Weekly Series on Centenary of Events of 1919 - 1921.
Compiling the web's most definitive timeline of years the 131 weeks during the Irish War of Independence with daily updates @ https://twitter.com/131Weeks
Nothing is being left undone by the promoters to make the "Peace Day" celebrations in Dublin to be something talked of in years to come.
An elaborate scheme of decorations has been designed for the leading thoroughfares and granted favourable weather a picturesque and brilliant spectacle should be presented.
During the past week the windows of city drapery establishments have been resplendent with miniature flags of various kinds. The chief event of to-morrow's celebration will be the “Victory March," which will be participated in by all available troops in the Dublin district.
The procession will, according to arrangement, be headed by demobilised soldiers and sailors, to the number, it is anticipated, of over 6,000. The route will be throng Dame Street, College Green, Great Brunswick street, Westland Row, Lincoln place, Leinster street; Kildare street, to Stephen's Green.
The salute will be taken at 11.30 a.m. by Viscount French ai the Bank of Ireland. At the latter point a large platform is in course of construction to accommodate the Viceroy and bis staff, as well as a number of Government officials.
Apathetic would perhaps be the most fitting description of the general attitude towards the military displays in the majority of provincial centres, business being carried on pretty much as usual. The tricolour in several instances quite overshadowed the loyalist bunting. Interrupters at a "Victory Eve Concert in Tipperary demanded to know what is to be done with Carson given his recent utterances.
Elaborate military demonstration In celebration of Peace took place yesterday in Dublin, and was witnessed by huge crowds who lined the streets. The vicinity of College Green, whore the salute was taken by the Viceroy estimated that 15,000 troops and about 6,000 demobilised soldiers (all Irish) took part in the "Victory Parade."
The remnants of the Irish regiments wore heartily greeted by the assembled crowds.
The majority of Irish provincial cities the displays were purely military, the general public holding aloof from the celebrations. Last night some exciting scenes took place in the Dublin streets, including a baton charge by the police in Beresford place. A sergeant was also reported to have boon wounded by a shot on Ormond quay.
The Press Association wired last the following;
‘The great question on the lips of everyone in London this morning was what is the weather going to be like for our glorious victory pageant.' It was a debatable point for the hundreds of thousands of people who converged on to the line of the route of the great triumphal march from all corners of the city. All they wanted was fine weather to enjoy the magnificent panorama of the empire’s strength, which would shortly unfold itself before them.
Thousands of eager sightseers stayed out all night in order to be early to secure a, point of vantage, and these natural enthusiasts saw the dawn break over a fog enveloped city with all the objects of a fine day. Showers, however, were frequent, although the occasional bursts of sunshine raised the hopes of the multitudes disgorged from tram, bus; tube, and, train at points nearest to the processional routes.
At 8 o'clock Hyde Park was full with people, while at Albert Gate the small crowd which gathered during the night had grown to enormous dimensions. The marshalling of the procession commenced at 9 o'clock. Intense interest being taken in the forming up of the American troops and naval men.
Marshal Foch, Sir Douglas Haig, General Pershing, Sir David Doatty, and other Allied leaders had tremendous ovations us they took up their positions. So dense was the crowd at the Junction of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street that the police had the utmost difficulty in keeping' back the surging but happy people, who from the direction of the Tube station wore 300 at 400 deep at times. It was feared that the crowd would break through and block the road. The crowd was a representative one, There were numerous fainting cases, but no untoward incidents.
This is Peace Day — the official celebration of the victory which the Allied Powers won over the forces of Militarism and Hunism.
Peace Day finds Ireland in the hands of an armed garrison, maintained here to prevent any outward manifestation of the Irish people's unquenchable desire to be the masters in their own country. The war of which this day's celebration is the Te Deum for victory and peace, was fought, we were told, to make the world safe for democracy.
There was the evident reservation, dictated, in so far as Great Britain was concerned, by Sir Edward Carson, that in the case of Ireland there was to be entered a caveat. This country or, her people were not to come into the picture, not; withstanding President Wilson's avowals, declarations and fulminations.
True the Irish people were induced to join in that fight and to make heroic sacrifices in response to the call of Liberty. The understanding on which the hundreds of thousands of young Irishmen who faced the music' in France and Flanders, in the Dardanelles, in Mesopotamia, and elsewhere, went into, the fight was that one of the consequences for their own country would, be- the recognition of her Nationhood and the establishment in Dublin of a Parliament, with a Government responsible to that Parliament alone.
And now we have come to the official celebration of Peace and Victory, but where lie the hopes for which so many young Irish lives were' given in sacrifice?
Sir Edward Carson did a war dance "upon these hopes last Saturday in Belfast, and his whilom follower—the Galloper Smith—now Lord Birkenhead England's Lord Chancellor, read what he hoped to be their funeral oration in his most solemn manner in the British House of Lords on last Tuesday.
