From Drogheda Independent, 21st June 1919



1,900 MILES IN 16 HOURS.


The Atlantic has been successfully crossed in a non-stop flight. On Sunday morning Captain Alcock, R.A.F., and his navigator, Arthur Brown, who left St. John's on Saturday afternoon, arrived at Clifden, County Galway, and landed near the Marconi Wireless Station.

They saw little of either the sky or the sea on their journey. For the greater part of their time they had to contend with fogs and heavy clouds, with occasional showers of hail and sleet. The Journey of 1,900 miles was accomplished in sixteen hours, at an average rate of 120 miles an hour.

The landing was made in a bog, and the machine was so damaged that Captain Alcock was unable to continue the flight to London. The aviators escaped injury, and they suffered no ill-effects from the long period of their flight through the cold air. They left Galway by train on Monday afternoon for London. During the day the King sent a telegram congratulating the airmen on the great achievement, and another was sent by Lord French and Mr. Ian Macpherson, in the name of the Irish Government, welcoming them to Ireland.

Captain Alcock and Lieutenant Arthur W. Brown, R.A.F., flying a double-engined Vickers-Vimy biplane, succeeded in crossing the Atlantic from St. John's, Newfoundland, to the Marconi Station, near Clifden, Co. Galway, a distance of 1,900 miles, in 15 hours and 57 minutes. The feat was accomplished in unfavourable weather at an average speed of 120 miles per hour, and the airmen landed in Derrygimlagh Bog, behind the Marconi's condensor house at 8.40 a.m. Greenwich mean time. An Australian soldier on his honeymoon gazing through the window of a hotel in the sleepy town of Clifden, and a farmer's boy tending cattle nearby were probably the first to witness, the mysterious visitors coming across the sea through the morning mist.

The plane circled over the townland, a few minutes later, spotting the aerials, dropped to earth at the Marconi Station. The operators on morning duty who witnessed the landing had no idea that the great feat had been accomplished. Indeed, after the failure of Hawker and in the weather that prevailed, it was thought to be impossible. But it was quickly learned that the apparently impossible had been made possible, and as the airmen stepped out of the plane Lieutenant Brown cheerily- remarked: "That is the way to fly the Atlantic." Struck by the magic of the moment, a Marconi operator improvised an autograph album, and although Captain Alcock was still in his flying togs, he cheekily complied with the request to sign. "Now," he remarked, "if we had a shave and a bath, we should be all right."


It is doubtful if even the records of flying during the war- can yield anything so romantic or extraordinary as the story that Captain Alcock had to tell me this afternoon. The descent was accomplished, virtually without a mishap, and, had it not been for the unfortunate accident of landing in a bog, the machine could have been taken off again and continued the flight to England, for not more than two-thirds of the petrol had been used, and the engines were running beautifully. But directly that the plane came to earth she bumped, and ran about 50 yards, getting up to her axles in the bog, and injuring the underplane. A nose dive brought her to a dead stop, but beyond a slight jar the airmen were none the worse of their experience.


What were your impressions during this extraordinary experience of a flight through the night many thousand miles from land? "Well," said Capt. Alcock, "it is difficult to sum them up. No, there was no sense of remoteness, curious to say we were too keen on our work. We wanted to get the job over, and we were jolly pleased, I tell you, to see the coast. We first saw the two little islands out in the sea, and then we swung round and landed at the station. Our landing would have been a perfect one only that we happened to come into the bog. It looked all right from the air, but as soon as we touched the ground the machine began to settle down to the axles, and the wheels suddenly stopped, and the machine went down nose first. We were not hurt or shaken, and only a little damage was done to the under plane of the machine."


He proudly showed me a little white mail bag, with lead seal, unbroken, in which he had carried across the Atlantic in a single night, almost with the speed of an electric cable, 800 letters. "This is’ he said, "is the first Atlantic aerial mail."


Lord Northcliffe has sent the following letter to Captain Alcock :

My Dear Alcock—A Very hearty welcome to the pioneer of direct Atlantic flight.

Your journey with your brave companion, Whitten Brown, is a typical exhibition of British courage and organising efficiency. Just as in 1913, when I offered the prize, I felt that it would soon be won, so do I surely believe that your wonderful journey is a warning to cable monopolists and others to realise that within the next few years we shall be less dependent upon them, unless they increase their wires and speed up. Your voyage was made more quickly than the average Press messages of 1919.

Moreover, I look forward with certainty to the time when London morning newspapers will be selling in New York in the evening, allowing for the difference between British and American time, and vice versa in regard to New York evening papers reaching London next day. Then we shall no longer suffer from the danger of garbled quotations due to telegraphic compression'. Then, too, the American and British peoples will understand each other better as they are brought into closer daily touch. Illness prevents me from shaking you by the hand, and personally presenting the prize, but I can assure you that your welcome will be equal to that of Hawker, and his gallant American compeer, Read, whose great accomplishment has given such valuable data for future Atlantic work. ' We rejoice at the good augury that you departed from and arrived at those two portions of the British Commonwealth the happy and prosperous Dominion of Newfoundland and the future equally happy and prosperous Dominion of Ireland. Yours sincerely, NORTHCLIFFE.

