.
REBEL OFFICER’S TUNIC.
A rebel officer’s tunic
is one of the many trophies of the troops. It is of “heather”
colour serge, and an exact copy of a British officer’s tunic
save that the facings are of green. Two stars on the cuff showed
that the wearer (since dead) was a lieutenant. One sniper was
dislodged from the inside of a tall chimney early on Saturday
morning, after he had enjoyed two days and nights of potting at
soldiers and civilians. Another pretended to be ill in bed when
the house from which the shots were fired was rushed by troops.
But he wore all his clothes, and his rifle was under the bed.
A woodyard near the docks gave cover to rebel marksmen between
five and eight o’clock every evening. At other times it
was harmless, but for three hours every night bullets spattered
the opposite side of an important thoroughfare, and several persons
were wounded. On Friday night the sniper found the woodpile occupied
when he crawled into it on his belly, dragging a gun with him.
Soldiers were waiting for him. He will snipe no more.
R.I.C. MEN DISARMED
A party of R.I.C. men under
an Inspector were surrounded and disarmed at a town some miles
north of Dublin, where detachments of troops have been sent in
motor cars, with machine guns. Armed forces of rebels are reported
to be still active in Meath. The last act of the surviving rebels
before evacuating the Post Office on Friday morning was to set
the building on fire with petrol. The fire spread to the Hotel
Metropole, adjoining the Post Office, and it was completely destroyed.
The rebel headquarters moved to a building called the Coliseum
when the Post Office was given up.
The Gresham Hotel in Upper Sackville St. is filled with guests,
who remained in the building throughout the week. The front rooms
were shuttered and locked by order of the military, and, although
living within a few hundred feet of the rebel headquarters, the
inmates could see nothing of the drama in Sackville Street. The
Imperial Hotel and Cleary’s store, on the same side of the
street, were burned, and the occupants of the Gresham were ready
to move, under sniper’s fire, when it became apparent that
the fire would not spread to the few intervening houses.
FINAL DRAMATIC SCENES
WORK WITH BAYONET AND BOMB AMONG THE REBELS
The end of the rebellion came
with dramatic suddenness. It was about 4 o’clock yesterday
afternoon. The military cordon had been drawn closer and closer
round the rebels’ main area – Sackville Street.
Sackville Street has suffered severely from the bombardment, which
was inevitable, in order to break the back of the rebel resistance.
From Lower Abbey Street to the Quay it has been almost completely
destroyed. The well known buildings which have been laid in ruins
include the Imperial Hotel, the D.B.C. (Dublin Bread Company),
and Hopkins’, the jewellers, at the corner of Sackville
Street, to the quayside – a shop much frequented by tourists
for mementoes. These premises have not only been battered by gunfire,
but completely burnt out.
It took little time to convince the rebels that they could not
hope to stand up against such an attack. The Post Office was badly
smashed, and flames broke out at the roof. The military determined
once and for all to have done with, if ?? be the building, which
was known to contain the largest number of insurgents, together
with quantities of munitions and food, in their efforts to gain
THE DEADLY WEDGE.
One stronghold after another
had been wrested from them. They were encircled by troops. The
very centre of their position was effectively dominated by the
military, who had driven a wedge from the Kingsbridge on the west
and Balls Bridge on the south to a point opposite Trinity College,
whence they raked both sides of Sackville street with shellfire.
The rebellion was gripped at the heart, and the life was steadily
squeezed out of it.
THE WHITE FLAG.
The building was burning –
it is smouldering still – and further resistance from this
particular point was impossible. It was a beautiful day of sunshine,
and the black smoke could be seen against the blue sky for miles
around. From above the smoke a white flag could be discerned.
It was the signal for submission.
Out of the smoking building came Pearce [sic], the “President”
of the new “Irish Republic,” Connolly, the “Vice
President and Commander-in-Chief of the Republican Army,”
and the Secretary of Liberty Hall. Connolly was badly wounded
and had to be assisted. They surrendered unconditionally. Paper
was produced, and upon it the prisoners announced such was their
intention, and signed their names. They were immediately taken
prisoners. With them marched the remnants of the “Republican”
Army strongly guarded by troops.
