Homecoming for Eamon de Valera
From Irish Independent, 24th March 1919
DE VALERA & IRELAND
RECEPTION AT CITY GATES
It is officially announced by Sinn Fein that Mr. De Valera will arrive in Ireland on Wed. evening, and that the Executive of Dail Eireann will offer him a public welcome.
"It is expected," adds the message," that the homecoming of De Valera will be an occasion of national rejoicing, and full arrangements will be made for marshalling the procession. The Lord Mayor of Dublin will receive him at the gates of the city, and will escort him to the Mansion House, where he will deliver a message to the Irish people."
Bands, and organisations which will participate in the demonstration are asked to apply to 6 Harcourt, St. It is interesting to recall that the last occasion in which a person was officially received at the gates of the city (Leeson St. Bridge, where a facsimile of the old city gate was erected for the occasion) was April 1, 1900, when the late Queen Victoria was received by the Lord Mayor.
From Belfast Newsletter, 24th March 1919
A Rebel Challenge
Following upon numerous acts of provocation, outrage, and insolence, meekly borne by a patient Executive, the disloyal elements of this country have issued a challenge to British authority which must be accepted.
On Wednesday next, it is stated, the Lord Mayor of Dublin proposes to receive, at the "gates of the city’, ' the escaped Sinn Fein prisoner, De Valera, in his self-assumed capacity of "President of the Irish Republic," and to give him a welcome only accorded to Royalty.
Such an act, if permitted to take place, could only be regarded as one of rank disloyalty and treason, for it presupposes the sovereign independence of Ireland. It is clearly the duty of the Government to proclaim this rebel gathering. We have no doubt that the Sinn Feiners desire some such interference with their plans, if only for the purpose of manufacturing another grievance, and possibly with the object of provoking a breach of the peace; but, even so, this insolent, challenge-cannot be ignored, for it is a deliberate and calculated attempt, not only to discredit British authority, but to bring contempt on the Throne. Loyal citizens look to the Government to prevent the commission of such an outface.
From Irish Independent, 25th March 1919
DE VALERA'S HOME COMING
THE DEMONSTRATION PROHIBITED
Lieut. Gen. Sir F. Shaw, Commanding in-Chief the Forces in Ireland, has prohibited the proposed demonstration in Dublin to-morrow in connection with the arrival of Mr. E. De Valera, M.P.
At the Sinn Fein headquarters last night it was announced that they had no statement to make in connection with the prohibition. The Lord Mayor .of Dublin told an "Irish Independent" representative last night that he had no statement to make - ‘at least for the present"
Gen. Shaw, in another order under D.O.R.A. dated yesterday, prohibits the holding of a meeting or procession in Dublin on or about to-morrow on the ground that it "would give rise to grave disorder" and "cause undue demands to be made upon the police and military forces."
From the Witness Statement of Sean M. O’Duffy
On March [26th], 1919, Eamonn de Valera was to return from prison. He was to be received at Leeson Street Bridge and presented with the keys of the city of Dublin by the Lord Mayor. All Volunteers were to attend the reception, and it was generally known that the British were to use force and suppress it. Those who would attend were in imminent danger of death. It was at five o'clock on the evening of that date that I met Detective Officer Cavanagh in South George's Street. He asked me to come along and, as we walked up South William Street, Mercer Street and Gaffe Street, he told me to "take this in". As we walked along, he gave me the whole story. A large force of military had been drafted into the city. One hundred Cavalry were posted at the North Circular Road. A machine gun unit here, there and everywhere. Many other detachments were posted in the vicinity of Leeson Street, etc. I went at once to 6 Harcourt Street, where I told Harry Boland. of all I had just learned of the military preparations to suppress the entry of de Valera. He was smiling as usual and remarked that "a king would not get such a reception". The reception was called off.
From Irish Independent, 26th March 1919
MR. E. DE VALERA'S REQUEST
RECEPTION NOT TO BE HELD
The following statement was issued by the hon. secs, of Sinn Fein last night;
We have received a communication from Mr. E. De Valera, which, we feel certain, the English Censor would not allow to be published in full.
"The part of immediate consequence to the public, however, is that Mr. De Valera feels that the occasion is not one which would justify proceeding with the public reception as arranged. "I, therefore, wish to inform the public that, in deference to Mr. De Valera’s urgent request, the reception will not be held."
Low Key Return for President of Dáil Éireann
From Evening Herald, 27th March 1919
Mr. De Valera
Informal Visit to the Mansion House
How Did He Escape?
Mr. E. De Valera, President Dáil Éireann, paid a informal visit to the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House this afternoon.
Only a few people were aware of the intention to visit the Lord Mayor, and consequentially his arrival at the Mansion House attracted very little attention.
Shortly after 3 o’clock he was seen stepping from a tramcar accompanied by Mr. Cathal Brugha, speaker Dáil Éireann.
After exchanging greetings with a few friends in the street he entered the Mansion House, being received at the hall door by the Lord Mayor.
In Good Spirits
Mr. De Valera, in appearance, seemed to have undergone little change after his ten months incarceration and the anxious period he must have passed through since his escape from Lincoln Prison, and he was in good spirits.
Speaking to a number of pressmen, he said that since the censor would not allow what he wished to say, he did not see the use of making a statement. He, however, mentioned that what most journalists appeared most anxious to know was how he had escaped from prison, and where he had been since, and said these matters should remain secret for the present.
Plans for the Future
Asked what his plans for his future were, he replied that, of course, they could not make their plans public. He hoped to get into communications with the people other than through the press which was closed to him.
A deputation from Clare, he added had called on him with a request to visit Clare. He hoped to do so at an early date.
Questioned as to whether he apprehended any further attention from the police he replied ‘Of course, they took me once, and they may do so again;. Then, smiling, he joined the Lord Mayor’s party.