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  • 213. The number of internees was about halved. what might have been a magnanimous gesture of goodwill was turned into a pitiable and shameful act of discrimination and pettiness, as future events in Frongoch demonstrated. Public opinion - Irish opinion - we learned, had become vociferous of late in demanding the release of the prisoners, had possibly forced the hands of the British Government to the point of releasing some of the internees. The British Government met the demand halt way, but was not prepared to close the chapter entirely. Hence "for public safety" reasons Frongoch Internment Camp remained in existence for quite a large number of Irish prisoners. Politically and nationally the Irish people had. suddenly changed. On returning home one became aware of a new political atmosphere. That a change Indeed! The tide had turned in favour of us, in favour of our cause. It was particularly in evidence when we arrived in Westland Row. It looked as if the whole population of Dublin had come to welcome us home. How heartening, if indeed. embarrassing, to find ourselves treated overpowered with greetings, to feel ourselves treated not as vanquished but heroes and victors. This had happened and was happening at every landing place, port or railway station on the return home or expected return home of "the poor prisoners". Such it was. Pearse was right - his prophecy had come true, even in the space of a few months. Many people who had hated us, had come to admire us, to 1ionise us. Was it not hard to understand the Irish temperament? The people too had learned to sing our songs - songs of praise "for the gallant men of Easter Week" and "the Felons of Our Land". our songs, their songs, Ireland's songs. It was truly inapplicable and hardly understandable this strange spontaneous swing over to our side. But there it was, true 214. and unashamed, and undoubtedly Irish. This sudden conversion engendered in us a feeling that all was not lost after all. True, many of our best men, our gallant irreplaceable leaders were dead, many were undergoing severe trials and hardships in English convict jails, hundreds of good Volunteers, officers and men, were still interned, and, judging by all. accounts, likely to remain for some time longer, but there was satisfaction in the thought that a "new spirit" had come into Ireland, a new spirit with great potentialities, hope and promise. But all was not happiness, or tending to happiness for the released prisoners, many of Whom came home to endure other hardships, such as the loss of their former employment, of domestic trouble and distress. We, those of us who were thrown out of employment, were the victims of imperialism, victims of commercial jingoism and anti- nationalism. There we were thrown out of the trying pan into the fire. Quite a. large number of men were so sadly circumstanced. What could be done about it? Undoubtedly, efforts had been made, and. were being made, to relieve distress among our dependants, but the assistance given only touched the fringe, leaving a void between succour and support. Due to the absence of enough money to meet such a situation the Dependents Fund, Which had been set up after the fighting in Easter Week, was incapable and unable to make ample provision to tide our men and their dependants over the difficulties then pressing heavily on them. Credit, however, was given by the men for what had been done, was being done in their behalf. An effort was made by the Dependents Fund people to obtain employment for our unemployed men. A labour Bureau was opened in a house in South William Street for the purpose, with very little result. There we moaned our sad economic lot, groused, agitated, played cards and horse-played to book. Many grandiose 215. schemes wereput forward by the men for starting community farms or opening community business, but these got nowhere. Nevertheless, grants-in-aid were given to some to open small businesses, and for several other reasons. It was a truly saddening and disheartening prospect for many deprived as they were of their daily means of subsistence; it was hardly less so when men, some of whom were good craftsmen, changing over to "any kind of a job", some of them "blind alley" occupations. There were so many instances of this, some taking up work to wash dishes in a public, institution, another man going as porter in a hospital charged with, among other duties, of carrying dead. people to the mortuary. How he loathed the job! Some others of us, about nine, being sent to Co. Tyrone to do lumbering work of which we knew. nothing. Another man, a clerk, accepting a job as a farm hand, board and keep, et cetera. While these things were happening a new call was sounded - not really a new call, but made new by reason of the strange circumstances of the times we were living in - that was the call to return to our units and set about re-organising. That call found many of us ready and willing. So that within the following couple of months, towards the end of autum 1916, the Dublin Brigade was re-organising. The difficulties confronting us were many and varied. Many companies were handicapped for officers, some for men, as quite a number of both categories were unfree. Our own Company suffered the loss of our Company officers who were jail. A start had to be made; it was made and so we came together again. What a difficult task it was, confronted as we were with many problems of a perplexing and tantalising nature, one of which was the lack of drill, halls, and another that we had to work not as 216. Previously openly, but in secret, underground and undemonstrably for it was incumbent on us not to do anything that would jeopardise the possibilities of releases for our men still jail and internment. Consequently we had to strike a new note, a novel one, but one born of necessity Public halls and public buildings we could not use, under the name of Volunteer units. Instead we adopted. other titles, clubs of one kind or other - football, athletic or dramatic clubs. Our Company bore the title "the Thomas Allen Athletic. Club". But most of our assembling and meetings were carried out ii the Phoenix Park. Thither we would go on certain week nights or Sunday mornings, always taking with us a football for "practice" after a bit of play and then we would rest and hold our meeting. We. could not engage in drilling or military training then. The men responded well to this although it was not all they wanted. Soon, however, we were on the road to recovery. Mark Wilson became our Company Captain. By such means we had our Company together when the General Amnesty which set at liberty the men interned at Erongoch was effected at Christmas time 1916. This. gave additional impetus to the re-organisation of the Volunteers, with the result that the next month January 1917, saw some of the fruits of the previous couple of months' labour. Our Company was in line with others in that respect, although we suffered the loss of our principal, all our officers, by reason of their being in jail. however, we had to make do, the officers so elected at the meeting in January, undertaking to relinquish positions on the release of other officers. Similarly the Battalion and the Dublin Brigade staffs got functioning again. Enthusiasm flagged a little due partly to the economic depression that had overtaken some of our men, but in the main the majority returned to their former allegiance and 217. work with increased vigour and unbounded zest. A. good deal, if not much, of the glamour and fascination of former days had gone. by the board. Our work and activities were. less spectacular and exciting than that to which we were accustomed. How could it be otherwise when we could not work or show ourselves in public? Vhen our best policy was to keep law, and away from the public gaze, especially the altogether too sensitive prying eyes of the Castle Authorities, driven as we were by the peculiar circumstances of the time and the fear that were it known that we were so engaged in volunteering, an injury might be done to and militate against, the prospects of the release of the sentenced prisoners. All the while other elements were working in our favour. These had a political tendency. One of these was the Roscommon Election; the standard-bearer Count Plunkett, whose son, Joseph, was one of the Signatories of the Proclamation of Easter Week and who had been executed. This. election was being fought by the Count in the interest of the "new spirit" - the Republican spirit - the spirit of the "living Republic". Besides it gave the Volunteer Movement a new fillip; hundreds of Volunteers as such backed the effort up in every way. Another favourable element was the surge of the young men to join the Volunteer Movement as notified to us by many of those serving in the ranks. The greatest care had to be taken in respect of newcomers; only those sponsored. by Volunteers were admitted. In many instances these new arrivals were brothers, relatives or close friends of Volunteers: our Company benefitted by this infusion of new blood. Later came the Longford Election and the Clare Election: Ireland politically was on the march. 