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Frontier Sentinel Saturday April 29 1916 (Editorial)

The Dublin Troubles

This has been an eventful week. On Monday night the startling announcement was published that an attempt had been made between Thursday and Friday by a German auxiliary vessel in conjunction with a German submarine to land arms and ammunition in Ireland.

Frontier Sentinel

The German ship was sunk and a number of prisoners were made, amongst whom was Sir Roger Casement. On Tuesday rumours were in circulation that remarkable events had taken place in Dublin on Monday. Although the full details of these regrettable and unhappy occurrences have not yet been made public, we are convinced that the versions in circulation have been grossly exaggerated, and that many of the alarming rumours emanated from fertile imaginations.

Dublin was isolated from the provinces on Tuesday and Wednesday, there being no communications on any of the routes beyond certain points, and there was no telegraphic or telephonic communication with places in Ireland south of Dundalk.

Since Monday no Dublin papers have reached this district, and until Wednesday people in the provinces had to rely on rumours, of which there was a big crop, for information as to what was happening in the metropolis.

On Wednesday evening a number of important official statements bearing on the general situation were issued. An announcement made by the Chief Secretary on Tuesday evening, but which was only received here on Wednesday, was to the following effect:- “At noon on Monday serious disturbances broke out in Dublin. A large body of men identified with Sinn Feiners, mostly armed, occupied Stephen’s Green and took possession forcibly of the Post Office, where they cut the telegraphic and telephonic wires. Houses were also occupied in Stephen’s Green, Sackville Street, Abbey Street and along the quays. In the course of the day soldiers arrived from the Curragh, and the situation is well in hand. So far as is known, three military officers, four of five soldiers, two loyal Volunteers, and two policemen have been killed, and four or five military officers, seven or eight soldiers, and six loyal Volunteers wounded. No exact information has been received of casualties on the side of the Sinn Feiners. Reports from Cork, Limerick, Ennis, Tralee, and both Ridings of Tipperary show that no disturbances of any kind have occurred in these localities.”

In a report issued by General Friend on Wednesday, he stated that reports from the provinces indicated that normal conditions prevailed. The Lord Lieutenant reports that during Tuesday night, the Royal Naval Reserve gunboat shelled and subsequently occupied Liberty Hall, the headquarters of the Sinn Fein force. Meanwhile large reinforcements have arrived in Dublin, including a detachment of 10,000 troops from England, with artillery, including engineering and medical corps. “Liberty Hall” became notorious during the Larkinite disturbances some years ago. It was we believe, formerly a Hotel, and was acquired by Mr. Jas. Larkin to be used as a centre for the propagation of his views and principles. A Royal Proclamation has now been issued in Dublin substituting trial by court-martial for offences hitherto triable by civil courts. The “Irish News fears that the list of casualties, as estimated on Tuesday, has been increased - perhaps it was not complete even on Tuesday. “Until the salient facts are known” says our Belfast contemporary “full comment on all that has happened up to the present must be ill-informed, injudicious, and unfair. Great mischief has undoubtedly been done; its direct and its moral effects have yet to be determined. We find English organs already engaged in the congenial work of turning these untoward and most unhappy occurrences to their own account. The “Daily Mail,” for instance, writes yesterday - 

This revolt is the natural result of the Governments policy in Ireland. Mr Birrell and his chief, Mr. Asquith, sat still and allowed a rebel force to be enrolled and armed. They did not move a hand or foot against it.

If Mr. Birrell and Mr. Asquith are to be attacked on these lines, the date of the indictment must be shifted back for the space of at least two years before anyone in Dublin thought of organising an armed force for any purpose - and the venue must not be laid in the troubled Capital of the country …

There is a direct, intimate, patent connection between the actual troubles of the present and the threatened troubles of the recent past, and this fact of the case cannot be forgotten or ignored.”

The Dublin disturbances are certain to inflict irreparable evil on many families, and everyone who loves Ireland will pray that normal conditions will soon prevail in the Irish capital, and that further bloodshed will be averted. People all over the country should keep their heads cool and not give way to panic or to passion. The needs of the hour are calmness, sanity and restraint.

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