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DA 962.D27"" """"'"' ''""^^ 

Red terror and green: 

3 1924 028 170 003 

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tine Cornell University Library. 

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The Sinn Fein-Bolshevist Movement 



CoPTBiaHT, 1920, 

By E. p. Dutton & Company 

All Bights Reserved 


Printed in the United States of America 

* ♦ 



I. Ireland Cou^qes heb Mind 1 

II. Idealism A^wakes . . .-..'..•. . ■ 11 

III. Sinn Fein . .... I*'. . . . ". . 27 

IV Enter James Connolly . . . . .' . . 43 

V. LABoms AND THE Union 56 

VI. The Revolutionaht Movement 69 

VII. The Nineteenth Cbntubt. ...'.'.. 84 

VIII. Stormy Petrels *. • . . 102 

IX. Undercurrents . . . . ,'.'" .'\ . . 118 

X. Arms and the Man . . . . . . . . 141 

XI. Privy Conspiracy and Rebellion .... 164 

XII. Makers of Mischief 187 

XIII. The Bolshevik Alliance . 208 

XIV. A State of War 229 

XV. CoNCLirsioN 253 

Index 267 





Wae found Nationalist Ireland, after a century 
of "wandering in the political wilderness, within 
sight of her goal. It did more; it unclasped 
the deadlock which the Palace Conference had 
failed to solve, and which threatened to produce 
one of two unfortunate alternatives, either such 
a recasting of the Home Eule Bill as would have 
embittered the relations between the component 
parts of the United Kingdom, or such an en- 
forcement of the measure as would have caused 
permanent embitterment in Ireland itself. The 
relief of the minority at being rescued from the 
dire extremity of resistance was probably not 
greater than that of the reflecting section of the 
majority who realised that to set forth on self- 
government amidst storms of hatred would be 


but a poor augury of a successful voyage. But 
the War did even more than that. It provided 
Nationalisj; Ireland with an opportunity such as 
Fate seldom vouchsafes, the chance of once and 
for all silencing the voice of her detractors and 
winning the respect and confidence of her foes. 
And then, deaf to the wise counsels of her lead- 
er, blind to the glowing example of tens of thou- 
sands of her valiant sons, she deliberately threw 
the chance away. Like another Penelope, she 
unravelled in a night the fabric she had been 
weaving for a hundred years. 

In the face of a decision so surprising and 
momentous it is not a little curious that a con- 
siderable number of men still talk and write and 
think in terms of the Home Rule controversy of 
five years ago. The columns of the Press teem 
with correspondence, arguing for and against 
partition, setting forth the respective merits of 
different forms of Dominion self-government, 
and comparing them with the American State 
system. Even the Government convened a Con- 
ference among the ruins of Dublin to devise a 
scheme that should reconcile conflicting inter- 
ests in an agreed measure of Home Rule. Such 
weU-meant activities are based on the theory — 
and must be abortive if the theory be iucorrect 
— ^that Ireland's attitude during the last four 


years is the outcome of discontent with the de- 
tails of the Home Rule Act, at worst manifesting 
itself in one of those sporadic and short-lived 
outbreaks of the insurrectionary movement 
which is endemic in Irish politics. According 
to this view Sinn Fein is merely the reincar- 
nation, under another name, of the movement 
which called itself Young Ireland in 1848 and 
Fenianism in 1867. 

Certain affinities of course all revolutionary 
parties must needs have in common: "There 
is a river in Macedon and a river at Monmouth 
and there is sahnons in both." But, as it is 
the purpose of this book to show, the affinities 
of Sinn Fein with the revolutionaries of the 
last century are entirely superficial. The re- 
semblance indeed is hardly skin deep. It is 
important to note the relations between the 
revolutionary and constitutional agitations in 
Ireland since the Union. The two movements 
ran parallel. The extremists were no doubt 
ready to push their line beyond the limits set 
for themselves by the moderate wing of the 
Nationalist Party; they were anxious to move 
faster; possibly they chafed at and despised 
the caution and half heartedness of the mod- 
erates, but they never tried to thwart or trip 
them up. The revolutionary vein which lay be- 
neath the surface only out-cropped during the 


periods when the constitutional movement 
was utterly stagnant. The Young Irelanders 
only made their effort at times when the Repeal 
agitation — ^which they supported — ^had burned 
itself out. The rebellion of 1848 came when 
'ConneU's agitation had died away. The Fen- 
ian Rising came half-way between the Tenant 
Right and the Land League movements, when 
the demand for self-government had sunk to an 
almost inaudible whisper. The fact that, despite 
the existence of the Clan-na-Gael, Ireland had 
not, until Easter Week, had an armed rising for 
fifty years may be attributed to the vigour and 
constancy with which the constitutional section 
were pressing their claims. 