218. The Volunteers, seizing this opportunity, afforded by these elections, threw themselves into the public manifestations exhibited which to them meant the continuation of the work left unfinished in Easter Week. Volunteers from Dublin mingled with Volunteers from other parts of Ireland to render assistance in both places as canvassers, ejection agents, drove motor cars from Dublin and elsewhere, any and every work that was considered useful. It was no uncommon sight to see our motor cars bearing the "I.R. 1916" registration plate, a practice that was contrary to the law. The assistance rendered by the Volunteers had important bearing on the results of the election, and their presence influenced and won many people to their side. Hence, side by side with the. Volunteer activity the political movement Sinn FŽin proceeded apace. Unfortunately, the political issue had to be fought out against Irishmen and it was not to the credit of the Irish Parliamentary Party backed up by the twin organisation "The United Irish League" and the "Ancient Order of Hibernians' (Board of Erin), choose to make the pace and run the political course. yet. there was much In the issue involved to suggest that most of the propaganda on our side, and indeed the very essence of these elections were. directed against the British Government and. British Authority, and in favour of the Easter Week Rising, and those who participated in it. "Sinn FŽin abœ", "An Poblacht ab", "Up Sinn FŽin", "Up' the Republic", "Remember Easter Week" and "Up Dublih" became common slogans on such occasions: and in many other places as well. They rang far and wide in Ireland. The tide was turning. Vindication of the men of Easter Week, vindication of what Easter Week represented was boldly and resolutely 219. expressed at election meetings. The voices of the people of Ireland were being raised in behalf of Ireland's sovereign right to be free - her right to be an Irish Republic. The torch was lit and. there were few hamlets, villages, parishes or towns in Ireland where a republican, flag - the green, white and orange flag - was not in evidence. That matter if some called it "the Sinn FŽin flag"; whatever name was applied, it was he flag which the Volunteers raised in Easter Week. What matter if the Volunteers were styled "the Sinn FŽin Volunteers"; the intention was good and laudable enough. We in he Volunteers, in the Army of the Republic, might have reason to rile against such a description, but we knew that the intention behind it. was Us Such descriptions of us often caused us many a hearty laugh, for we knew that many of our Volunteers were not and would not be Sinn FŽiners as such and had no association with the political entity called Sinn FŽin. Of course, we: had enough sense to know that the titles, Sinn FŽin this and Sinn FŽin that, were used by certain politicians and certain journalists to disparage us, and in many instances were applied for ulterior motives. Even the Rising of 1916 was broadcast by these same types of people as the "Sinn FŽin Rebellion" or the "Sinn FŽin Revolt". Coming at such a time and such a way, the elections gave a decided urge to the Volunteers themselves to be up and doing, stimulating them, rendering encouragement to them. in the efforts that were being made to put the movement on a sound footing. Greater than all these they focussed attention on the republican cause and the plight of the prisoners who then were in convict prisons - the felons of our land - as most of the candidates selected were volunteer officers, participants in the Rising, and in jail. Slogans like "Vote for MoGuinness, 220. the man in jail for Ireland", "Vote for De Valera, the man in jail for Ireland" and in the case of Joe McGuinness the slogan "Put him in to get him out" had a popular appeal and was appropriate to the time. Also the fact that these men, if elected, undertook to abstain from Westminster gave emphasis to the demand for complete independence, to fight. Ireland's fight at home rather than on the "flure" of the British House of Commons This was an important, a necessary step forward in the direction of the goal of independence which negatived the then Irish Parliamentary Party in going a-begging for Home Rule and satisfied to leave it there "for the duration of the war". The said war was going into its third year. In the case of the Longford Election, a new element had been introduced which had an important contributory effect in deciding the issue. That was the spirited and and highly sensational letter of His Grace, The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Walsh. In his letter, which was published and widely circulated as election literature, Dr. Walsh referred to Ireland "having been. sold" by the Irish Parliamentary Party. These were strong words. The publicity given to this pronouncement broke the bonds that united the Irish people to their political representatives, and gave the republican cause material that was to play a part in future election campaigns. In this (Longofrd Election) 9th May, 1917, McGuinness, the Sinn FŽin candidate., was serving a sentence in Lewes Jail for his part in Easter Week Rising. Mr. Patrick McKenna was the Redmondite candidate. A poster depicting a man dressed in convict garb, was extensively circulated. Beneath this appeared the slogan "Put him in to get him out". 221. McGuinness on a recount was elected by a majority of thrity-seven. By the election of Count Plunkett for Roscommon, Joe McGuinness for Longford and Eamon De Valera for East Glare, the republican movement and cause was put on the political map. The Volunteer Movement had in similar manner come to the fore. When eventually in June, 1917, the British Government opened the prison doors and Dublin and Ireland rejoiced at their homecoming, we in the Volunteers felt that we were on the march again. In consequence of these releases a re-shuffling took effect in the Volunteer Movement. This was inevitable if the Volunteer Movement was to become a living progressive force again. There was an urgency about the matter, in consequence of which elections were held soon after the releases in various units, Company Officers installed and Battalion, Brigade and Headquarters Staffs appointed. It must be noted that the procedure for selecting officers and N.C.Os. was by election - every Volunteer could go forward for election of officer, and every Volunteer had the right to vote for selecting those who were to command their unit. That practice prevailed since the inauguration of the Volunteers. Up to date it had proved to be a goad and a bad system. it didn't always work out that the most popular man so elected was necessarily the best or most reliable officer The Rising of Easter Week was an example of the greatness and the weakness of the' system. Then, the majority of the officers turned out to fight, but some, perhaps a small number, failed to do so, thus causing a certain amount of havoc to their men and their units. Admittedly the countermanding order was responsible in part for the