The word must have quickly got round, for during the day batches
of other rebels from different parts of the city surrendered also,
and were taken away under escort.
These sporadic surrenders have taken place all through to-day
(Sunday). Where the rebels have not surrendered they have been
driven out with rifle fire, hand grenades and bayonets.
A BAYONET CHARGE.
One of the hottest little episodes
that has been reported in the street fighting occurred yesterday
morning, when the Sinn Feiners were cleared out of the “Daily
Mail and Evening Mail”. They had been sniping at the Castle,
and it was decided to adopt “rush” tactics in taking
The soldiers twice stormed it, having four men shot in the second
attack; but they drove out the rebels at the point of the bayonet.
At the South Union Workhouse, one of the extreme outposts of the
rebels, there was not much difficulty. The rebels came out carrying
a white flag of their own free will, and were immediately surrounded.
The “Republican” flag of the rebels has not yet been
captured. It is green, with a golden harp without the crown.
One of the last places to be driven in during in during the week-end
was Jacob’s biscuit works. Nothing is now left but the skeleton
of a building.
TO PREVENT ESCAPE.
This afternoon a further body
of 50 men surrendered. They were marched openly through the streets
with a guard of soldiers on each side of them, with loaded rifles
and fixed bayonets. They wore no uniforms or armlets, and could
fairly be described as an unshaven, dirty, and ragged lot.
Special precautions are being taken to prevent escapes, and all
avenues of exit from the disaffected areas are being closely watched,
while detectives scrutinise every outgoing passenger on the mailboat.
Many of the inhabitants have suffered hardships having, with their
children, been short of food for over three days. The food supply
is still deficient; moreover, the people have no money to purchase
any; all business having been suspended.
REVOLVER UNDER HER APRON.
A case has been credibly reported
where a woman stood in the street with a revolver concealed beneath
her apron, and shot an officer in the back just as he passed her.
Almost all the grocers’ shops in Kingstown are closed, and
in one store, which opens for a short time in the afternoon, a
queue of women waits outside daily. There is no butter, and bread
supplies are not guaranteed. In some cases householders have been
rationed for bread for the time being.
Meat has advanced by threepence and sixpence a pound. The confectioners
are almost cleared out, and do not know whether they will have
anything to sell on Monday. Prices of many things have increased
daily, and the refreshment tariff grows astonishingly. At a café
on Thursday, tea with bread and butter was 8d. To-day’s
price is 1s.
O’CONNELL STREET RUINED.
NEARLY £2,000,000 DESTROYED.
£1,100,000 might be put
down as an approximate value of all the buildings destroyed by
the fires on the east and west sides of the Sackville street area.
It is the estimate of Captain Purcell, Chief of the Dublin Fire
Brigade, who further says that a very rough approximation of the
loss in stock must be put at over three quarters of a million.
The total number of buildings involved in the fires is 179. The
rating value of these is £33,875. With the assistance of
a specially coloured map, Captain Purcell described to a representative
of the “Irish Times” the area of the fires as follows
– The total area burnt out on the east side of Sackville
Street district includes – Portion of the block between
Cathedral St. and Earl St., the whole block between Earl St. and
Sackville Place, bounded by Nelson Lane at the back; portion of
the block between Abbey St. and Eden Quay, bounded by Marlborough
Street on the east. The area of this east side district is 27,000
square yards. Among the principal establishments in the area were
the Royal Hibernian Academy, Clery’s warehouse; the Imperial
Hotel, the D.B.C., the branches of the Hibernian Bank, and the
Munster and Leinster Bank, Wynne’s Hotel, Hayte’s,
the druggists, Messrs. Hamilton and Long’s; Sir Joseph Downes’
new restaurant and bakery, Lawrence shops and warehouse, Messers
Hopkins and Hopkins’ jewellery establishment, and the four
public houses – Messrs. Nagle’s and Sheridan’s
in North Earl Street; Messrs. Mooney’s in Lower Abbey Street,
and Messrs. Mooney’s in Eden Quay, etc.