It is even more important to note the alacrity 
with which the champions of independence and 
physical force lent their aid to the advocates 
of limited self-government and parliamentary 
methods when their own methods had failed. 
The man who had been "out" in '48 and '67 
was the peaceful voter of 1880, giving loyal sup- 
port, even in the Palace of Westminster itself, 
to men whom he knew were out of sympathy 
with his extreme views. Even the Clan-nar' 
Grael did not disdain to provide the sinews of 
war for a policy which fell far short of its ambi- 
tions. The extremists acted on the principle 


that haK a loaf is better than no bread. Some, 
no doubt, reflected that if they could not jump 
the stream they might cross it by stepping 
stones, but, whatever their motives may have 
been, the significant fact remains that the revo- 
lutionary movement of the last century never 
showed any jealousy of the constitutional party. 
Contrast such a policy with that of Sinn 
Fein and mark how sharp is the differentiation. 
So far from showing any sympathy, even tacit, 
with the United Irish League, when it has not 
held sternly aloof, it has been actively hostile. 
It fought its only parliamentary election prior 
to the Dublin rebellion against Mr. Eedmond's 
official nominee in 1907. Even when the Home 
Eule Bill was marching triumphantly through 
Parliament its journals were snapping and 
snarling at the heels of the Parliamentary 
Party. And then, when the Parliamentarians 
had triumphed, when the Home Eule Act stood 
on the Statute Book, and when it only needed 
a few months of sacrifice, not uncongenial to an 
ardent and pugnacious race, to procure the con- 
summation of Ireland's dreams, this body, 
hitherto insignificant, whose snarlings the 
Nationalists had treated as they might the pet- 
tish snapping of a pom-pom, brought their ef- 
forts tumbling to the ground as a mischievous 


child overturns a house of cards, the pride of 
its patient builder. 

The suddenness and apparent wantonness of 
the catastrophe, which wrecked not only the Act 
for the Better Government of Ireland, but what 
was even more important, the visions of a new 
era of closer comradeship between the warring 
elements of the country which Mr. Eedmond's 
appeal had evoked, has generated the theory 
that it came through some gadfly madness seiz- 
ing upon a people wearied with a long struggle 
for liberty, sickened by hopes deferred, and 
turning against leaders of whom they were 
tired, as the children of Israel turned against 
Moses besides the waters of Marah. 

If this be the explanation, then the task of 
settling the Irish question is comparatively easy, 
no more difficult than fishing up a broken sub- 
marine cable, splicing the fracture and setting 
the electric current running through the wires 
again. The question arises whether this is the 
real explanation. It might account for the 
refusal to enlist, and the overthrow of the 
Nationalist Party at the polls — ^though the 
pertinacity and magnitude of the opposition 
hardly coincide with the theory of the movement 
being only a sudden and passing whim. But it 
does not square with the main facts. It does not 


account for the astonishing rise of Sinn Fein in 
the course of a few weeks from a poverty- 
stricken body, with only one branch outside 
Dublin, without any commanding or notorious 
figures among its leaders, without a Press, to 
an organisation which sweeps the constituencies, 
establishes its own Parliament, controls the lo- 
cal authorities, and holds three-quarters of the 
country in thrall. Above all, it does not account 
for the Dublin rebellion and the German alli- 
ance. Eational beings do not take such meas- 
ures because an Act of Parliament falls short 
of their desires. ' ' No man, ' ' said John Mitchell 
from the dock, "proudly mounts the scaffold 
or coolly faces a felon's death . , . for nothing. 
No man, be he as young or vain as you will, 
does this in the insolence of youth or the in- 
toxication of vanity." 

Had these events been emanations from Sinn 
Fein alone, the theory that they represented but 
a passing phase would be infinitely more credi- 
ble than it is. Great political movements, still 
less revolutions, are not begotten by highbrows : 
they are the products of flesh and blood. The 
antiquarian enthusiasm of Dr. Douglas Hyde 
might create a new Nationalism inspired with 
scholarly ideals ; the intelleotualism of Mr. Ar- 
thur GriflSth could give it practical direction; 


the Abbey Theatre could invest it with a gener- 
ous warmth and colour. Men reared iu such an 
atmosphere might overthrow Home Eule, not as 
wanton children poking at a house of cards, but 
with the deliberate belief that it was a flimsy 
temple housing false gods, but they would have 
lacked the driving force that alone can generate 
revolutions and give persistence to great politi- 
cal movements. 