From Evening Herald, 20th June 1919



Rantzau's Cabinet Resigns To-day

Soviet Government Established in Czechoslovakia

Paris, Friday.

The Weimar Convention has accepted the Peace Treaty.

The signature to the Peace Treaty will, therefore be written within the period alloted by the Allies but will be put by the new head of the Government—probably Herr Erzberger—and his ministers.

To-day's news shows the following parties to be in favour of accepting the Treaty.:

  • Social Democrats
  • Majority Socialists
  • Centrist Party
  • Democratic Party
  • Peace Committee

Raids and Runctions

Dublin Houses Searched and Sofas Prodded

There was remarkable activity on the part of Dublin police today. Members of the detective division were mobilised in the morning in Dublin Castle.

Subsequently these mobilised forces moved out and visited the houses of several citizens, including those of some Sinn Fein M.P.'s.


The search was of a very thorough character in every instance, The visiting parties, in some cases, accompanied by motor lorries, entered the houses and proceeded to examine every room and every article of furniture.

Pianos were examined as to their interiors. prodded, wardrobes opened, beds searched went out on the roofs. So far as is known nothing was discovered.

From Nenagh Guardian, 21st June 1919

The Silvermines Tragedy.

The venue of the trial of what has come to be widely known as the Silvermines tragedy having been changed from Dublin to Cork, the prisoners charged in connection with it were brought to the Four Courts to take their trial before the Lord Chief Justice and a County Dublin special jury.

The accused are three young men, brothers—Patrick, John, and Wm. O'Brien. They were twice tried in Cork, where the juries disagreed. The prisoners were brought from Limerick Jail under a strong escort, and kept in custody of constabulary and prison warders.

They appeared, in excellent spirits and seemed to follow the brief proceedings with intelligent interest, About 300 special county jurors were sworn. The Crown was represented by the Solicitor-General, Sergeant Sullivan, Mr Hennessy, K.C, and Mr Forde, (instructed by Mr M. Gleeson, Crown Solicitor). Mr T. M. Healy, K.C, Mr P. Lynch, K.C, and Mr Joseph O'Connor (instructed by Mr Duggan, T.D.E) defended.

Mr Healy and the Panel

When the case was called Mr Healy challenged the array of the jury panel, on the ground that it had been returned contrary to the provisions governing the procedure. The names of the jurors were not in proper rotation, and the Sheriff of the County had been guilty of misconduct in the manner in which he arrayed and summoned them and had not summoned them indifferently, and counsel applied to have the panel quashed.

The Solicitor-General said he would put in a demurrer and he thought it well that the Sheriff should be represented, having regard to the charge made about the jury panel.

The Lord Chief Justice agreed.

The Solicitor-General : It is, of course, a matter for me, but it is a matter more for the Sheriff, who is an independent officer of the law.

The Lord Chief Justice thought the core convenient thing would be to allow Mr Healy to state his objections to the panel. Grounds of Application,

Mr Healy then proceeded to say that there had been considerable abuses in olden times and special arrangements were made, and the sheriff should take the names of the jurors in a regular alphabetical series, ft was probably about 20 years since a Crimes Act jury had been empanelled. Counsel wished to point out that in framing a charge of " misconduct " against the sheriff that was a technical expression they were bound to aver, although anything in the nature of partiality or corruption was entirely absent and no reflection was involved on the officer.

The panel spoke for itself. "Nay, said counsel, "shrieks for itself." All the names on it, except perhaps about 18, were contrary to the statute those of persons certified by the sheriff having served in the year 1918, the names were out of alphabetical order, and the arrangement was fatal to the panel. If one juror was knocked off as improperly empanelled the whole panel should go.

The Solicitor-General said that statements had been made which were not borne out by evidence.

No Question of Evidence Yet.

The Lord Chief Justice remarked that the question of evidence did not arise at present.

The Solicitor-General suggested that counsel on the other side should lay more foundation for his statements.

The Lord Chief Justice said the Solicitor-General could say whatever he liked in reply to the preliminary statement, but at present it was not a regular legal argument. No one bad said anything except that the panel had not been prepared in accordance with the statutory provisions. His lordship was not deciding whether or not there had been a technical blunder, and he was giving leave to the Crown to plead by demurrer, and to Mr Healy to put in a reply, and the Sheriff must have an opportunity of being advised as to his position.

The argument with regard to the jury panel was then allowed to stand.

Prisoners See their Mother.

In the lobby there was a throng of people, a number of them from the country, including their mother and sisters and other relations, and other witnesses in the case, They were put into the waiting room adjacent, and in consequence of a communication by the solicitor for the prisoners, Mr Duggan, permission was granted by the Lord Chief Justice for their mother and sister to see them. They remained in the waiting room for some time, and had luncheon there, and were finally taken to Mountjoy.

The jury panel challenged for the prisoners was upheld, and the trial fixed for Monday, June 30th.