Lest We Forget (11) – November 17th-29th 1919

(Continuing our series on the events of 1919 with the help of the daily newspaper of the First Dáil, the Irish Bulletin.)



The Sentences passed on political offenders in the above six days totalled seven years, seven months, and two weeks.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, 1919.
Raids:- Armed police raided the offices of the “Clare Champion” a weekly paper published at Ennis, and carried away type and other property.
Arrests:- Mr. Martin Thornton, Irish Language teacher, and Mr. Patrick Hohan, both of Tucker Street, Castlebar, were arrested on a charge of sedition. Mr. Leo Callaghan was arrested at Mallow, Co. Cork, on a charge of participating in an endeavour to obtain arms on a charge of illegal assembly.
Sentences:- Mr. Patrick J. O’Brien of Kells, Co. Meath was sentenced by courtmartial to imprisonment for one year and six months on a charge of possessing ammunition. Messrs. Martin, Thornton and Patrick Hohan, above mentioned were tried by “Crimes Court” and each sentenced to two months’ imprisonment. Thornton on a charge of reciting at a concert and the latter on a charge of singing a patriotic ballad: “The Dublin Brigade”. Mr. Michael Costello, above mentioned, was sentenced to two weeks imprisonment on a charge of “unlawful assembly”. The police witnesses declared that the unlawful assembly consisted in singing a song while passing the police. At Nenagh eight young men named Clery, Loughnane, Ahern, Herbert, Carroll, Kelly and Greene, were each sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for “unlawful assembly” and endeavouring to obtain arms. All the prisoners mentioned as sentenced in this list refused to recognise the right to try them of the Courts before which they were brought. 
Suppressions & Proclamations:- At Thurles, Co. Tipperary, the usual weekly market was suppressed by fully armed police and military who occupied the market place and prevented country people from offering their produce for sale. Two other fairs in the District were in the same manner suppressed.
Armed Assault:- At Strabane, Co. Donegal, the people who had gathered in the town on the occasion of the half-yearly fair, showed sympathy to a political prisoner who had just been arrested. They were immediately set upon by a large body of police who beat men, women and children with the butt-ends of their rifles. Many were seriously injured. At Kilcommin, Co. Tipperary, a small fair was in progress when it was discovered by a flying column of military and police. Those attending the fair were dispersed by bayonet charges and the cattle were turned loose.
Militarism:- The Daily Chronicle of this date says: – “Few people in England realise that a year after the armistice, civilians in Ireland are still being tried by courtmartials – a form of tribunal which had been unknown in Ireland for 120 years”.

Raids:- Military and police fully armed raided and searched upwards of a score of private houses at Bantry, Co. Cork. At Dunmanway, Co. Cork, military in full trench kit and armed police, forced their way into the business premises of prominent Republicans. Some twelve houses were searched. Throughout the County of Sligo, military and police raided approximately fifty private houses.
Arrests:- Dr. Doyle of Gurteen, Co. Sligo was arrested by armed police who previously in the day had fired into the car in which he was driving and wounded him. (See below). John and Patrick Kilcommins, Lisnagall, Patrick O’Neill, Rathbann, and Patrick Curley, Caltra, all of Co. Galway were arrested on a charge of “unlawful assembly”. Padraig O’Dubhain, Irish Teacher, Killarney was arrested at his hotel by armed police, and was handed over to the military. Mr. James Hunt, Gurteen, Co. Sligo was arrested on an unstated charge.
Armed Assaults:- At Ballymote, Co. Sligo, armed police endeavoured to arrest a Sinn Fein organiser named Patrick O’Hegarty. Mr. O’Hegarty was driving a motor at the time. When the car, at the call of the police, did not stop, the police fired several volleys into it and wounded the chauffeur named O’Grady and Dr. Doyle above mentioned. The police then followed the car and when it reached Gurteen, surrounded it and made another effort to arrest the occupants. The car again managed to break through the police cordon and was again fired into. The police defeated in their efforts at arrest attacked the crowd attracted by the firing an injured many of them.

Raids:- Armed police raided the houses of Messrs. P. M’Carthy, C. Hallissey, T. Young, D. McCarthy, P. Ahern, T. O’Neill, J. Keeffe all of Dunmanway, Co. Cork. At Caheragh, Co. Cork, armed military and police raided some half-dozen houses.
Arrests:- Two brothers John and Wm. Breen of Gorey, Co.Wicklow, were arrested on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms. Armed assaults: At Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, the townsfolk held a public welcome for the two brothers John and Wm. O’Brien, who were released from Limerick Jail after twenty-two months’ imprisonment, during which the English Law Agents made every effort to convict them of a murder of which they are clearly innocent. A meeting was held and as it was about peaceably, to disperse, the people were suddenly, and without provocation, attacked by armed police, beat down many men and women with the butt-ends of their rifles. During the night the police set upon many groups of people who gathered in the streets. Upwards of fifty persons were injured.