The idea may come from above, the driving 
force always comes from below. It is born not 
of the brain, but of bodies festering in the un- 
speakable pollution of Dublin slums, and of 
blood boiling under the oratory of men like 
James Larkin, coarse and vulgar if you wiU, 
but aU the more inflammatory for that. The 
force gets solidity and permanence when, behind 
the wrong and the demagogue, stands a direct- 
ing mind, such as James Connolly's, fired with 
indignation and sympathy and stored with 
knowledge. And when from those stores of 
knowledge he constructs a creed in which ma- 
terial reform blends with the revival of ancient 
national ideals and traditions and with political 
emancipation, then indeed we can feel that we 
are in face of an abiding force. 

The actual situation, then, is not just a simple 
clash between rival Nationalists, but one very 
grave and complex. To hope to solve the Irish 


question by paper contetitutions, constructed 
without examination of all its factors, is to try 
to draw the subject of a jig-saw puzzle after put- 
ting half a dozen pieces into place. Such an at- 
tempt must at best be futile, at worst it may be 

It is the aim of the writer to describe the new 
Nationalism, not as it appears to him, but as it 
is conceived by its authors and made manifest 
by events. The new Nationalism is still in 
process of evolution, and of evolution so swift 
that before these words see the light it may have 
taken on new accretions. Even so far as it has 
gone it has radically altered the orientation of 
the Irish problem, and therefore calls for con- 
sideration by aU who hope to solve it. 

To achieve the task we must follow the course 
of two streams of thought, starting from a 
common source, diverging for a time into paral- 
lel channels, and then again uniting to form the 
Irish movement of to-day. On the one side we 
shall find ancient Irish culture invoked to create 
an artistic and intellectual revival : on the other 
we shall find the ancient Irish politico-economic 
organisation being invoked as the inspiration 
of industrial liberty. We shall see how Graelic 
decadence is ascribed to the loss of the old tra- 
ditions, and how the guilt is fastened not only 


on English. Machiavellianism, hut on Irishmen, 
posing as patriots, but unconsciously betraying 
their country by setting f ortb their aspirations 
and demands in terms of Anglicised politics. 
We shall see the old idols of the market-place 
and platform overthrown, and unknown figures 
installed on th.e empty pedestal, great names 
besmirched and ridiculed, and names long for- 
gotten blazoned in their place. Irish history 
will be presented in new perspective, in which 
the battle of the Boyne becomes smaller than the 
battle of Kinsale, in which Sarsfield has less 
significance than Lalor, and Thompson displaces 
Grattan as the moulder of Ireland's future. And 
finally we shall see how the new Nationalism, 
starting with lofty ideals of national regenera- 
tion on the old Unes of the ancient culture, be- 
gins to seek its inspirations from modem 
sources of unspeakable corniption. 



In the STimmer of 1893 Irish Nationalism had 
fallen upon evil days. The tide which during 
thirteen years had floated it so high had spent 
itself and was on the ebb. Mr. Gladstone was 
about to retire, weary and disappointed, leaving 
behind him none who could bend his bow; Mr. 
Parnell had fallen, leaving behind him a riven 
party, distracted by jealousies and dissensions. 
Yet this year, which seemed to be a gravestone 
in the cemetery of Ireland's hopes, has come to 
be described as a landmark in her progress. And 
all because half a dozen men met in Dublin in 
July and founded a society to promote the study 
of the Irish language. 

The formation of the Gaelic League was not 
on the face of it a world-shaking event. Except 
for Dr. Douglas Hyde, its founders were un- 
distinguished men, unknown outside their own 
narrow circles. Its object, though respectable 
and interesting, did not promise to stir Ireland 



to its depths. Although, throughout the nine- 
teenth century axchseologists and scholars had 
studied the Gaelic, and although there was in 
existence in 1893 a Society for the Preservation 
of the Irish Language, the youth of Ireland did 
not Mndle. O'Connell, the great National 
Leader, was a native speaker of Irish, but he 
refused to speak anything but English, and en- 
couraged his countrymen to follow his example. 
Common sense seemed to coincide with his 
counsel. What a waste of time did it appear to 
spend time in mastering a dialect confined to a 
handful of people, mainly peasants, which might 
be used to unlock the doors leading to the learn- 
ing of Europe. Goethe, SchiUer, Dante, Cer- 
vantes, Eaciae and Moliere, Victor Hugo and 
Dumas — who would give up the chance of read- 
ing their works in order to study the Annals of 
the Four Masters or the Books of Ballymote and 
Lecam in the original? Interesting, no doubt, 
they were, but if Ireland were to keep abreast of 
the times, her people had to study languages 
that were liviag, not dead. Every argument 
that is used against Greek to-day could be used 
with tenfold force against the study of Irish. 
The Gaelic League set itself to combat that 
view, and found its weapon not in philosophy, 
but in Nationalism, In the disuse of the Irish 


