SINN FEIN MEETING IN ATHY

by ehistoryadmin on May 16, 2015

 

THE NATIONALIST AND LEINSTER TIMES 22 JUNE 1918

Sinn Fein Meeting in Athy.         

A Meeting under Sinn Fein auspices was held in the Market-Square on Saturday at which a re-solution was passed protesting against the arrests.

Mr. P.P. Doyle, U.D.C., who presided, said that meeting was called to protest against the conduct of the Government in arresting and imprisoning their leaders without making any specific charges against them or bringing them to trial. The same tactics had been adopted after Easter Week when thousands of men who were arrested and later set free because no charge could be proved against them. If the men arrested were guilty let them be brought to trial. (cheers).  It was not the first time that England had adopted this method of spiriting away the leaders of the Irish Nation. Gerald, Earl of Kildare, was summoned to London and cast into the Tower: Hugh O’Donnell was also kidnapped and imprisoned in Dublin Castle from which he was released by Hugh O’Neill. They all knew what happened in Mullaghmast where 600 Irish chieftans, the flower of Leinster were massacred by the English. Mr. Doyle explained that when Jameson went on his buccaneering expedition in South Africa and was whipped by the Boers and taken prisoner England claimed him out and got him tried by his own countrymen. That was not even a rebellion. They had it on the authority of Boner Law, one of the heads of the present English Government, when he was referring to the threatened Ulster rebellion, “that rebellion was often justified.” They told the English Government that the men recently arrested should be brought to trial, and the place to try them was in Ireland and by Irishmen (cheers). They knew too well that if they were tried in England they would receive the same treatment and meet the same fate as Roger Casement. While the matter was subjudice it might be expected that the case of the prisoners would not be prejudiced. What was the fact?       No sooner were they arrested than the “little wizard of Wales”, the little “stop-the-war-in-a-minute-man” (laughter) went down to Glasgow and before any evidence was produced said there was a strong case against them, and that the Government were justified in the action they had taken. Dealing with the appeal made to Ireland for men Mr. Doyle having referred to the work of the Irish Divisions at the front, said it was strange that Irishmen were to be asked to fight for Poles and Slavs and other nationalities while they were denied freedom in their own land. Concluding Mr. Doyle said in Sinn Fein lay the hope of Ireland. They could no longer took for any benefits from constitutional methods, as a recent proclamations have done away with the fair rent clauses of the Land Acts and free sale and fixity of tenure. The speaker urged all Irishmen over 21 years of age and all women over 30 to carefully examine the Voters Lists and see that their names were on the Registers. If not they should lodge claims through the Town Clerks, the Clerk of the Crown and Peace or through the Sinn Fein Clubs in each district.

Mr. J . J. Balley seconded the resolution which was passed unanimously.

Mr. M. Dooley, President of the Sinn Fein Club presided at the Meeting, at which there was a large attendance and 2 bands, banners, etc. Similar meetings were held on the same day in most of the adjoining parishes.

Rr-typed by Lynn Potts

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