Raids:- Armed police raided the National School rooms at Skibbereen, Co. Cork, where classes in the Irish language were being held. The residence of Mr. P. Hogan, Cratloe, Co. Clare was forcibly entered by police and searched. Police raided the premises of the Railway Station at Baltimore, Co. Kerry, and ransacked the rooms. At many places in and near Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, large bodies of armed police tore down posters advertising the Irish National Loan.
Arrests:- Mr. James Dolan, Member of the Irish Parliament for North Leitrim, was arrested on a charge of “seditious speaking”.
Courtmartials:- Mr. C. P. Lucy, Pembroke Street, Cork, was tried by courtmartial at the Royal Victoria Barracks, Cork, on a charge of possessing a revolver. Mr. Timothy Noonan, 17 Thomas St., Cork, was tried by courtmartial on a charge of possessing ammunition and explosives. Both prisoners refused to recognise the right of the court to try them stating that the Irish people having set up their own Government were amenable to that Government only.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21st, 1919.
Raids:- At Gorey, Co. Wexford, armed police raided some twenty houses. Between three and four o’clock a.m. armed military and police raided eight private houses in Tipperary town. Forcing their way into the residences, they ordered the occupants, women as well as men, out of their beds, and searched all the rooms.
Arrests:- Mr. Daniel O’Sullivan, Tralee, was arrested on his way to business and handed over to the military authorities. Eight men named: – P. Moore, J. Duffy, D. Carroll, C. Maloney, S. Foley, D. Kelly, C. Allen, and M. FitzPatrick, were arrested, Messrs. Moore, Fitzpatrick, and Kelly for advocating the Irish National Loan and the other five for giving a welcome to prisoners released on hunger strike from Mountjoy.
Sentences:- Messrs. E. Donnelly, Tullyard House, Armagh, and Ed. Hughes, Tullyglushnevin in the same county, and Professor Liam O’Brien, M.A. of Galway University, were sentenced to terms of imprisonment for advocating the Irish National Loan: Mr. Donnelly and Professor O’Brien to three months each and Mr. E. Hughes (aged 70) to two months. During the hearing of the trial it was admitted by the police witnesses that on arresting Mr. Donnelly they threatened “to put a bullet through him” on the plea that that was “British Law in Ireland”. At Letterbreen, Enniskillen, Mr. F. Leonard, a supporter of the English Government in Ireland, was fined 2/6 for being in possession of a revolver. At the same court James McManus, Drumane, also a supporter of the English Government was fined £1 for having a rifle and a sporting gun in his possession NOTE: – See Monday’s list: – Patrick J. O’Brien of Kells, County Meath, not a supporter of the English Government, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for possessing not a rifle or sporting gun or revolver, but ammunition only.

Raids:- A large party of police raided the residence of a farmer at Ballycullane near Athy. The houses of P. Hogan and a neighbour were, at Kilfadda, Carrigaborig, raided in the early hours of the morning by armed police. Arrests:- Edward Malone of Dunbrin was arrested on a charge not stated. Nine men, whose names have not appeared in the press were arrested at Gorey, Co. Wexford on a charge of endeavouring to obtain arms. Sentences:- At Lisbellow, Thos, McManus, of Tattymacall, was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for having in his possession documents which if published might cause disaffection. At Drumshambo Mr. James M. Dolan, Member of the Irish Parliament for Leitrim, was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment on a charge of publicly advising his constituents to subscribe to the Irish National Loan. Mr. William A. Clancy of Clifden, Connemara, recently tried by courtmartial at Galway on a charge of possessing arms and ammunition, was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.