language it saw not the loss of a dialect, but the 
loss of a nation's soul. Though literary in its 
outward manifestation and strictly non-political 
in its constitution, it was a system of political 
philosophy operating through a literary me- 
dium. Its purpose was to keep alive the Irish 
tongue in order 4hat the soul of Ireland might 
not die. To that it postponed all other consider- 
ations. To the Gaelic League, as to other Irish 
parties, England was the enemy, but less per- 
haps because of the loss of an Irish Parliament 
than because of the loss of the spirit of Irish na- 
tionality. That Irish representatives should sit 
at Westminster was regrettable, but less because 
it bespoke the political subjection of the Irish 
people than because it promoted their Anglici- 
sation. This doctrine, if not directly opposed to, 
out clean across the theory, certainly held by 
'Connell and in greater or less degree by lat- 
ter-day Nationalists, that Ireland's short cut to 
self-government lay through assimilation with 
British aims and ideals. To the Gaelic League 
such teaching was anathema. Under Home Eule, 
so gained, whatever it might bring of gratified 
pride or material advantage wouldbe outweighed 
by the loss of conscious nationhood. Even were 
the last link broken, Ireland, unless she were an 
Irish Ireland, would be decadent though free. 


It need not be thought that the founders of 
the Gaelic League had in 1893 envisaged the 
implications of their creed quite so definitely 
as this, still less that they proclaimed them quite 
so frankly to their disciples. Othierwise they 
would not have found recruits where they did, 
even among Unionists. The non-political char- 
acter of the society was always kept in the fore- 
ground. Even in 1914 Dr. Douglas Hyde, an- 
swering complaints "from many parts of 
Ireland that the Gaelic League was rapidly be- 
coming a political body," entered a very elo- 
quent and impassioned defence, quoting words 
he had used the year before. 

"Suppose — ^which God forbid — ^that any one 
political party did succeed in getting hold of the 
machinery or the name of the Gaelic League and 
succeeded in runniag the League on party lines, 
I teU you that on that very day the transcendent 
significance of the language movement would 
fail. The entire structure . . . would fall to 
pieces. The language, which would then be 
looked upon as the appanage of a single political 
sect, and not the inheritance of a nation, would 
go down in contumely and dishonour." 

And then he continued : 

"The cause of Irish nationality was too holy, 
too sacred a thing to be stained by the dust of 


warring factions or disturbed by the -wranglings 
of ephemeral party politics. The Gaelic League 
was the one spot in. Ireland where a truce of God 
prevailed, and every Irishman, no matter what 
colour his coat, no matter what his creed, or 
class, or politics, was free to enter in and enjoy 
the fragrance and the perfume and the flowers, 
and the soothing breezes which blew like bahn 
through the enchanted gardens of Holy Ire- 

In this purple passage Dr. Hyde no doubt 
enunciated the principles which mainly animat- 
ed him and his fellow founders of the League in 
1893, and which were then convincing to persons 
of politics most dissimilar. But his words were 
less convincing at the time he spoke them and, 
despite his assurance, large numbers of mem- 
bers left the League for the very reason against 
which he protested. That he was able to utter 
them at all is either a singular instance of self- 
delusion or an equally singular example of self- 
detachment from contemporary events. Eight 
years before, Mr. John Sweetman, a leading 
Gaelic Leaguer, had said: 

"Out of the Gaelic League have already 
grown a series of movements not only strongly 
political, but each and all making for a separate 

* Irish News, October 15th, 1914, 


Irish nation, freed from every link of the Brit- 
ish connection. " * 

In a printed circular of March 4th, 1906, ithe 
Clan-na-Gael, which has always kept alive the 
fire of Irish Eevolution, thus handsomely testi- 
fied to the work of the Gaelic League : 

"The work of the GaeKo League is in line 
with the object of the Clan-na-Gael. It/is pre- 
paring the mind of the country for that su- 
preme effort which wiU lead to the final/triumph 
of the Gael. Although a non-political organisa^ 
tion, and acting openly within the existing law, 
it is steadily creating the conditions which will 
make a free Ireland possible." 