On the west side of Sackville Street the area destroyed by fire
is as follows – Portion of the block bounded by Henry Street;
Henry Place and Moore Street, between Moore Street and Cole’s
lane, running back in part to Samson’s lane; the whole block
running from the Post Office to Arnott’s warehouse, fronting
to Henry Street back to Prince’s Street; the greater portion
of the block from Sackville Street fronting Lower Abbey Street
and towards Liffey Street, within a short distance of the “Independent”
Printing Office, where the fire was stopped; portion of the block
to the south side of Middle Abbey Street, with two houses fronting
to Sackville Street, up to and including 62 Middle Abbey Street.
This area of the fire on the west side of Sackville Street is
34,000 sq. yard in extent. The principal buildings burnt are the
General Post Office; the Hotel Metropole, Messrs. Eason and Sons,
Messrs. Mandfields’ new warehouse, the Freeman’s Journal
office, Messrs. Bewley’s, Messrs. Alexander Pierie’s
wholesale paper warehouse, Hampton Leedom’s, Messrs. Curtis
and Sons, brass foundry and munitions factory, where much work
has been going on recently; the Oval Bar, Messrs. Thom’s
Printing Works, Messrs. Sealy Bryers and Walkers, and Messrs.
Outside these principal areas there were fires in two houses in
Harcourt street of £85 valuation, and at Nos 1, 2 and 3
Usher’s Quay, and round the corner into Bridge Street, where
the fire was stopped before it reached the Brazen Head Hotel.
These places have a total valuation of £277.
Another area of fire outside the Sackville street districts is
that including the ancient Linen Hall Barracks, one of the landmarks
in the history of a great national industry, recently the seat
of the Civic Exhibition, and latterly the office of the Army Pay
Department. Here 32 clerks were employed. They were surrounded
and besieged for four days and unable to get food. Twice this
place was fired. The staff dealt with it themselves. The fire
brigade could not approach it. It is stated that on the fourth
day the rebels, by means of bombs at the rear, ignited the building
by setting fire to a wooden structure, erected at the time of
the Civic Exhibition. This was ready prey to flames. This fire
occupied the portion of the Linen Hall occupied by Messrs. Hugh
Moore and Alexander, Ltd., wholesale druggists and drysalters.
The premises, which covered about two acres, contained huge stores
of oils and chemicals.
Some small conception of the work of the brigade and the danger
to the city of utter ruin may be gathered from the history Captain
Purcell gave of the fires that occurred, and how the Brigade dealt
with them. Captain Purcell’s story is as follows:- The first
call came at 3.48 p.m., on Monday 24th. It was from the Ordnance
Department at Island Bridge, stating there was a fire at the Magazine
in the Phoenix Park. A detachment was sent with a motor engine
from the Thomas Street section. They made their way around Steven’s
lane and Kingsbridge and managed to get to the Magazine without
opposition. They found one section of the Magazine on fire. This
contained large numbers of small arms, and a large number of boxes
of ammunition. They found one section of the magazine more or
less destroyed, but the remainder was saved. In the meantime Lieut.
Meyers, who attended with another motor engine, was held up at
a barricade by Sinn Feiners with loaded revolvers. One of these
weapons was placed at the head of the driver, and he was ordered
At 10.6 p.m. on Monday, a box call came from the alarm at Nelson’s
Pillar that there was a fire at the Cable Shoe’s Company’s
shop in Sackville Street. The fire looked dangerous, and at 10.24
the Buckingham street section also arrived. The fire was extinguished
at 10.59 p.m. At 11.30 p.m. there was a call of fire in the True
Form Shoe Company, also in Sackville street. This place, like
Cable Shoe shop, had been looted, and papers, etc., set alight.
The fire was extinguished at 12.30 on Tuesday morning.