The aim of Carsonism all through has been to destroy the Home Rule Act of 1914- Towards that end every move in the Covenanter's game was motived. Avaunt foul measure! That was the Orange attitude-towards -the Act in question. It threatened the fortress of Ascendancy in this country as that well-buttressed structure was never hitherto threatened.
Sir Edward Carson opened his "Repeal the Home Rule Act" campaign at Saturday's demonstration of Belfast Orangemen, which took place at Ballymenoch, near Hollywood, with all the usual ceremonial.
Various estimates are given of the numbers which took part in the proceedings. A vigorous effort was made by the Orange leader to intensify bitter sentiment, not even the value of a complete understanding with America standing in the way of a free flow at that, even from him, was vituperative and acrimonious oratory.
A scurrilous personal attack on Sir Horace Plunkett provided Sir Edward Carson with much of the material for his speech, which included a threat to once more call out the "Ulster" Volunteers "if an attempt "were made to take away their rights as British citizens." In his reference to America, Sir Edward declared that they "could not brook interference in their affairs," and Sir Horace Plunkett's Dominion Home Rule proposal he characterised as a camouflaged Irish Republic. The keynote of the speech was that Irish self-government was to be fought tooth and nail, regardless of its advantages and regardless of any evil that might follow the complete shelving of it.
CARSON'S REMARKABLE OUTBURST
Sir Edward Carson, proposing the resolution which demands the repeal of the Home Rule Act, said the Act was stillborn. He proceeded—Now, there are only two policies before the country—one is the maintenance of the Union and loyalty to the- King, and the other is, God bless the mark an Irish Republic—an Irish Republic, with your hats off to the President, Mr. De Valera, who is now working against you in America with the help of the Catholic Hierarchy in that country, backed up by the Catholic Hierarchy in this and all other countries, and who imagines in his vanity that one day or the other he is going to march through Belfast and Ulster and you will all willingly take off your hats and bow the knee to the head of the organisation which in the darkest hours of the war for the world's freedom shot his Majesty's soldiers in the streets of Dublin.
I invite Mr. De Valera to come to a proper "Ulster" welcome. A British Empire as compared with an Irish Republic? What is the good of the British Empire? Just imagine how small the British Empire will look when the Irish Republic is established, and just imagine how the British navy will bow their heads in shame when they see two canal boats with the Irish Sinn Fein flag, and Admiral Devlin bringing them into action at Scapa Flow.
HE SAYS "DON'T TALK."
Don't let us talk. Let us be prepared for all and every emergency.
I tell the British people this from this platform here in your presence to-day —and I say it with all solemnity—I tell them that if there is any attempt made to take away one jot or tittle of your rights as British citizens, and the advantages which have been won in this war of freedom—I tell them, at all consequences, once more, I will call out the "Ulster" Volunteers, and I will call upon these men to preserve alive the memory of the sacrifices of those who at the country's call went out and gave their lives in the services of their King and country.
I am not so very much afraid of the Irish Republic. It sounds very grand, and it sounds all the grander because Mr. De Valera is floating a loan at the present time in the United States. I do not know what interest he is paying, but as he says he has established his Parliament here already, and his Government, I should have thought the easiest way for him would have been at once to proceed to tax his subjects. Let him put an income tax for the Irish Republic on his subjects in the South and West of Ireland, and go around and collect it from the labourers who follow him. Then he will be up against the real thing.
DOMINION HOME RULE.
But there is another movement. Nobody wants Home Rule now. Across the floor of the House of Commons I made that statement the other night, and I said really it was a commentary on the wisdom of the great Radical and Nationalist Party that although the Home Rule Bill has never yet been put into force, no Radical or Nationalist, or anybody else will have anything to do with it now. .
But I asked Mr. Devlin across the floor of the House did he want it, and he said "No," he wanted Dominion Home Rule. Dominion Government. What is Dominion Government under the circumstances of Ireland? I will tell you what it is. It is an Irish Republic camouflaged by another name; nothing more or nothing less. I have had a great number of letters from various sources; particularly, may I say Press sources, saying they hoped I would make an emphatic and clear declaration as to my views as regards Dominion Home Rule when I came to Belfast upon the 12th July. Well, I am going to do that. I never camouflaged anything.
TO ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
I call an Ulsterman an Ulsterman. I call a Sinn Feiner a rebel. I call Dominion Home Rule the camouflage of an Irish Republic, and I tell them here to-day, in your presence, that I send this message to all whom it may concern, as we say in the law: that we will have nothing to do with Dominion Home Rule or. any other Home Rule. They may call it what they like; they may give it any specious name they like but we know what the reality is. We avoid it as a thing unclean; we spurn it, we fling it back at them. We tell them it has nothing to do with us or our people or our conditions. We tell them that we are loyal men, that the Government and the Constitution and the British Empire are good enough for us, and we tell them that the man who tries to knock a brick out of that sound and solid foundation, if he comes to "Ulster," he will know what the real feeling of Ulstermen and Ulster women is.