Dr. Hyde was at that time in America. He 
spoke at San Francisco, and said no word to 
repudiate the doctrine of Mr. Sweetman or the 
Clan-na-Gael. On the contrary, what he said 
was this : 

"We aim high, for we aim at nothing else 
than establishing a new nation on the map of 

Europe." t 

There was no differentiation between a spirit 
of nationality and political nationhood, and Dr. 
Hyde himself seized the occasion of a public 
dinner, following the National Teachers' Con- 
gress at Sligo, to mark the kind of nationhood 

* Freeman's Jowmal, January 31st, 1906. 
t Gaelio American, March Slst, 1906. 


lie wanted by ostentatiously walking out of the 
room when the King's health was proposed. 

Exactly how far the Graelio League has de- 
parted from its self-imposed political neutrality 
it needs not further to inquire. It is as the 
originating, if not the immediate cause of the 
New Nationalism, that its foundation is justly 
held to mark an era in the history of Irish revo- 
lution. Even had its determination to be non- 
political been more deeply rooted than it prob- 
ably was, there were forces at work which would 
have undermined it, or which would have ap- 
plied to their own purposes the stimulus of the 
language movement. 

As has been observed in the preceding chap- 
ter, a vein of revolution underlies all Irish his- 
tory, outcropping when circumstances offer a 
favourable opportunity, or when chance provides 
it with a sufficiently attractive policy. The lan- 
guage movement provided such an opportunity. 
There was already in existence another body, 
the Gaelic Athletic Association, akin to the Gael- 
ic League in its inspirations, but operating in 
the realms of sport, and avowedly political in its 
nature. Its object was to check Anglicisation by 
reviving the old Gaelic games. Archbishop 
Croke gave .the new movement his blessing In 
these words, written in 1884, the year of its 
foundation ; 


"If we continue travelling for the next score 
years in the same direction that we have ^een 
going in for some time past, condemning the 
sports tliat were practised by our forefathers, 
effacing our national features . . . and putting 
on with England's stuff and broadcloths her 
'masher' habits and such effeminate follies as 
she may recommend, we had better at once ab- 
jure our nationality, clap our hands for joy at 
the sight of the Union Jack and pl^ 'Eng- 
land's bloody red' triumphantly above the 
green. ' ' 

The Irishman, an organ of the physical force 
party, thus endorsed the archiepisoopal senti- 
ments : 

"If any two purposes should go together, 
they ought to be politics and athletics , . . the 
exigencies of our situation force us into a per- 
petual war with England. . . . While fighting 
the enemy in the by-ways which are called con- 
stitutional, we must also maintain a certain de- 
gree of readiness to meet our enemy in the field 
when the occasion offers."* 

In pursuance of this patriotic policy the As- 
sociation bans British soldiers or Irish police- 
men, and has placed itseK out of communion 
with the Irish Amateur Athletic Association 
and similar bodies. In the "Irish Tear Book" 

* Irishmum, December, 1884. 


for 1906 schools which confine themselves to 
hurling and Irish football are lauded for their 
patriotism, while those who practise cricket and 
such foreign games are held up to reprobation 
as decadent and anti-national. 

It is easy to see how Gaelic League and Gael- 
ic Athletic Association, both finding their sanc- 
tion in the remote national past, should be 
drawn together, andho^ the more forceful body- 
should become the dominating influence, both 
being guided, more or less unconsciously, by the 
underlying revolutionary forces. In this con- 
nection it is important to observe that the Gaelic 
League has drawn financial aid from such bod- 
ies as the Clan-na-Gael and the American Or- 
der of Hibernians. 

Within a few years there came about a Sep- 
aratist revival in Ireland, manifesting itself in 
varying forms but with a very definite and sin- 
gle purpose. That it was in the main inteUeo- 
tual and literary is, of course, due to the inspi- 
ration of the Gaelic League. Where it marked 
an advance upon its parent was that it admitted 
politics, and did not shrink, in some societies, 
from hints of physical force. Thus the Literary 
Societies which sprang up, mainly in Dublin, 
Cork, and Belfast, only took politics as a side 
line, as may be seen in the columns of the Shcm 


Van Vocht, a monthly journal which was pub- 
lished in Belfast ia the closing years of the 
last century. The Young Ireland Society, on 
the other hand, while it posed as a movement of 
intellectuals, had for its avowed object : 

"To hasten the day when the flag for which 
patriots suffered and martyrs died may float 
triumphantly over an Ireland free for ever from 
English rule and domination" (Annual Eeport, 
January, 1904). 