The surrender of the Volunteers
who occupied Jacob’s Factory took place on Sunday afternoon.
It was a member of the Carmelite Order from Whitefriar Street
who was instrumental in persuading them to yield. Amid the cheers
of the crowd gathered about the building the clergyman was hoisted
by a number of men up to one of the lower windows, for which the
bags of flour used instead of sand by the rebels and been pulled.
He went inside the factory, and not long after a party of Volunteers
ARCHBISHOP WALSH’S APPEAL.
In the Catholic Churches in
the Diocese of Dublin, a circular letter was read from Archbishop
Walsh appealing to the people at this time of danger and excitement
to avoid the streets and places of public assembly.
The following official communiqué
was issued today -
Three signatories of the notice proclaiming the Irish Republic
– P H Pearse, T McDonagh, and T J Clarke – have been
tried by Field General Courtmartial and sentenced to death. The
sentences have been duly confirmed, and the three above-mentioned
men were shot this morning. The trial of further prisoners is
Yesterday there were still some small disturbances in the South
and West of Ireland, in which some casualties have occurred. The
rest of Ireland is reported quiet. Larne has been added to the
list of ports from which passengers may leave Ireland. Until further
notice no aliens will be allowed to land in Ireland unless in
possession of a permit, which can be obtained from the military
permit officer, 19 Bedford Square, London, or from the Military
Control Officer, Room 347, Royal Liver Building, Liverpool. All
persons who intend to travel between England and Ireland should
be in possession of papers proving their identity.
A Dublin correspondent writes -
Mr P H Pearse has for some years
been carrying on St Enda’s School at Rathfarnham, which
was specially devoted to Irish studies. For some years he was
editor of “An Claideamh Solius,” the official organ
of the Gaelic League. He was a member of the Irish Bar, but never
practiced. His father was a well-known monumental sculptor, having
premises in Great Brunswick street.
Mr T McDonagh was a professor or lecturer at the National University
in some branch of Irish studies. Both he and Mr Pearse were young
men. Mr McDonagh was, it is believed, a native of Kerry.
Mr Clarke was an elderly man. He served a long term of imprisonment
for complicity in dynamite outrages in England in the eighties,
and on his release several years ago set up a small shop in Britain
St (now Parnell St), within a few yards of the Parnell Monument.
He sold tobacco and newspapers.
TRIALS OF REBELS.
THE CASE OF WOMEN PRISONERS.
The following communication
was issued yesterday afternoon from the Official Press Office,
Irish Command -
Rebels considered suitable for trial are being tried by Field
General Courtmartial under the Defence of the Realm Act in Dublin.
As soon as the sentences have been confirmed the public will be
informed as to the results of the trial. Those prisoners whose
cases could not be immediately dealt with are being sent to places
of confinement in England. Their cases will receive consideration
later. The cases of the women taken prisoners are under consideration.
The work of dealing with these trials is one of great magnitude,
and is being proceeded with despatch.
ARREST OF SINN FEINERS IN CLARE.
On Thursday morning six young
men from Corofin and Ennistymon districts were forwarded to Limerick
by the early train, under armed escort, to be handed over to the
military authorities in that city. They were J H and J Hunt, brothers,
of Corofin, the former a leader of the Irish Volunteers there,
and a prominent member of the Corofin District Council; Martin
Crowe, a member of the same Council; and J Kearse, a young farmer;
J Waldron, a Gaelic Instructor, and organiser, of Ennistymon,
and Colman O’Loghlen, a prominent Irish Volunteer and Sinn
Feiner in Carron, North Clare. The latter was out of the signatories,
with the ill-fated P H Pearse, T McDonagh, and The O’Rahilly,
of the document in which the “Irish Volunteers” in
September, 1914, declared themselves an independent organisation.
There was no excitement over the arrests, and only a few people
watched their departure from the station.
Matters through Clare remain perfectly quiet. About a hundred
and fifty police from Fermanagh, Down, and Longford are still
in town, and a number of motor cars are still “parked”
in the barracks grounds here.