There is a campaign going on America at the present moment, fostered by the Catholic Church there, with great funds at their disposal, which will be soon joined by the Germans and their funds, in order to create a great anti-British feeling. Make no mistake about it, there are many honest men in England and in Scotland who keep saying this to me:. "Surely something must be done for fear we will lose the goodwill "of America."
FLOUTING THE UNITED STATES. Heaven knows I want good feeling between America and this country. I believe that the whole fortune of the world probably depends upon the relations between' the United States and ourselves. But I am not going to submit to this kind of campaign whether for that friendship, or for any other purpose. I to-day seriously say to America: ,'. "You attend to your own affairs and ,' we will attend to ours. You look after your own questions at home and we will look after ours. We will not brook interference in our own affairs by any country however powerful. It was not for that that we waged the great war of independence which has just concluded." I am bound to say that there are many things that have happened recently for which I think—I am not unfriendly to them—his Majesty's Government have a great deal.to explain. What right had the American mission to come to this country? To come here in breach of the hospitality of one nation towards another to attempt to stir up strife in matters with which they were not connected? I know this, and I state it as a fact that cannot be denied. I know that the encouragement that those men gave to the Sinn Fein Party has created for his Majesty's Government far more difficulty than they ever had before. I know further, and I say this in all seriousness, that I believe the visit of these men and the encouragement they gave to the lawlessness which was being preached throughout the land, has added greatly to the campaign of assassination of innocent policemen, who were only doing their duty towards their King, and who were foully murdered upon the roadside, with men looking on who had not the, courage to arrest the assassins, or give such information as would bring them to justice.
"A LOT OF LUNDIES."
All this is an abominable attempt against your liberty and against mine, and recollect, and I am going to say this, not only have we all that to deal with, but I think some of you in the North of Ireland know what the name of Lundy means. There are a lot of lundies knocking about I think. Yes, there is, a man in Ireland here at the present moment—I am sorry to have to speak of him in this way; he is a gentleman whom I have known for many years—a gentleman named Sir Horace Plunkett.
Now Horace Plunkett thinks that his mission in life is to beget leagues. He is not married. Every month or two he forms a new league with a few respectable names of well-known Lundyites, and he has lately formed a Dominion League and lie always, some way or another, persuades the English Press and some English politicians that whatever he writes or whatever he says ought to appear in big print. I don't understand the methods of the Press. Some people get big print, some people little print, and some people get no print at all.
ATTACK ON SIR HORACE PLUNKETT
But who is Sir Horace Plunkett? I will tell you all about him. Horace Plunkett entered Parliament as a Unionist member. I voted for him. What is more I came all the way from the county of Sussex to vote for him when he was candidate for South Dublin, and I went back by the next boat. He cost me £5 or £6 and I am very sorry for it. He got in and made his reputation as a Unionist member—this will ibring you near the point—and then he lost his seat. I am glad he lost his seat. And then he lost his office, and then he became a Home Ruler, because he lost his office and saw no possibility of getting another office.
From that day to this he has gone from bad to worse. At first he was a moderate Home Ruler, then he was less moderate. He tried several times to get a seat, but there was not a place on any side. And now he has got his Dominion League.
He had once a great triumph. He was selected as Chairman of the Convention. Now do you know how he was selected as Chairman of the Convention ? I will tell you.
"THE ONLY MAN IN IRELAND."
Every honest man in Ireland is trusted by one side or the other. That is a great thing about our country. There is no doubt about it, and when they came to select -a Chairman for the Convention each person who was put forward was objected to by some-body. And so at last the only man in Ireland they could find who was thoroughly hated and distrusted by both sides, and rightly distrusted, he was made Chairman of the Convention. And a nice mess he made of it. Then, because the Ulster people would not fall in with his views at the Convention—and I believe some others as well—he thought to himself, what about another League; and so he framed the Dominion League.
THE THREAT AGAIN.
I do not mind him having any opinions he likes if he has them, but I will tell you what I do mind. I do mind that gentleman who has boxed the compass of political profligacy, walking in and out of the Carlton Club, spying upon those who are real Unionists. He ought -to go elsewhere.
I move that the Government be asked to repeal this Home Rule Act. I remember the fraud by which it was put on the Statute Book.
The war was going on and we did nothing, but I gave you this pledge in the Ulster Hall, and I repeat U now once more that ' If any attempt to revive it or put it into force I will once more summon the Provisional Government, and I will move that we repeal the Home Rule Bill if nobody else does (cheers)
His Lordship, addressing the Grand Jury, said their duties, as far as ordinary criminal business was concerned, would be very light. There were only two bills to go before them, neither of which would give them any trouble. One was a bill for common assault. The assault was the presenting of a revolver at a man and he would tell them that presenting a revolver at a man was evidence of common assault. If they were satisfied, he did so they would find a true bill. The other bill was for larceny and it would give gentlemen of their experience very little trouble.