failure. Normally the arrangement of election worked out satisfactorily, when the men so selected were the "right stuff", In any event it 222. was considered the most democratic, if not the most military, way of providing leadership, by and with the men's consent. By some chance or mischance a new factor had set into the order of things. Due in a large measure to the new political situation then accentuated by the several victories at the polls, the re-organisation of the political organisation, Sinn, FŽin, the assimilation of prominent Volunteer Officers into high positions in that organisation and the possibility of future elections, parliamentary and local, many former officers of the Volunteers opted to leave the Volunteer Movement on the grounds that they were: taking Up political work and activity. Not all, however, for some others preferred to combine political and volunteer work. Our Company was, unfortunately, placed in the position in which our former principal officers, Captain Fahy and Lieutenant McGuinness, refrained from going forward for re-election - obviously they would have been the men's choice. This was a big blow indeed. We were all sorry, and we hated their leaving us. We had, however, the consolation that they would bring into the political field the spirit and principles of the Volunteers and we knew that in their new capacity as in the old they would serve Ireland faithfully and nobly. As a token of our appreciation for their great work and service in our Volunteer Company we made each suitable presentations thus attesting our personal appreciation for work well done. So very reluctantly and sadly we were compelled to submit to the inevitable. At that election the choice of Company captain fell on Peadar Clancy. He had been promoted a Lieutenant in Easter Week when he was in command of Church Street bridge. For sheer pluck and initiative his name 223. and fame shone out in brilliant colours. Coupled with these military virtues was his untiring zeal, unflagging energy and a wonderful sense of leadership. The defence of Church Street bridge was one of the epic exploits, second in importance to the famous Battle of Mount Street Bridge. For the space of six days and six nights Peadar and his men kept the British at bay. No British soldiers came across that bridge. He. won admiration. for his achievements in Easter Week. It was reasonable, then, that he should be selected as the Company's principal officer. Se‡n Flood became 1st Lieutenant and Frank McNally, 2nd Lieutenant, John E. Lyons as Adjutant and Mark Wilson as Company Quartermaster. The following were elected N. C Os. Patrick Byrne, Thomas McGrane, Se‡n Kennedy and the writer But Peadar Clancy was not destined to remain long in occupation of that position, for soon after he took up post of Captain to "G" Company, ist. Battalion. He was followed, later by Frank McNally who was transferred to "F" Company, becoming Company Quartermaster there. Soon after that late Se‡n Flood became. Company Captain, the writer 1st Lieutenant and Se‡n Kennedy, 2nd Lieutenant; Patrick: Byrne, Thomas McGrane, Denis Holmesa and Se‡n Bermingham as N C. Os. The political arm, Sinn FŽin, had by this time become a practical force, and the Irish Volunteers as the military arm, though each was administered, controlled and governed as separate and distinct entities, were playing their part in shaping the course of events. Some of the higher officers of the Volunteers and others of lesser ranks worked in both capacities, rendering aid to the Volunteers and Sinn FŽin alike. There was a real understanding between the two organisations which permitted each maintaining its own individual status and 2214. independence on matters appertaining to organisation and activity; yet there was a genuine collaboration in several spheres. It was conceded that the Volunteers point of view and ideals had a big influence on Sinn FŽin policy. As Volunteers viewed the matter it was the only course possible or considered feasible if full effect was to be given to the declared aims of both, namely the aims enshrined in the proclamation of Easter Week - the establishment of the Irish Republic. It must be understood that the Sinn FŽin organisation since its re-organisation about the time in question had adopted this as its principal aim. Hot-foot on the heels of the released prisoners came the announcement that the British Gcvernment was to seek a new expedient to "try and settle the Irish Question". This was the setting up of what was then termed "The Irish Convention". The first meeting of this august body met in Trinity College on July 25, 1917, under the chairmanship of Sir Horace Plunkett. Representatives of the various Irish political parties, including Sinn FŽin, were invited to send delegates. Sinn FŽin, however, refused to recognise it - actually boycotted it. To the most casual political observer this convention represented nothing except an expedient, intended as it was to throw the blame on Irishmen for not settling "their own affairs" and to make it appear that the British, the sponsors of the expedient, were actually bursting all over to do justice to Ireland, when in point of fact the real reason was to undermine the Republican Movement and spirit which was so vocative of late as the previous elections. had demonstrated. At the back of the idea. was the all pervading and all important subject, that of the Irish contribution to the war - in other words, the threat of conscription, which as some publicists and 225. politicians, Irish and English, hinted, might follow should the. convention fail to agree. The real humour of the whole affair was the fact that the British already had some years previously "settled" the Irish Question. by passing and putting on the "Statute Book", the Home Rule Act, the ideals of the Irish Republic thus entirely abrogating its former pre 1916 aims and settled policy. If the Volunteers and Sinn FŽin were re-organising, so too, the British Government through the Castle Authorities were not slow, or inactive in Irish affairs. Through the medium of the Defence of the Realm Regulations and other laws they set into a policy of repression, persecution and prosecution, arresting and imprisoning Volunteers and Sinn FŽiners alike, on the flimsiest charges and for all kinds of offences. Many such were arrested for making speeches, for drilling, etc. The Volunteers were again drilling quietly and quasi secretly. The Sinn FŽin halls in many instances afforded shelter for Volunteer meetings, parades, and drilling. The British authorities were on the alert, their police and detective5. showing particular interest in Sinn FŽin and Volunteer activities. Sinn FŽin halls and other public halls were continually under their surveillance and largely through their efforts the jail doors were flung open to receive Volunteers and Sinn FŽiners, with the nett result that many good men in both were to find themselves, some for the second time, guests of "His Majesty". These arrests, if they weakened the numerical strength of the Volunteers, helped in an extraordinary degree the republican cause. The threat of conscription which all through the war years was held over Ireland, contributed to swell the ranks of the Volunteers. 