COUNTY COUNCILLOR TAKEN INTO CUSTODY.
Mr Denis Healy, Co. C., Bodyke,
has been arrested near Killaloe, for, we hear, ignoring the challenge
of a military sentry who called on him to halt, as he was cycling
homewards the other night. He was conveyed to Limerick.
MANY ARRESTS IN GALWAY.
The police and military have
made many arrests around Athenry, Craughwell, Loughrea and Oranmore,
and special trains have brought the men into Galway. A number
of them, it is stated, have been placed aboard a Government gunboat
in the harbour, while others were lodged in Galway Jail. An Ennis
visitor to the city informs us that he witnessed about fifty lodged
in the jail yesterday.
It is reported that one woman was arrested in the Ardrahan district.
The nature of her offence has not transpired.
There were seven signatories to the proclamation of the “Irish
Republic,” and three of these have already been executed.
Over a thousand prisoners have been sent across to England.
THE KERRY ARRESTS.
Casement is believed to have
disclosed his identity to a clergyman in Tralee before being removed
on Saturday morning. Arthur Black, Commander of the Tralee Volunteers
and Cornelius Collins, accountant’s office, GPO, Dublin,
arrested in connection with the attempted landing of arms, were
removed under a strong accord of police and military from Tralee
Jail and were conveyed by mail train to a destination unknown.
There was no attempt of any display as the prisoners were marched
through the town to the railway station.
REBELLION FIZZLES OUT IN CO.
The rebellion in Galway has been
fizzling out since Thursday. It was a flash in the pan from the
first. The only serious incidents were a constable shot and two
injured, the tearing up of some yards of railway each night, which
temporarily stopped traffic, and the cutting of telegraph wires.
It is all over. The police have brought in about fifty prisoners.
Twp prominent professors of the University College, Galway, were
CORK COUNTY QUIET.
We have received the following
London, Wednesday, 2.30 p.m.
Dublin gradually reverting to normal conditions. Cork County quiet,
with the exception of affray in Fermoy district, where a Head
Constable was shot dead on attempting to arrest two men –
Normal – Great Southern
and Western Railway, Dublin, Cork, Tralee, Limerick.
Quiet – Waterford, King’s County, Queen’s County,
Wicklow, Carlow, Cork, W.R., Galway E.R., Mayo, Belfast, and Ulster
SINN FEINERS CALLED ON TO SURRENDER
The following proclamation was issued yesterday:-
ARMS AND AMMUNITION
I, General Sir John Grenfell
Maxwell, K.C.B., .K.C.M.G., C.V.O., D.S.O., Commanding-in-Chief
of his Majesty’s Forces in Ireland, order that all members
of the Irish Volunteers Sinn Fein Organisation, or of the Irish
Citizen Army, shall forthwith surrender all Arms, Ammunition,
and Explosives in their possession to the nearest Military or
the nearest Police Barracks. Any member of either of these organisations
found in the possession of any Arms, Ammunition, or Explosives
after the sixth day of May, 1916, will be severely dealt with.
General Commanding-in-Chief of the Forces in Ireland.
Headquarters Irish Command,
Second day of May, 1916.
IRISH PORTS OF EMBARKATION
We received the following on
“The G.O.C. the troops has issued an order that no persons
can leave Ireland except at North Wall, Dublin, Kingstown, Belfast,
and Greenore, and at these ports only by producing credentials
proving identity, and giving valid reasons for journey.”
Later. – Larne was added later.
ALL IRISH RACING FIXTURES ABANDONED
FOR THE PRESENT.
The Stewards of the Turf Club
and the I.N.H.S. Committee have ordered the cancelling of all
racing fixtures. With the dislocation of the railway services
and the other means of transit, the ruling bodies had no option
but to take this course. They hope to be in a position to announce
the renewal of racing in a short space of time.
HURLING, FOOTBALL AND RACING
The following official communication
was issued to-day:-
The Competent Military Authority orders that all concerned be
informed no football, or hurling matches, or race meetings, are
to take place until further notice.