Unfortunately their work at the Assizes did not convey any idea of the state of crime in the county. He had the ordinary report from the Constabulary of the number of specially reported cases and he found that whereas last year there were 14, this year there w ere 26, or nearly double the number.
That was a very grave matter. In the case of housebreaking last year there was only one instance, while there were six this time. Now, breaking into a house was a symptom of disorder. There was one case of wilfully setting fire to premises this time, and none last time in regard to cases of malicious injuries, there were only two last year, but this year there were eight—four times as many.
The number of intimidating and threatening letters had increased from two to four. There were no instances of raids for arms this time, though there were five last year. Last year there was no murder case, but this year there was one, and it was his duty to call their attention to it.
It was the murder of a valuable public servant—a man of spotless character—Mr Michael Hunt, D.I, R.I.C, on the 23rd June, at five o'clock, in the broad day-light, in the public square of the principal town in the centre of the county, in the presence of a large crowd of people returning from the races. The assassin was allowed to come up behind this man's back, fire three shots at him, and kill him on the spot. Not a voice nor a hand was raised. Now that was appalling, and he regretted to say that up to the present no one had been made amenable for that crime, but the man who did it and his accomplices, if any, or the people who incited him to commit that crime, let them not rest assured that they were safe.
About a quarter of a century ago a band of assassins crept up behind Lord F. Cavendish and Mr Bourke and killed them, and took every precaution for their safety. The whole country ran with denunciation of it. The perpetrators returned to their ordinary occupations and months and months rolled by. Finally, the men were brought to justice, and the principal witness against them was their trusted leader and organiser, James Carey. Let the men who had been guilty of that Time not think they were safe and secure. He would give another instance. More than a quarter of a century ago he was engaged in a case in Cork, in which a man murdered his mother, brother, and sister, and got possession of the farm, remaining there for a couple of years.
He then emigrated to New Zealand with his family, and six years afterwards he was changing his residence from one place to another a county Cork policeman put his hand on his shoulder and arrested him for the murder of his brother, sister, and mother. He was brought to Cork and hanged. Having referred to the fact that those who took part in criminal associations resulting in murder could not tell the moment the arm of justice would fall on them, he said that even the ruffian who was engaged with others in committing a murder, in order to save his own neck, turned on his associates and gave evidence against them was a loathsome object.
But nowadays the honest man who took no part in criminal associations and who does his duty to his fellow citizens and himself by stating the facts, he knows about, a crime and aids the administration of justice by attempting to discover the criminal, he is called an informer. in informer was a man who had been a party to the crime and turned on his associates, but a decent man who knows of crime did not approve of assassination and thought it better that every farmer should be allowed to live in peace at home it was to his interest that there should be peace in the country, and that murderers and robbers should be punished. If that man came forward to help the administration of justice and was called an informer he would describe that as an abuse of language. No such man was an informer.
To go back to Mr Hunt's case, a vast crowd of people saw the crime committed, and a number of people must know who did it, but no information had been lodged and no evidence forthcoming. Now, was it possible to believe in a county, known as Gallant Tipperary, and the Premier county of Ireland from which recent, fine peasantry came that people sympathised with that horrible base cowardly murder. He declined to believe it. He did not believe that the decent, people of that county had any sympathy with that y assassin who crept up behind the man's back and murdered him in cold blood.
The only other explanation was that the people were afraid to give evidence or assistance. If any honest man came forward and gave his evidence they would find him denounced as an informer. He had often said to the Grand Juries that, coming down there as a stranger, it was rather presumptuous for a judge to express any decided opinion about the stateof the county. He knew nothing about the county generally. The Grand Jury knew more about it than he did. The only information he had was the report of the responsible authorities.
Their careful and able County Inspector, who had such a heavy burthen on his shoulders at present, told him that in the North part of the Riding things were comparatively quiet, but ho said that the state of things in the South part was simply appalling. Having referred to the proclamation of the five associations in the county, he said they should be assured that the Lord Lieutenant was satisfied that the condition of the county was so bad as to require that extraordinary remedy. He hoped the disturbance was only temporary and would pass away. The Grand Jury passed the following resolution : "We, the Grand Jury of the North Riding of the County of Tipperary, desire to express our high appreciation of the discipline and conduct of the members of the R.I.C, now as at all times. And We tender our sincere sympathy to the relations of those members of the Force who have recently lost their lives in the faithful discharge of their duties." Mr Justice Ronan said he would send a copy to the Lord Lieutenant and the Inspector-General R.I.C.