The Sentences passed on political offenders in the six days above mentioned totalled seven years, seven months, and two weeks.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24th, 1919.
Raids:- Fully armed Soldiers and Police raided 44 Mountjoy Street, Dublin, the residence of Mr. Michael Collins, M.P., Minister of Finance in the National Government. The residence of Mr. M. J. O’Neill, Mount Bellew, Co. Galway, was raided by armed police.
Arrest:- Mr. M. J. O’Neill, Mount Bellew, Co. Galway, who was recently released in broken health from Galway Jail, was re-arrested in bed although he was still under medical care.
Proclamations & Suppressions:- A public procession arranged to be held at Limerick City in commemoration of the Manchester Martyrs, was proclaimed and suppressed by the English Military Authorities (see below). At Cork a similar procession was also proclaimed. A National Concert arranged to be held in the City Hall, Cork. was suppressed by Military and police, who occupied the building. A Prison Order was published decreeing that all political offenders will be treated as common criminals, and that any who protest against this treatment will be left to die.
Armed Assaults:- At Limerick City police armed with rifles, bayonets, revolvers and batons attacked a public procession and dispersed it. Efforts by the processionists to continue their demonstration resulted in three hours of bitter fighting in the streets of the City. Many civilians including women and children were seriously injured. At Thurles, Co. Tipperary, two men who had just arrived on the night train from Dublin were questioned by armed police. Upon refusing to answer they were fired upon. They succeeded in making off, but the police fired several volleys after them, wounding, it is stated, one man seriously. As Derry City armed military and police attacked a large body of civilians, charging them with fixed bayonets. At Gorey, Co. Wexford armed police attacked a crowd who were cheering a political prisoner who was being removed to Waterford Jail.
Secret Trials:-
At Gorey police barracks when John Breen of that town was put upon his trial for endeavouring to obtain arms the Press and the public were excluded from the trial.

Raids:- Armed police in large numbers raided the residence of Mr. E. Corbett of Croughwell, Gort, Co. Galway. Mr. Corbett was recently released from Maryborough Jail in broken health. Military and police in full war-armament raided over 200 houses in County Tipperary. They were accompanied on their raids by aeroplanes and armoured cars. In the town of Macroom, Co. Cork, and in the out-lying districts, military and police raided upwards of fifty houses.
Arrests:- Mr. Bernard Halligan, Auditor, was arrested at Dundalk Station and removed under heavy escort to Belfast Jail. The charge has not been stated. Four men whose names have not been published were arrested at Limerick City for taking part in a proclaimed procession in honour of the Manchester Martyrs.
Proclamations and Suppressions:- At Kilmallock, Co. Limerick, public demonstrations in memory of the Manchester Martyrs were proclaimed. Military and police in full equipment occupied the town of Bantry and prohibited the holding of a public procession. A similar procession was suppressed in Tipperary Town where military with fixed bayonets occupied the principal streets. In Youghal, Co. Cork, local public bodies were notified by the police that no public demonstrations would be permitted.
Armed Assaults:- At Limerick City the armed police in dispersing a national procession drove a section of the processionists into St. John’s Temperance Club. The police then followed in and beat unmercifully those who had taken refuge in the Club. At Fermoy, Co. Cork, the troops again broke barracks and wrecked many of the principal shops. A Motor car returning from a Republican meeting at Killeshandra, was held up by armed police and the occupants overpowered and searched. At Nenagh, Co. Tipperary armed police forced their way into a local dance-hall and dispersed those who were giving a farewell entertainment to Mr. John Hackett who was leaving for America. The police explained their action by saying that no permit had been given by the Military for the holding of the entertainment.

Raids:- A large body of armed police raided the City Hall at Limerick and took possession of it.
Sentences:- Mr. Noel Lemass of Capel Street, Dublin, was sentenced by Courtmartial held in Dublin on 10th November to one year’s imprisonment with hard labour for illegal drilling and for having ammunition in his possession. By the same Courtmartial Mr. William Troy of Cabinteely Co. Dublin and Mr. Thomas Moran also of Cabinteely were each sentenced to six months imprisonment, with hard labour, for illegal drilling and the possession of firearms. John Hannon of Ballymote, Co. Sligo, was sent to prison for one month to await trial on a charge of unlawful assembly.
Proclamations and Suppressions:- A session of the Sinn Fein Arbitration Court at Limerick City was proclaimed and suppressed by the police. A Meeting at Limerick City of the Industrial Commission set on foot by the Irish National Government was proclaimed by Order of the English Military Authorities in Ireland.
Armed Assaults:- A protest has been made by prominent citizens of Limerick against the brutality of the police who in dispersing the recent public demonstrations “entered” (so the protest says) “the rooms of St. John’s Temperance Society, assaulted members and smashed pictures, gas fittings and other articles, although none of the members of the Society had anything to do with the stone-throwing by some juveniles”. At Fenor, Co. Waterford, the appearance of military and police as strike-breakers in a local trade-union dispute led to a conflict between the armed forces and the civilians in which upwards of a score of the latter received serious injuries. The police charged repeatedly with fixed bayonets.
Militarism:- The recent proclamation by the military authorities that all motor drivers and owners must have permits for their cars has led to the decision of the Motor Drivers’ Trade Union not to apply for such permits. The police officials interviewed by the Daily Press now state that drivers will be challenged to stop. If they do not do so they will be fired upon. “In the event of drivers refusing to stop” declares one police official “we have power to shoot and shoot we must”.