226. Towards the end of the autumn of 1917, that threat became more and more pronounced, with the result that the Volunteer Executive alive to the possibility of its enactment by the British Government felt compelled to impress on all units the necessity of treating the matter as one of supreme military and national importance. Recruiting and training increased, and every effort was made to secure much needed arms and war material. All Companies, including our own, worked at fever pitch in preparation for a slow down on the conscription issue. Then came the hunger-striking in the various jails, the prime object of which was to force the British Authorities to grant "political prisoners" status, to our men who had been jailed for political offences. The British refused to comply to these demands, put into force the "cat and mouse" act and instead of releasing men who were in imminent danger of death through the long and tedious fast resorted. to the policy of forcibly feeding the prisoners. Cruelty and callousness could go no further, for, as a result of the process of forcing food on weak and determined men, a tragedy occurred which brought shame and dishonour to the perpetrators, and admiration and honour even unto death to the victim who had been so mercilessly treated. The victim was Thomas Ashe, one of the noblest, bravest and staunchest Volunteer Officers of the period. When, at last, the British Government eventually released him and had. his emaciated body placed in the tender care of the medical fraternity in the Mater Hospital, the tragedy was consummated, and Ireland and the Irish Volunteers, were left to mourn the loss of a brave and devoted soldier His, death, perhaps more than his life, was a complete vindication, of a true son of the Gael. It. produced an opposite effect to that intended by the British Authorities. 227. Ireland awaketed to a new life, a new resurgence. Indignation, resentment and protestation were expressed by the people of Ireland against the machinations and wickedness of the British Authorities. Ireland, politically, militarily and nationally was stirred to the depths by the great martyrdom of one who, during the testing time of his great fast, penned the beautiful edifying poem "Let Me. Carry My Cross for Ireland, Lord", thus attesting; his desire for self-immolation "Greater love than this no man hath than that he lay down his life for his friend". Thomas Ashe exemplified that fittingly by his ready and willing sacrifice. No clash of arms, no military achievement of our making could have produced results so advantageous to our cause better than the death of this true and gallant Volunteer Officer. His death secured amelioration in the conditions relating to prisoners. "Nitionality", December 8, 1917, "The demands of the prisoners recently released from Mountjoy and Dundalk were that the agreement embodying the terms arranged with the Lord. Mayor of Dublin should be printed and issued forthwith, that the dietary scale should be similar to that in force at Mountjoy from September 30th to November 12th, that visits be. given every day, including Sunday, and, that these terms be extended to all Irish political prisoners. Mr. Austin Stack who desires this should be known for the benefit of future political prisoners, encloses the following copy of the demands made in Mountjoy :- 228. 1. Improvement in diet in quality and quantity. 2. Unrestricted. conversation. 3. Work optional. 4. Republican prisoners not to be at. any time, or in any place, to associate with ordinary criminals. 5. One letter and one visit per day. 6. Unrestricted smoking. 7. Newspapers, books, and writing materials. 8. Parcels from friends. 9. Facilities for associated. study and for class work. 10. Cells not to be locked until 9.45 p.m.; lights in cells until 9.45. 11. Association of work, or otherwise, throughout the day. The death of this one man shook the very foundation of British influence and power in Ireland. May more, its effect was felt, beyond the confines and territory of Ireland, wherever Irishmen and. Irishwomen were found. The news of the murder of Thomas Ashe reverberated throughout the world. Instead of weakening the Irish cause, that tragedy and that martyrdom proved that the cause of Ireland had men to defend it and men to die for it. Perhaps Ireland needed that sacrifice at such a moment of her destiny to prove to the world in the words of Davis that "righteous men shall make our land, a Nation once. again". Public and national conscience was aroused to fury at the cruel action of the British Authorities in provoking his death, and at the same time rendered homage to the martyr. Dublin, which Mitchell in his scorn, taunted "ye city of bellowing slaves" rose to the importance of the occasion 229. by fittingly honouring "the dead who died for Ireland in the lone prison cell, far far apart from each kindred heart, of death pangs none can tell" Dublin, during the period of his lying-in-state at the Mater Hospital and the City Hall, the funeral and burial - gave signal and unmistakable proof of its sorrow for and pride of "poor Thomas Ashe." For the second time within its short existence the Irish Volunteers openly officiated at the grave of"an unrependting unconquerable Gael" - O'Donovan Rossa in 1915 and Thomas Ashe 1917. Each gave public testimony of the existence and strength of the Volunteer Movement. But the funeral of Ashe epitomised not the burial of a man of a dead generation but one who represented a living generation of men who had fought and suffered and were fighting and suffering in Ireland's cause In token of this the Volunteer Executive availed of the opportunity to come into the open again, It was not surprising then that on the day of the funeral of Thomas Ashe, October 1917, the Dublin Brigade, the county Battalion, and some country units of the Irish Volunteers were on the march again. Our Battalion was assigned the task of guarding Glasnevin Cemetery; assembling at Whitworth Road, we were marched there. A number of men of the-Battalion, including a few of our Company, had been detailed for duty as firing party, in which capacity they had orders to accompany the remains, from the City Hall through the city of Dublin to Glasnevin. Many of the men at Glasnevin were armed with revolvers that day. These, and the other men were placed at selected points and for certain duties, one of which was to protect the firing party from their arrival at, to their departure from the cemetery. All the entrances were guarded and men detailed to keep watch on police, detectives, who very likely would be present, as they were especially on the road outside, 230. and the entrances to the cemetery. Would the British interfere with the funeral because of the military display and the firing party marching through the city with rifles? There. was an air of great expectancy prevailing in Volunteer circles that some attempt at interference would be made. To all intents and purposes we were breaking the law, and breaking it badly and severely for D.O.R.A. was still in existence., Which definitely prescribed everything appertaining to military formations, the issuing of military commands, possession of and carrying of firearms, of illegal assembly, the according of military funerals and display of illegal flags on coffins, from houses or roof tops. Processions, demonstrations, meetings and funerals of a rebelly or seditious nature were tabboo. We of the Irish Volunteers were an illegal body: all our acts, works and pomps were illegal and contrary to British law. Naturally we were on tip-toes that day during the couple of hours we were on duty until the funeral cortege reached the cemetery. What a seemingly unending procession - Volunteers, clergy, public representatives, public bodies, Trades Unions, political, cultural and national organisations of every creed, politics and class - every walk of life was represented. It compared, if it did not exceed in numbers, the O'Donovan Rossa funeral. Our eyes and attentions were directed to the firing party - we had our duties to perform. Three volleys rang out, that echoed and. re-echoed. through the gloom and silence of the cemetery. We wondered would the British intervene at the sounding of these shots. No! The final stages of the burial were gone through. The Volunteer firing party withdrew, dissolved in the midst of the flutter that the rifle shots had caused, as if the earth had opened and swallowed them. Mysterious departure indeed! 