FIRST MAN SHOT IN DUBLIN.
Constable James O’Brien,
168 B, was the first man shot on Easter Monday. He was on duty
at the gate of the Upper Castle Yard, when he met his death at
the hands of a rebel. Constable Michael Lahiff, 125 B, was on
duty at the Grafton street entrance to St. Stephen’s Green
Park, and was ordered away by the rebels when they were taking
possession. He refused to desert his post, and was shot dead.
Constable Frith, 174 C, was on duty in Store street Police Station,
when he was “sniped” through one of the windows.
THE O’RAHILLY DEAD.
The body of The O’Rahilly,
one of the rebel leaders, has been found in Moore lane, adjacent
to the General Post Office. It is believed that he was brought
down by a shot from the military when he was trying to escape
from the Post Office.
LIES FOR IRELAND
The rebels worked up a campaign
of fake information during the earlier period of the outbreak.
The wildest rumours were prevalent apparently all over Ireland.
In Dublin it was widely believed that a large force of Irish-Americans
had made, or were about to make, a descent on the coast of Ireland
in aid of the rebel forces. One estimate is that the phantom army
placed its strength at 700,000 men. The “fall of Verdun”
was another item of news diligently circulated in the city, together
with the premature news of the surrender of Kut. All these stories
were circulated to hearten the rebels and win over those whose
decision was in the balance. No one seemed to have heard of the
arrest of Sir Roger Casement.
RESIGNATION OF MR BIRRELL.
IRISH SECRETARY WHO FALTERED WITH INSURRECTION.
RETURN FROM RUINED CAPITAL TO GIVE UP HIS OFFICE.
Mr Augustine Birrell has resigned
his office as Chief Secretary for Ireland.
He returned from Dublin on Tuesday night, saw the Prime Minister
yesterday morning, and in the afternoon took a corner seat above
the gangway in the House of Commons – thereby demonstrating
that he was no longer a member of the Government.
The resignation was not unexpected. Indeed the Government could
hardly have faced the House of Commons if Mr Birrell still held
office. Rightly or wrongly, he was held responsible for the inaction
of the Irish Government while the rebels were preparing their
insurrection, and of treating the Sinn Fein movement with a tolerant
Mr Augustine Birrell is an amiable and brilliant writer, who has
held the thankless position of Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant
of Ireland for nine years. He is 66, the son of a Noncomformist
minister, and his second wife, who died last year, was the widow
of the Hon Lionel Tennyson. From 1905 tom 1907 he was president
of the Board of Education, and the author of the Bill which nearly
wrecked Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman’s Liberal Government.
Mr Birrell’s avowed recreation is bookhunting, and to his
friends he made no secret of the fact that his ambition was to
be the last Irish Chief Secretary.
MR BIRRELL’S ADMISSION.
Mr Birrell has made a personal
statement in which he said that an inquiry would be held into
the history of Irish administration in which he could take part.
It would not be wise and prudent for him at the moment to speak
of grave events which were fresh in his mind. He admitted that
he made an untrue estimate of the Sinn Fein movement.
THE REBEL CASUALTIES.
MANY UNACCOUNTED FOR.
Although various reports, official
and otherwise, have been made as to the number of casualties,
it is to be feared that many people will remain unaccounted for.
An instance of this is related in the experience on Tuesday of
a Red Cross worker who saw a hearse with three coffins draw up
in front of a home in North King street. These, it was understood,
were for the corpses of three fallen rebels which had lain there
for some days, heavy fighting having taken place in that locality.
Taking into account the number of funerals from the vicinity for
the past few days, it must be concluded that their losses in that
vicinity, which was supposed to have been very cleverly cannonaded,
were very heavy. Driven forth from the main position in the Church
street area, refugee Volunteers sought the sanctuary of private
houses, to the terror of the inhabitants. Getting into backyards
those partly uniformed shed their accoutrements and equipment,
and thoughtlessly perhaps placed the occupants of the houses in
dire peril of arrest, if not worse, at the hands of the military
PRISONERS LANDED AT HOLYHEAD.