The Dungannon Clubs and the Daughters of 
Erin Societies were extreme in their doctrine, 
short in their Kves, and singularly disgraceful 
in their methods. Their literature was obscene, 
and they were chiefly remarkable as having been 
the instruments through which Sinn Fein con- 
ducted its campaign against recruiting in the 
early years of the century. 

Perhaps the most interesting of the bodies 
which sprang from the Gaelic League was 
' ' Cumann na nGaedheal, ' ' which was an organi- 
sation in which were combined many, if not aU, 
of the clubs above mentioned. Its interest to a 
great extent lies in this, that it brings us face to 
face with Mr. Arthur Griffith, to whose teaching 
it owed its existence. It reflected the phase of 
his political evolution through which he was 
passing. It was Separatist in its aims, inteUec- 


tual in its inspirations, and educational in its 
methods. In this it took its tone largely from 
the United Irishman, a journal established in 
1899, with Mr. Griffith as editor, hy some Dub- 
lin Separatists. 

We are here in the middle of the transition 
period from the Gaelic League to Sinn Fein. 
The process of evolution had begun, and can be 
traced in the columns of the United Irishman, 
but it had not reached its full development. Al- 
though Mr. Arthur Griffith had set himself defi- 
nitely political aims of a Separatist tendency, 
the propagandist methods of his paper were still 
very largely those of the Gaelic League. In his 
coadjutor, Mr. William Eooney, he had a man 
of less ability indeed than Thomas Davis, the 
poet of the Young Ireland movement, but of sim- 
ilar character and with the additional qualifi- 
cation that he was an accomplished Irish schol- 
ar. This combination of hard-headed National- 
ism and scholarly passion was fruitful. The 
United Irishman, as has been said by an histo- 
rian of the movement, acted both as its secretary 
and organiser; got into touch with every liter- 
ary or political club of Separatist leanings, and 
federated them in the Cumann na nGaedheal. 

But still the movement hung fire. It had its 
goal, it had found its spiritual inspiration, it had 


stirred the imagination of the youths of Ireland, 
it had won the sympathy and support of under-, 
ground revolution, but it still lacked motive 
force. It was bitterly critical of the constitu- 
tional Nationalists, but destructive criticism 
alone can never maintain a party, much less in- 
spire revolutionary action. Even the cry of 
Separation was not enough. It had been 
preached before so often, and had been attempt- 
ed with results so disastrous, that it had become 
almost academic. Something more practical 
was needed. Home Eule, though perhaps only 
an unsatisfying compromise, was at least a 
practical and, more important, practicable sug- 
gestion. If that compromise were to be turned 
down it could only be in favour of some other 
alternative equally practicable and more in tune 
with Ireland's real aspirations. 

Everything pointed to the necessity of pro- 
ducing a constructive policy. In 1902 Mr. Eoo- 
ney died and the movement lost the support of 
his literary and romantic enthusiasm. The Cu- 
mann na nGaedheal had done all it could do, 
it had paved the way, but could not start the 
traffic along it. There were signs of approach- 
ing dissolution in the Unionist Party. It was 
breaking up on the question of Tariff Eef orm, 
the popularity of the war which had carried it 


into office in 1900 was on the wane, it seemed 
probable that the next election would once more 
find Ireland able to renew her demands with 
some prospects of success. 

Though, as indeed is natural, it is not men- 
tioned by Sinn Fein writers in this connection, 
it is possible that the passing of the Land Pur- 
chase Act was not without its influence upon the 
development of the Sinn Fein idea. The Act 
was a great one and very popular, possibly the 
greatest opportunity ever offered to an agri- 
cultural people. It has made over a quarter 
of a million tenants owners of their holdings, at 
instalment rates for purchase less than their 
former judicial rents. It may be that to the ene- 
mies of Anglicisation this opened up alarming 
vistas of Anglo-Hibernian friendship. James 
Connolly, though he admits the benefits con- 
firmed by the Act, invariably strives to belittle 
the share of Great Britain in the transaction 
by maintaining that it was nothing but an act, 
and not a complete act, of restitution. 

Whether the passing of the Wyndham Act 
had any influence on Mr. Griffith's mind or not, 
the other factors made it evident that without 
a constructive and operative programme the 
new Nationalism would be purely platonic, and 
Ireland's future would be directed by the 


Constitutional Party with the certain loss of 
the true national idea. 