231. Later when the Volunteers. re-assembled. and marched through the old gates of the cemetery, that self same firing party minus their rifles, took their places in the ranks as we were marched citywards. The rifles were safely got away, much to the bewilderment and confusion of the police who were stationed outside the cemetery, with as we were informed, orders to seize them. By the same token, it was revealed afterwards that. the British authorities had planned taking action against the Volunteer military display and armed firing party. They refrained from doing so due no doubt to no sense of condonement or mercy for the participants Had they moved that day, Dublin would have been the scene of much bloodshed. Their inaction, however, was a Volunteer gain, which had a tremendous effect on the Irish cause in general and the Volunteer Movement in particular. For one man lost, the: Volunteers gained hundreds of young men. Recruits poured in in increasing numbers, some Companies including our own, receiving more than its quota. This caused us many heart burnings and many anxieties for up to the time we were finding it hard to provide accommodation for the regular members of the Company as drill halls were not easily available. Fortunately soon after we secured premises kindly put at our disposal by two Sinn FŽin Clubs, the Patrick O'Flanagan and Se‡n McDermott, respectively. The former occupied a house in Capel Street, the latter in St. Margaret's Place, North Circular Road. A number of us, officers. and men were identified. with these Clubs in one capacity or other. At the time Volunteers were advised by Volunteer Authorities to render assistance and if possible enrol in Sinn FŽin on the understanding, of course, that such work would not interfere with their volunteer activities. Indeed many Volunteers identified themselves with Sinn FŽin in order to advance the interest of and 232. gain new members for the Volunteers. In making "parts of ourselves" which obviously was the procedure we had to adopt in trying to carry out training for a company that had increased almost a hundred per cent, three distinct groups had to be formed - one for the regular company and two groups of what was termed the auxiliary company. This gave work for all the Company officers and N.C.Os. a couple of nights a week. In that way we carried on for a number of months, by which time the Auxiliary Company had passed the recruit training stage. Then in 1918 a new Company, consisting of the auxiliary unit was formed - this became "H" Company, 1st Battalion. Our Company supplied many first officers and some of its N.C.Os. Seumas Kavanagh became Captain of that new Company, Tommy McGrane, 1st Lieutenant, both of whom were attached to our Company; also Bob O'Flanagan, Frank Flanagan, Matty McGrane, Joseph Sweeney, Se‡n O'Neill, Tom O'Brien, John O'Connor. Of Tommy McGrane it may be repeatedjoined "C" Company in 1915 with me, having served in Jacob's in Easter Week, escaping at the surrender. Seumas Kavanagh held the rank of Captain in another unit in the Volunteers prior to and up to Easter Week. Since his release from internment he had been associated with our Company - an officer without a command - a spare lance as it were. He, like Tommy McGrane, Bob O'Flanagan and Se‡n O'Neill, had been members of the Fianna, the latter two in the unit in which I had served. As mention has already been made of the se‡n MacDermott and Patrick O'Flanagan Sinn FŽin Clubs, it may be necessary here to make a few observations. Since the re-organisation of Sinn FŽin, arrangements had been made to form cumainn or clubs in every parish - in Dublin in every ward. Generally the clubs were named after Irish 233. patriots and it had become a regular practice to name them after deceased Easter Week participants. Thus clubs bore the names Rbger Casement Cumainn, James Connally, the Brothers Pearse Cumainn, etc. The Se‡n MacDermott Cumann was so named after Se‡n MacDiarmada who was a signatory of the Republican Proclamation of Easter Week and who was executed by the British on May 12th, 1916. The Patrick O'Flanagan Cumann was named after Patrick O'Flanagan, a member of our ("C") Company who was killed in action in 1916. He was one of four brothers - Michael, Frank and George - that answered the call to arms on Easter Monday morning, and all served in the Four Courts. On Friday night of that week Patrick was one of the party led by his brother Miche‡l, that was sent to reinforce the Volunteer position at North King Street and Church Street. In the bitter street battle ensuing Patrick was killed. The formation of that Cumann took effect in rooms over the shop owned by Maurice Collins in Parnell Street. Collins was a 1916 man, having served in the G.P.O. during Easter Week. Joseph Stanley, proprietor of the "Gaelic Press", who had been interned in Frongoch after Easter Week, became President of the Cumann, Mr. Christopher O'Flanagan, father of the patron, Vice-Chairman, Mr. Thomas Hoban and Mr. Charles Leydon, Hon. Treasurers, and Mr. James Doyle, Eon. Secretary. Joe Stanley, through his printing press, had and was rendering important service to the republican cause in turning out seditious literature and publications, song sheets and pamphlets, and because of that was not very much in the good graces of the Dublin Castle Authorities. Joe Stanley was proprietor of the" Gaelic Press", Upper Liffey Street and its printing establishment in Proby's Lane adjacent thereto. He also carried on a shop "The Art Depot" in Mary Street for the sale of Irish literature, publications, photographs, song sheets, etc. That shop was raided by 234. police on Dublin Castle orders on at least one occasion. Volunteers and members of O'Flanagan Sinn FŽin Club assisted in salvaging and clearing some of materials prior to a projected raid. Joe became almost one of the first recruits to the auxiliary unit attached to our Company of which mention has already been made. Likewise, Seumas (Jim) Doyle, a veteran election worker, joined the auxiliary unit about the same time. Joe Stanley became at a later date a Lieutenant of "H" Company. Other members of the O'Flanagan Club that joined that auxiliary unit were, Tom O'Brien, the brothers Pierce and Tommy Hoban, sons of Thomas Hoban, one of the Treasurers. Later that Cumann transferred to Capel Street. It boasted a large membership of Volunteers, men of various Companies of Volunteers like Joe Kinnerney, Guss Byrne, Mick O'Brien, Mick Douglas, Matty Molloy; of men of "G" Company, 1st Battalion, and members of the 2nd Battalion - Se‡n Kennedy, Frank O'Flanagan, the writer and Denis Ryan, and others of our ("C") Company. Mention must be made of the secret military organisation, the I.R.B., which continued in existence after the Rising. I was initiated into this body early in 1917 by Frank McNally. To my surprise and amazement many members of the "circle" were dear companions of mine in the Volunteer Movement, some. holding important posts therein. The I.R.B was a live organisation with deep- rooted ramifications in the Volunteers, in Labour, Sinai FŽin organisation, the Gelic League, Gaelic Athletic MŽvement and Citizen Army. It was generally a recognised thing that officers, and where possible, N.C.Os. of volunteer units and especially the higher executive ranks should in turn be I.R.B. men. In this way the military 235. purpose and republic object of the movement remained secure, To be a good Volunteer was synonymous with being a good member of the I.R.B. and vice versa. Hence in the re-organisation of the I.R.B. and the Irish Volunteers a new chapter was about being written. A convention of the volunteers was held in Jones' Road in October 1917. Representatives from all units in Ireland were present. Our Company was represented that day. On 27th October, 1917, Volunteer Joseph Norton of the Fingal. Brigade was buried at Swords, some members of the Dublin Brigade formed the firing party, including Tommy McGrane of our Company. In addition to other units our ("C") Company met at Kilmore Cross and marched to Swords to attend the funeral. Of "Joseph Norton", the. 