At three o’clock this
morning over four hundred Sinn Feiners arrived in Holyhead as
prisoners, being carefully guarded by troops, who accompanied
them with fixed bayonets. The majority of them wore ordinary civilian
clothes, which were dirt stained. A few wore the uniform of the
Irish Volunteers. Many were hatless and without overcoats and
shivered as they stood on the railway platform in the chilly hours
at dawn. Several were merely youths, and there was a sprinkling
of old men, but the party was mainly composed of young men. They
appeared very dejected, and bore not the slightest resemblance
to a military force. They showed no inclination to enter into
conversation. A resident of Dublin who witnessed their arrival
said the prisoners seemed to have come chiefly from the country
districts, few of them being Dublin men. After they had entrained,
a few slightly wounded men were landed.
TRIBUTE TO TROOPS.
SIR J. MAXWELL’S GENERAL ORDER.
REFERENCE TO IRISH REGIMENTS.
The following General Order
has been issued to the troops by Sir John Maxwell, General Commanding-in-Chief
the Forces in Ireland:-
“I desire to thank the
troops who have been engaged in the city of Dublin for their splendid
behaviour under the trying conditions of street fighting which
I found it necessary to order them to undertake. Owing to the
excellent directions of the officers, and the tireless efforts
of the troops, all the surviving rebels in Dublin have now surrendered
unconditionally. I especially wish to express my gratitude to
those Irish regiments which have so largely helped to crush the
rising. Many incidents of very gallant behaviour have been brought
to my notice, which I am unable to refer to in this order, but
I must express my admiration of the conduct of a small detachment
from the 6th Reserve Cavalry Regiment, which, when conveying ammunition,
was attacked in Charles street, and, after a splendid defence
for three and a half days, during which their leaders were struck
down, safely delivered the ammunition.
General Commanding-in-Chief the Forces in Ireland
Headquarters, Irish Command, May 1, 1916.”
RECAPTURE OF STEPHEN’S
One of the most sanguinary engagements
of the week was the recapture of St. Stephen’s Green by
the military. The rebels took possession on Monday, simultaneously
with the attack on the Post Office and the Castle and by night
had strongly entrenched themselves on the Green itself. By some
strange neglect however, they omitted to seize in sufficient force
the buildings near by, notably, the Shelbourne Hotel, which dominates
the position, with the result that when these were occupied by
the troops on Tuesday the position was lost from the start. The
Sinn Feiners, however, put up a gallant fight, and many paid the
penalty with their lives before the remnant, about a dozen in
The earthworks thrown up during the preceding evening were further
strengthened by a huge barricade of motor-cars and carts commandeered
from the streets, and around this the battle wages fiercely. One
of the most prominent among the defenders was the notorious Countess
Markievicz, who, it will be remembered, played a prominent part
in the Larkin riots of 1912. Attired in the dark green uniform
worn by a number of the volunteers, with a bandolier slung over
her shoulder, she had previously been seen distributing arms from
Decimated at first by rifle fire from the surrounding buildings,
the rebels were finally routed by means of hand grenades. These
inflicted great slaughter on the defenders of the trenches, and
when the survivors surrendered, a heap of dead bodies testified
to the fierceness of the fray.
Directly the fighting began on Monday he rebels took steps to
cut off railway communication, but that was signally unsuccessful.
Broadstone, Westland Row, and other stations were occupied, it
is true, but they failed utterly in their attempt to secure control
of all the termini. A fatal mistake was the failure to occupy
Amiens street, for it was through this point that troops were
rushed into the city from all points.
A small band of rebels did make an endeavour to cut the embankment
which carried the line by an inlet from Dublin Bay, between Clontarf
and Fairview, but the venture was left too late. Several slight
explosions were heard, but no real damage was done to the embankment,
and the men were forced to beat a hasty retreat before the brisk
fire opened by a number of troops who appeared on the scene in
the nick of time. A fierce engagement followed on Amnesty bridge,
but here again the Sinn Feiners were forced to retire. They lost
heavily in both engagements, and the troops subsequently remained
undisturbed in possession of the bridge and embankment, although
firing went on intermittently between centries and snipers.
