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24 September 2014
Wars and Conflict - Newspaper Archive

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Irish Independent, Thursday, 4th May 1916
Criminal Madness

Thursday, 4th May 1916

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No terms of denunciation that pen could indict would be too strong to apply to those responsible for the insane and criminal rising of last week. Around us in the centre of Ireland’s capital, is a scene of ruin which it is heartrending to behold. Some of the proudest structures in what was one of the finest streets in Europe are now reduced to shapeless heaps of smouldering ashes. It is as if foreign invaders, as ruthless as those who have devastated Belgium and Poland had wrought their evil will upon the erstwhile peaceful city of Dublin. In one sense indeed it is too true that the ruin around us is the work of the common enemy, but Irishmen have been the agents for the commission of the crime, from the consequences of which it will take us many years to recover. The events of last week in Dublin and in certain other parts of the country would have quenched our hopes for at least a quarter of a century to come, were it not for the splendid part which Ireland has played since the beginning of the war. On the battlefields of France and Flanders on the blood stained heights of the Gallipoli Peninsula and in the more distant lands wherever the fight raged hottest the outpouring of Irish blood is as expiation for the acts of unfilial ingrates who have besmirched the honour of their native land. Were it not for the glory which has irradiated the Irish arms in the fields where the battle for human freedom is being fought, our heads might now hang low in shame for the misdeeds of those who have been the willing dupes of Prussian intrigue.

the ruin around us is the work of the common enemy...

When we come to think of what the incendiaries have accomplished the result is pitifully meagre. They set out to establish an Irish Republic. They held a few strong positions in certain parts of the metropolis for about 28 hours. From that time onwards they were surrounded many of them surrendering, others escaping and many of them being shot. A good many of the military fell beneath the insurgent fire, and so did large numbers of civilians, including innocent women and children. The net result of the outbreak is, in brief, the loss of many valuable lives and a large toll of wounded extending to many hundreds, perhaps thousands; the wholesale surrender of the Sinn Feiners; the monetary loss to Dublin and to Ireland of many millions of pounds, the ruin of some of the finest business districts and the destruction of many buildings, the beauty of whose architecture was a legitimate source of pride to the citizens of the capital. The men who fomented the outbreak, and all who were responsible for the devastation surrounding us have to bear a heavy moral and legal responsibility from which they cannot hope to escape. They were out, not to free Ireland, but to help Germany.

Irish Independent,
Thursday, 4th May 1916
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