The problem he had to solve was this — ^to se- 
cure for Ireland legislative freedom, and to se- 
cure it by extra-parliamentary action. His 
school objected to parliamentary action on va- 
rious grounds, the most obvious being that any 
concessions that could be obtained by parlia- 
mentary methods would be ha. the nature of a 
compromise which would fall short of Ireland's 
ambitions and requirements. Although the most 
obvious, this was far from being the most seri- 
ous objection. Infinitely more grave was the 
consideration that, by appealing to a British 
Parliament, Ireland tacitly abandoned imper- 
ishable rights. Even were Parliamentarianism 
effective, which it had not been and was not Kke- 
ly to be, the mere presence of Irish members at 
"Westminster constituted an acceptance of the 
Act of Union and of the authority of the Brit- 
ish Parliament to legislate for Ireland. Not 
only that ; it had also diverted the mind of the 
people to political action in a foreign land and 
away from the historic, literary, and economic 
realities of their own. Political contact dulled 
the clear-cut edge of Irish Nationalism and pro- 
moted that Anglicisation of Ireland which was 
the danger most of all to be averted. 


What form, then, should that extra-parlia- 
mentary action assume? Not force. Mr. Ar- 
thur Griffith was too coldly intellectual and too 
clear-sighted to think that force was a prac- 
ticable remedy. Nor had he at that time, though 
Separatist in his ideals, formulated in his prac- 
tical mind the conception of an Irish Republic. 
For the moment the Constitution of 1782 would 
satisfy his aims, provided that the new Parlia- 
ment should be not only the Parliament of 
Grattan, but a Parliament far more infused with 
the old traditions and the pure spirit of Irish 

Groping after a solution which would avoid a 
hopeless appeal to force, he published scattered 
articles in the United Irishman on Austro-Hun- 
garian relations. From these, in 1904, emerged 
a connected series of articles under the title of 
"The Resurrection of Hungary." In these ar- 
ticles he described the parallelism between the 
position of Hungary and Ireland, showed how 
the former had forced her freedom from Aus- 
tria, and pointed his countrymen in the same 

This practical policy at once gave vitality ta 
the spirit which was lying dormant in the new 
Nationalism. It was what Young Ireland, Cu- 
mann na nGaedheal, the Dungannon Clubs, the 
Daughters of Erin, and every Separatist or- 


ganisation in Ireland had been waiting for. In 
no long time they became fused into a single 
organisation, Sinn Fein, "Ourselves Alone." 
Here, they believed, they had found the road to 
liberty, avoiding constitutionalism on the one 
hand and armed revolution on the other. 

And Eevolution, which did not shrink from 
arms, waited in the background and watched. 



"Leabhab na h-Eieeann," or "Irish Year 
Book, " is a product of Sinn Fein, issued by a 
Publication Committee, of wMcli in 1918 Mr. 
Arthur Griffith was Chairman. The following 
description of Sinn Fein, published in 1909, is 
authoritative : 

"Sinn Fein 

Literally — 'Ourselves.' The title and expres- 
sion of a movement which denies the lawful 
existence of the incorporating Union in contra- 
distinction to Unionism and Parliamentarian- 
ism.* Sinn Fein declares Ireland to be by nat- 

*In the same issue Parliamentarianism is thus defined: 
' ' The name applied to the policy adopted by that party in Ire- 
land which agrees with Unionism in acknowledging the validity 
of the Act of Union and accepting the supremacy of the Brit- 
ish Parliament over Irish affairs, but which advocates the 
erection of a central elective local governing body in Ireland. 
To secure this it believes in action in the British Parliament. ' ' 
It will be observed that the title "Nationalist" is not applied 
to that party. 



ural and constitutional right a Sovereign State, 
and teaches that the election of Irishmen to 
serve in .the British Parliament is treason to 
the Irish State, as no lawful power exists, has 
existed, or can exist iu that Parliament to leg- 
islate for Ireland. It advocates the withdrawal 
of the Irish representatives from Westminster, 
and the formation ia Ireland of a voluntary 
legislature endowed with the moral authority 
of the Irish nation." 
The Constitution is then quoted as f oUows : — 
"The object of Sinn Fein is the re-establish- 
ment of the Independence of Ireland. 

' ' The object of the Sinn Fein policy is to unite 
Ireland on this broad national platform : 1st. 
That we are a distinct nation; 2nd. That we 
will not make any voluntary agreement with 
Great Britain until Great Britain keeps her own 
compact which she made by the Renunciation 
Act of 1783, which enacted 'that the right 
claimed by the people of Ireland to be bound 
only by laws enacted by His Majesty and the 
Parliament of that Kingdom is hereby declared 
to be established, and ascertained for ever, and 
shaE, at no time hereafter, be questioned or 
questionable.' 3rd. That we are determined to 
make use of any powers we have, or may have 
at any time in the future, to work for our own 


advancement, and for the creation of a pros- 
perous, virile and independent nation. 