Attempts were also made to destroy bridges. A graphic account
of a brush with one of these bands was given me by a sentry guarding
the house in which for nearly three days two journalistic colleagues
and myself were imprisoned owing to the fighting which was going
on all round.
“The rebels had tried to
destroy a bridge over the canal at Phibsboro,” he said,
“but only partially succeeded. When we came up they had
fortified the position with a strong barricade, which was held
in force. Although we inflicted some loss, we were unable to make
any impression with rifle fire, and the captain brought up a machine
gun; but though we seemed to riddle the barricade with it, the
attack was still ineffective, and eventually a gun was sent for.
Half a dozen 18 pounder shells did a great amount of damage. I
am not exaggerating when I say that arms and legs and other ghastly
fragments flew about in all directions. When we took possession
there was barely a man left alive, and the barricade was a horrible
The main attack by the military did not fully materialise until
Wednesday, by which time continual firing was universal over the
city, and the troops had begun the drive which eventually resulted
in the main bodies of the rebels being in the narrow confines
of the principal centres, Sackville street and Four Courts. The
attack on the Post Office was pressed more strongly the next day.
From neither end of Sackville street did the Post Office present
a very good target and the difficulties of the attack were enhanced
by the continued sniping which went on from the roofs of adjoining
buildings. By breaking through the walls into the Metropole, and
similarly on to adjacent premises, the Sinn Feiners were enabled
to keep half of the street under fire without exposing themselves.
To this the military replied with a constant hail of rifle and
machine-gun fire, which was maintained during artillery bombardment.
Gradually the Post Office itself was battered to pieces, and by
Saturday evening the survivors were forced to evacuate it. Many
had escaped into other buildings through the holes broken in the
walls, and these included some fifty women and girls who had volunteered
to follow their men-folk. Pearse, the self-styled “President
of the Republic,” was carried out suffering from a broken
thigh. Shortly afterwards the flutter of a white flag stopped
all firing, and the armistices was arranged which later developed
into unconditional surrender.
Liberty Hall, the headquarters of Larkin’s organisation,
the Irish Transport Workers’ Union, and a hotbed of Sinn
Feinism, was destroyed on Wednesday. From the roof of the Custom
House and the Tivoli Theatre machine-guns sprayed the building
continually, successfully keeping down the rebels’ fire.
At the same time a Royal Naval Reserve gunboat crept unperceived
up the Liffey, and took up her position near the Butt Bridge.
Two small guns were already in position elsewhere, and at a given
signal the bombardment was opened simultaneously from river and
land. Within a very short time both the hall and adjoining buildings
also occupied by the rebels were practically wrecked, and when
the troops advanced to take possession there were barely any but
the dead to receive them.
The support accorded the outbreak by the poorest of the working
classes is universally ascribed to two reasons – the heavy
taxation of high prices, and the fear of conscription. The high
prices undoubtedly press hardly on the Irish workers, among whom
wages generally are lower than is the case in England. As to conscription,
however little the fear may be justified, there is no doubt that
a firm belief obtained among many sections of the populace that
one of the outcomes of the recent political crisis would be a
proposal to extend compulsion to Ireland.
There is one delicate point which has repeatedly been impressed
upon us and is important now that the fate of the remainder of
these unfortunate men remain in the hands of the Government. It
is the allegation that in many cases their participation in the
preliminary stages of the revolt was to some extent unpremeditated
and involuntary. For some long time now the Volunteers, as they
are generally known, have been subjected to surprise calls by
their leaders for training and other purposes, and it is asserted
by many loyally disposed citizens who are well acquainted with
individual members that on this occasion also numbers of the men
who were called out were unaware until they were mobilised and
the revolt started, of the actual purpose of the summons.