Raids:- Large bodies of war-equipped Military and Police raided 76 Harcourt Street, Dublin, the Headquarters of the National Government. At the same time other bodies of troops and police raided 6 Harcourt Street, the Headquarters of the Sinn Fein Organisation. The raiders at both places held warrants for the arrest of Republican Members of Parliament, who, however, were not on either premises.
Proclamation and Suppressions:- The Usurping Government in Ireland has issued a proclamation suppressing all National Organisations all over Ireland. The Organisations which come under the terms of the Proclamation are:- The Sinn Fein Organisation. The Sinn Fein Clubs. The Irish Volunteers. The Cumann na mBan (Irish Women’s League). The Gaelic League (a league for the revival of the Irish language.) This proclamation is signed by four members of the Privy Council, three of whom were ardent supporters of the threatened Carsonite rebellion. The fourth signatory is best known for his bitter attack upon the Irish Clergy in Co. Meath. At Thurles, Co. Tipperary police entered the weighing yard o the Cattle Market and dispersed owners and stock, the holding of Fairs being prohibited by the English military authorities in that and many other districts.
Courtmartial:- Rev. Fr. O’Donnell, Australian Chaplain, was courtmartialled at Westminster, London, on a charge of speaking seditiously to an acquaintance at the Imperial Hotel, Killarney. The evidence disclosed that Capt. O’Donnell’s conversation was taken down by an English Officer at the Hotel. His arrest was immediately ordered and he was kept in a filthy cell and deprived of all intercourse even with his legal advisers. Capt. O’Donnell denied that he ever used the words written down by the English agent. He was subsequently acquitted.
Provocation:- The London Times commenting upon the suppression of Sinn Fein all over Ireland sees in it an effort to force the Irish people into violence, and says:- “It is inconceivable that any responsible members of Parliament or politicians would deliberately advocate the provocation of an outbreak in Ireland, in the hope that Home Rule might thus be drowned in a sea of blood and repression, but we fear there are some who would contemplate a rebellion in Ireland at this time with thoughtless equanimity”.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28th, 1919.
Raids:- Mr. Conor A. Maguire, M.A., LL.D., Solicitor of Claremorris, was sent to jail for one month for having solicited contributions to the Irish National Loan. Messrs. Patrick Moore, Michael Fitzpatrick, and David Kelly were at Tipperary Town sentenced to one month’s imprisonment with hard labour, and two further months for refusing to give bail. The offence for which they were sentenced consisted in posting advertisements for the Irish National Loan. At the same Court, Messrs. Cors. Moloney (Son of Mr. P. Moloney Republican M.P.) and John Duffy were sent to jail for one month on a charge of unlawful assembly. The unlawful assembly consisted in joining in a public welcome given to Tipperary prisoners who had been released after six days hunger-strike, from Mountjoy Jail, Dublin.
Provocation:- The London “Daily News” organ of the Liberal Party in England, commenting upon the suppression of Sinn Fein all over Ireland says:- “No action more provocative and at the same time more futile has been taken since Forster endeavoured by like methods to destroy the Land League . . . . . It means presumably more British troops for Ireland, more disturbance, more bloodshed . . . . . The Government policy towards Ireland is not merely madness – it is madness charged to the full with the promise of tragedy.”

Raids:- Armed police raided a train at Thurles, Co. Tipperary, searching all carriages. At 4 a.m. armed police and military forced their way into the house of Mr. Ml. O’Connell, Main Street, Thurles, and ordered the inmates, men and women, out of bed. They searched the premises minutely. All private correspondence found in the house was read. At Youghal, Co. Cork, armed police raided over a dozen houses. Police fully armed raided several houses at Newry. At Fenor, Kilmacthomas, Knockaderry, Amber Hill, and Kilmeadon, all in Co. Waterford, large bodies of troops and police raided upwards of two hundred labourers’ houses.
Proclamation:- A meeting arranged to be held in the Sinn Fein Hall, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, and at which Mr. Arthur Griffith, acting-President of the Irish Republic, was to speak, was suppressed by police and military.
Confiscation:- The police raided the premises of the Mineral Water Co. at Newry, and confiscated a large parcel of literature dealing with the Irish National Loan.

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