'Catholic Bulletin' in a biographical sketch, wrote:- "Early in 19114. he was among one of the first to join Irish Volunteers. On Easter Tuesday he promptly offered his services, Arriving with his comrades at the G.P.O., they were charged by Commandant James Connolly with the perilous enterprise of relieving the besieged Mendicity Institution held by Commandant Se‡n Heuston. They reached their destination through a very hail of machine-gun and rifle fire, but being cut off from headquarters after twenty- four hours' desperate fighting, were obliged to surrender. The death sentence passed on Norton was commuted to three years penal servitude. From the date of his release his health failed perceptibly, until on November 28, 1917, he succumbed to a severe, attack of penumonia." Reporting on the funeral of the patriot the "Irishman" of December 8th, 1917, mentioned:- 236. "The remains of the late Mr. Joseph Norton who was sentenced to three years imprisonment for his connection with the Insurrection, was interred in Swords on Sunday There was a large representation of the Dublin Brigade I.R.A. - over 1,500 attending. The Cyclist Corps of the City Regiment was in fun attendance Cumann na mBan, Citizen Army, Fianna and some of the men who were with deceased in Lewes Jail. The firing party was selected by the Dublin Brigade. After the internment three volleys were fired over the grave and the "last post" sounded. The cyclists numbering a thousand, caused a sensation as they marched through the city and dismissed in O'Connell Street. The marching contingent dismissed in the suburbs" The year 1918 was ushered in with the cloud of conscription hanging like a pall of death over Ireland. Nothing short of a miracle could avert the terrible menace. There was every indication that the British Government were prepared and determined to impose it by force, if necessary. So threatening and dangerous was the situation at the time that very special orders were issued by the Volunteer Executive concerning the matter. These orders definitely established the fact that the Volunteers would oppose conscription by force of arms. The temper and the patriotism of the Irish race aroused to high fever pitch by the threat was such as to give promise that not only the Volunteers but a united people would not readily submit to be "taken by the scruff of the neck" to fight another country's battle. So serious was the situation and so imminent the danger that Volunteer units were automatically placed on a war footing virtually on "active service". Full preparations were accordingly made to meet it. Each man was served with emergency rations, first-aid 237. field dressings and military equipment. Every available military weapon was placed at the disposal of the men. But by far the biggest and most important step was taken when, on the orders of Volunteer Executive, a complete recasting and re-grouping of Volunteers was carried out. This entailed the putting into effect of a new mobilisation scheme which could be termed a street and area operational zone for assembly and fighting. In the Dublin Brigade area a full census of Volunteers was compiled, and the city divided into districts. All men residing in these respective districts, were formed into units under officers also residing therein. Each such group was required to be self-contained and capable of functioning in all military spheres. Officers, however, could be drafted to adjoining areas to command or supplement the personnel there. The underlying principle of this grouping and concentration of men was to ensure that men would be on the spot to take action at a moment's notice. Heretofore, Companies were constituted irrespective of their location beyond that the said Company was assigned to a particular Battalion which alone had a fixed area assigned it. Each Company had its own distinct mobilisation system. The Company personnel resided not necessarily in any particular area and were generally scattered at various points of the city. In illustration of the point, in our Company we had men residing in all parts of Dublin - in the north at such places a the North Circular Road, Glasnevin, Drumcondra, Bllybough; in the south at Rathmines, Donnybrook, etc., but quite a large number lived in or near the centre of the city. In the new emergency scheme the principal operationalplan was to be centred in the residential area of each man. Each Battalion officer, Captain and Junior, was supplied with the names and addresses of the men in the areas to which. they were 238. assigned. Besides these arrangements there was instituted a plan for the making of a survey of food, provisions, and stores within each area. Lists were compiled and recordings made of all forms of transport, commissariat, building suitable for occupation or as military posts, barracks and building occupied by the British, and all property including railways, bakeries, factories or business concerns that might serve military needs. In order to secure information on these matters each Company was allotted a specific area known as the "Company area", and the men utilised to the full to fulfil the duties incumbent on them the time. Such work, however, takes time and much checking and cross-checking had to be done before a very reasonable report could be furnished. If we were showing a certain measure of success in certain spheres, such as organisation and administration, and aided by a loyal and enthusiastic personnel, there was one weakness/in our armoury and that was arms. These were coming in slowly, coming to us in various ways and by devious devices. We had a fair number of small arms, and but a few serviceable rifles, the latter purchased at high cost or otherwise obtained from British soldiers very cheaply. This was our big problem. Obviously as far as the Dublin Brigade of the Volunteers were concerned, in the event of conscription being imposed, it looked as if Dublin was to have another show down with arms. Our training at the time consisted of street and house-to-house fighting, and our men were advised to make themselves familiar with every part of their immediate districts. We took to training our men in rifle shooting in out of the way places in small numbers. Much of our drilling was carried out in similar 239. manner. Risks had to be taken to do these things as then was always danger of police intercepting us or interfering in our work as they were over vigilant at the time. Special precautions had to be taken to guard against surprise, cyclists being employed, or men to act as scouts in order to afford protection to the party drilling or at rifle shooting. Generally we operated in the fields at Finglas, Ballymun or Santry. The rifle for the firing practice consisted of a .22 miniature which had to be carried secretly to the. "range". Sometimes our drilling and manoeuvres were carried out in such places late at night or unreasonable hours in the morning. The ordinary inhabitants got quite used to our comings and goings especially at Finglas. Once in the fields we felt ourselves miles and miles away from civilisation, and taking necessary and reasonable precautions, safe, and with plenty of space to move at will, in the event of the upholders of law and order making a descent on us. These manoeuvres or firing practices gave the men a great thrill; they always felt that they were "getting somewhere" instead of being couped up in small rooms training under extreme difficulties. Thrills there were in other ways too, not the least of which was the business of tramsferring rifles from one part of the city to another. One had to have strong nerves and as the saying goes "hard neck" to carry out this work around this time - we had special men for this work - men, who were tall, active and of course, reliable. One of these was Ned Dolan. Such men had many thrilling experiences out-witting the police and bringing the guns to safety. So Important was the work and so useful the men engaged on it, that the Company provided an overcoat sufficiently large for the rifles to be concealed beneath it and without hindering the movement of the carrier. 240. Often the men had to traverse a couple of miles on such work. In every instance the "carrier" was protected or guarded by a couple of other men, armed with revolvers. Quite a considerable number of rifles were transported in. this way, not alone in our Company but other Companies as well. Sometimes a rifle or rifles had to be transferred for training purposes at company parades or for firing parties, of which the: Thomas Ashe was one. There. were a few occasions when different men were assigned to the job. One of these concerned the bringing of a rifle to the home of one of our men in which three of us were involved. Tommy McGrane was the "carrier"; Se‡n Kennedy and myself, the protectors. The night was dark but we had to pass through a part of Dublin that was fairly well lighted - from Parnell Street to Gardiner Street. We chose the main thoroughfares for most of the. journey. As Tommy was just medium height and the rifle of a large pattern, certain chances had to be taken. He placed the rifle hanging inside his trousers, the butt placed under his arm pit, to discover, alas! that he could not walk in comfort. He decided to go temporarily lame, helped by Kennedy. In this fashion we travelled and travelled slowly, especially when passing "Bobbies" (a name applied at the time to policemen) of which we met a few on our journey. The "carrier" played the part well of the "poor lame man" although it was no cake-walk for him as several times the rifle slipped down protruding below the ends of his trousers, and in the process scratched his leg which to be treated on our arrival at the appointed rendezvous. Other men too had occasions for thrills of one kind or other, for instance in raids for arms which around this time Was conducted in order to replenish stocks. 241. Some of these were "fools errands" as was discovered when the attempts were made. These raids were not of a haphazaard nature or carried out on the off chance of success. They were the outcome of information sought and information obtained. Sometimes the information was genuine enough, but when the party detailed for the work arrived to seize them the guns or munitions were not to be found. They, had departed elsewhere, perhaps, some other Company had been on the job and seized them, or they had been taken over by the authorities. One such raid was that carried put by our Company on Alexandra Basin for rifles. When our party arrived what should they learn but that another Company had carried out the coup! Then again, information would be forthcoming that another unit was already in the field for the self-same raid. Then preference had to be given to the party first on the job. But not all raids were unsuccessful; and. Companies, even our own, secured an odd rifle or some munitions as a result. Successful or otherwise, these raids necessitated a good deal of planning: the amount of men required, the placing of the men and their several duties, detailed orders to each man as to what was required to be done, arrangements for their assembly and departure. Time, secrecy and surprise were very important factors in such operations. Chapter 14. As has been already referred to the Irish Volunteers were playing a big part in Irish affairs, military and political. They were more than merely stepping out - they were in the van of the march for Irish Freedom A peculiarly new opportunity was given in January and 242. February, 1918, to come into the open again. This was the occasion of the South Armagh Election when Patrick, McCartan the Sinn FŽin Republican standard-bearer was contesting the parliamentary seat against Mr. Donnelly, the Irish Parliamentary Party candidate. In that election the Unionists and Nationalists combined in trying to defeat McCartan at the poll. It was at bitter hard fought contest, so bitter indeed as to call for the intervention of the Volunteers. Hundreds of Volunteers were despatched from Dublin. to do guard, protection and other duties, most of whom. were armed with revolvers. Prior to this, several Committee rooms had been smashed; election agents, many of them Volunteers, Officers and men, attacked and beaten, and electors sympathetic to the republican cause molested by Orangemen and Nationalists alike. The Volunteers were sent from Dublin in different groups and at various stages of the contest, especially the last week of it. Four of us, namely, Emmet Sweeney, frank Carney, Dinny Holmes and the writer, were despatched to Dundalk, arriving there and reporting to Mick Brennan, the Co. Clare officer, and Peadar Clancy. Frank Carney and myself were sent to Crossmaglen. The few days before polling day we spent in canvassing, etc. and we were each night lodged with a Mr. Hearty, whom we learned was a returned Irish-American, and who had a beautiful house a short distance outside. On the early morning of the polling day a contingent of Dalcassians - men from the Co. dare - numbering nearly a hundred strong, under Mick. Brennan, arrived. They certainly were a hefty lot - few of them less six foot tall having marched all the way from Dundalk, a distance of several miles. Were we happy and overjoyed to see them? These men and other Volunteers already there were divided into groups; officers appointed over them and placed in advantageous positions convenient to the polling booth and 243. the roads leading to the town. We had no sooner taken up our allotted positions when a large force of R.I.C. armed to the teeth, arrived on the same mission "to take over the place". As proof of their intention "to take over" they set about showing their authority by jostling the Volunteers from their positions. The Volunteers resented this action and when things assumed a very serious aspect one of the Volunteer Officers, Captain Thornton, went to the police barracks close by, interviewed the Inspector of the R.I.C. to object to the improper conduct of the police towards the Volunteers who were there in no other spirit but that of peace protectors. From that moment the Volunteers were not molested by the. police. A short time afterwards an incident occurred which might have led to serious trouble. It appeared some supporters of the opposing political candidate staged a scene which called for the intervention of the Volunteers. That scene might have resulted in bloodshed but for the cool heads, steady nerves and fine discipline of the Volunteer Officers whose tactful handling of a delicate situation had the effect of restoring calm before harm was done. Even the police authorities were amazed at the forebearance, discipline and tact shown. by the Volunteers, and it was noted that they relented somewhat in their attitude towards us. The. prompt action displayed by the Volunteers "nipped in the bud" a possible source of danger and annoyance, and served as an example to evil-doers, with the result that the Volunteers were looked, upon with respect for the remainder of the day. Other scenes. there were, but these. were of a "minor" character and easily dealt with by our men. After a few hours' stay some of the R.I.C. party left the arena and the area, and we felt ourselves honoured to be regarded as the defenders 244. of the peace, which we undoubtedly were, politicians notwithstanding. We had good reason to assume that the real cause for our success lay in the direction of our strength that day. Mad we been smaller, less disciplined and organised, quite a different fate might have befallen us, for we knew that there were "ugly people", political tools, on the opposing side available to make the time hot and heavy for the Sinn FŽiners as we were called. Many tough fellows from Belfast had been imported into the constituency, and we had reason to know that a combination like the Molly Maguires and the Carsonites were capable of many things besides passing resolutions as the election campaign had, demonstrated before the advent and presence of the Volunteers. When the polling booth was closed that night a number of us, were detailed to accompany or escort the ballot boxes to Newry. This business of guarding the ballot boxes had become a regular ritual with the Volunteers on such occasions. Thus two escorts were provided, the R.I.C. and the Volunteers. The Presiding Officer and his staff, as well as agents of the respective candidates, with the ballot boxes, plus the two escorting parties, formed quite a formidable procession, numerous cars being in requisition. for the job as we wended our way through miles and miles of country to the rendezvous. The big thrill was passing through Unionist strongholds;, our tricolour - the Republican Flag - waving, gaily and gallantly from our cars. It was Quite late that night when our party arrived in Newry where the boxes were safely deposited and our Volunteer party were conducted to a public hall which served as quarters for the Volunteers. Here we met scores of Volunteers from Dublin and men who 245. had been on duty in different parts of the constituency All were in great form and had different tales to tell of their experiences. Leo Henderson was in charge of the "barracks". Captain Frank Daly of "B" Company was one of the officers. Here we, Carney and myself, picked up Emmet Sweeney and Dinny Holmes, also Tom O'Reilly of our Company. We spent the night there. The next morning before breakfast time Tom staged a little scene by of a ruse to get out of barracks for a good meal as he was mad hungry and he didn't feel like, partaking of the barrack "board". Agreeing to accompany him, Sweeney, Carney, Holmes and myself were escorted to the door. Approaching the Volunteer guard Tom requested "Pass prisoner and, escort" and before we knew what it was all about we had "broke. barracks.". Repairing to a nearby side street we found ourselves in a cafŽ, styled "A Soldier's cafŽ". Here were we, soldiers of another Army, enjoying a good substantial breakfast at a moderate fare. Even the uniforms of some of our party and our tri-coloured ribbons which we wore in our hats, contrasting with some of the pictures on its walls, after which we four of us were photographed. On that afternoon we departed from the "barracks" and marched to the railway station. On the way we were met by a hostile group. that seemingly was. bent on giving us a "warm and not too pleasant send-off". We were belaboured with stones and iron bolts on the way, indulged in by men and women alike. We had been. tested in worse situations than that, and to the credit of the officers and men of-the Dublin Brigade after a few skirmishes and charges, we reached the train in good order. The return journey was uneventful until we reached Amiens Street where lo, and behold! a concourse of people several thousand strong, this time our friends, were assembled to greet us home. What a contrast to the scenes enacted by our Newry cousins! 246. As we marched. away citywards we felt after all that our failure, to return McCartan in the election was indeed compensated by the presence of our own good supporters in Dublin on the occasion of our homecoming. The important part which the Irish Volunteers played in that election could not be better described than the tribute paid that body by "The Irishman" of February 9th, 1918: "The Irish Volunteers' Return from South Armagh Election". "The methods employed to ensure that England should win South Armagh we have described as blackguardly. The word is strong, but not strong enough. Again and again the lives of the Sinn FŽin leaders and workers were endangered, always from behind hedges and mostly in the dark. Several attempts were made on the life of Countess Markievicz and it was only defective markmanship that on numerous occasions prevented Sinn FŽin speakers and organisers being seriously maimed. A regular reign of terror was instituted against voters suspected of Sinn FŽin sympathies. So dangerous did the conditions become that at the request of Sinn FŽin the Irish Volunteers adopted the unprecedented course of sending detachments of trained men into the constituency to protect both organisers and voters. But for these and the salutary effect produced by their splendid physique and discipline many of the Sinn FŽiners would not have got away with their lives. This may seem an exaggerated statement to those who had not experience of South Armagh. But it is the plain blunt truth. But for the presence of the Volunteers the bulk of the 1,305 electors who voted for McCartan 247. would never have been allowed to reach the poll" Writing of the scenes on arrival of the Volunteers, the same paper said: "As the four thousand Irish Volunteers with twice the number of cheering citizens marched through the streets of Dublin on Saturday night on the return of their comrades from Armagh, I heard one spectator say to another "You would think they had been victorious". It was not a question of thinking. They were victorious "President De Valera had narrow escapes; Se‡n McEntee was wounded and Frank McGuinness of Longford, driving to his hotel from a meeting at eleven o'clock at night was rendered unconscious by an iron bar hurled at the car from the shelter of a ditch. Harry Boland was similarly in danger of his life and ss was Se‡n O'Mahony and several others. Only two assaults were made in the open - one where a Hibernian attempted to drive a pike through De Valera, and the other on Countess Markievicz. at Lislea, on which occasion a huge paving stone only missed her by inches, and the advancing Hibernians, sorry that she had escaped, pelted her with sods and mud that at gentleman of the party had to draw a revolver to save her. This was only one of many attempts on Madame. Some of the A.0.H. apologised for the Lislea The Belfast batonmen are.., mercenaries, pure and simple, hired as required and ready (for a plentiful supply of drink and 5/- a day) to do any little job from breaking up a meeting to waylaying a person politically obnoxious to their employers. Armagh had them last week and such a reign of terror did they establish, such unparalleled intimidation did they 248. employ, that Sinn FŽin was compelled to ask the Volunteers for Volunteers to protect its workers and its voters. But for the presence of the Irish Volunteers in Armagh the Sinn FŽin casualty list would have been a heavy one. The clean manly courage of the patriot was pitted against the bullying methods of the hired riffian and mercenary, skulked and fled when faced with the man. Caisibre MacColm." Apropos of the reign of terror "Nationality" of February 9th, 1918, reported: "In Crossmaglen alone was there a majority of catholic voters against Sinn FŽin. There for three weeks a reign of terror had been instituted by Devlin's Ribbonmen and. Carson's Orangemen against the voters with very good success The ambushes laid at night along the road by Messrs. Dillon's and Devlin's followers were imitated later on by the followers of Sir E. Carson." The "Dundalk Examiner' reported: "When Mr. Fearon who presided at a Sinn FŽin meeting at was returning home on Sunday night he was set upon and savagely beaten. His purse was also taken from him." "Then Mr. De Valera was motoring to Crosemaglen on Sunday a supporter of Mr. Donnelly, marching in an A.O.H. procession, thrust a ten-foot pike through the wind-screen and inflicted a gash on Mr. McEntee who accompanied Mr. De Valera." 249. "When an Armagh contingent of cyclists were leaving Crossmaglen on Sunday they were set upon by a band of rowdies and assaulted with stones, so they had to return. The police who were present in force took no action, and Mr. Brennan ordered a charge by one of the Companies of Volunteers. The stone-throwers scampered across country. The windows of MacCartan' s Committee rooms in Crossmaglen were broken on Sunday." "Messrs. James and John McQuill, Dundalk, who had charge of the arrangenents for the conveyance of supporters of Dr. MacCartan, were arrested this Wednesday morning by 18 members of the R.I.C. and removed to Mountjoy" "The Belfast Newsletter" in an editorial January, 18th, 1918, said: "All the time there are tens of thousands of young unmarried men in Ireland drilling in view of another rebellion and it (the Government) refuse to take them," The Irish Unionist amendment proposing to apply military conscription to Ireland was (says the 250. "Independent" of Jamiary 1918). rejected in the British House of Comons by 138 to 47 votes. "Ireland", said Mr. Archdale, "was living under the protection of the British Army and Navy, and was it fair that she should only contribute 2 p.c. to the fighting forces as against 60 p.c. from England? The only effect of exempting Ireland was to throw many thousands of able- bodied young men into the ranks of Sinn Feiners, an avowedly pro-German and Anti-English organizations." He admitted that the application of conscription might cause a little trouble but asserted that if it were not extended a g