' ' That the people of Ireland are a free people 
and that no law made without their authority 
or consent is, or ever can be, binding on their 

"That national self -development through the 
recognition of the duties and right of citizenship 
on the part of the individual and by the aid and 
support of all movements originating from 
within Ireland, instinct with national tradition 
and not looking outside Ireland for the accom- 
plishment of its aims, is vital to Ireland." 

Before passing on, one observation has to be 
made on the wording of Clauses 1 and 2 of this 
Constitution. They are as they stand out of 
harmony with one another, the first claiming 
independence, section 2 of the second speaking 
of a "voluntary agreement" with Great Britain 
subject to her adhesion to the Eenunciation Act 
of 1783, which elsewhere Mr. Griffith speaks of 
as a " Treaty. ' ' The reason is that the wording 
of these clauses represents a compromise be- 
tween the founders of Sinn Fein. One section 
favoured independence pure and simple and 
complete; another, including Mr. Griffith, de- 


sired to base the movement on the Grattan Con- 
stitution as it existed after the passing of the 
Eeminciation Act. This is, however, now of 
merely academic interest. Sinn Fein has long 
passed out of the phase of compromise. "The 
policy of Sinn Fein to-day," says Mr. O'Hegar- 
ty * in this present year, "is the old Sinn Fein 
policy with two alterations. In the first place, it 
is based frankly on separation, with no mention 
of the Constitution of 1782 ; and in the second 
place its immediate objective is the Peace Con- 

It is probable that Mr. Arthur Griffith did not 
contemplate a development so rapid and ex- 
treme when, in a speech of great length and, 
despite many inaccuracies, of great ability, he 
unfolded his plan at the first annual Convention 
of the National Council in November, 1905. He 
is too coldly intellectual, too lacking in warmth 
of passion or sympathy, to be a revolutionary 
chief. He is one of those who can construct rev- 
olutions, but who cannot conduct or control 
them. Mainly perhaps from his natural bent, 
partly perhaps from tactical prudence, he pre- 
sented Sinn Fein as a means for social and eco- 
nomic reform to be attained through political in- 

* Mr. O 'Hegarty claims to write with authority, as having 
been a member of the "National Council" formed by Mr. Grif- 
fith, of the Executives of the Cumann na nCraedheal, Bungannon 
Clubs, and Sinn Fein itself until 1911. 


dependence, whicli could best and most consist- 
ently be achieved by extra-parliamentary ac- 
tion. And most of all h.e insisted that all re- 
forms, social, economic, or political, should be 
inspired by and based upon the spirit of nation- 
ality. Thus in industrial matters he denounced 
Free Trade. "It does not matter that aU 
Europe has rejected it. England still holds on, 
and because England holds on, Ireland under 
the English system of education perforce con- 
cludes the 'as-good-and-as-cheap' shibboleth 
must be a gospel. With the remainder of Eng- 
land's impositions and humbugs we must bun- 
dle it out of the country. ' ' To Mr. Grifi&th Free 
Trade is not only economically unsound, but it is 
nationally disastrous because it destroys the 
idea of separate nationality. There is no inter- 
nationalism about Mr. Arthur Grriffith. As the 
apostle of national economics he holds up Fred- 
erick List, "the man who thwarted England's 
dream of the commercial conquest of the world, 
and who made the mighty confederation before 
which England has fallen commercially, and is 
falling politically — Germany." He deplores the 
predominance of agriculture and the neglect of 
manufacturing industry in Ireland not only on 
economic grounds, but because, by making her 
dependent on foreign supplies, it impairs her 
spirit of independent nationalism. He rests 


his indictment of the education system mainly 
on its anti-national character. "Education in 
Ireland." he declares, "encumbers the intellect, 
ehiUs the fancy, debases the soul, and enervates 
the body — it cuts off the Irishman from his tra- 
dition and by denying him a country debases 
his soul, it stores his mind with lumber and non- 
sense, it destroys his fancy by depriving him of 
tradition, and enervates his body by denying 
him physical culture. ' ' As proof that the funds 
provided for Irish education are "invested to 
the children's moral and national destruction," 
te says that from the primary schools come re- 
cruits for the British Army and Navy, and he 
describes the Irishman who joins the Army, 
Navy, or Eoyal Irish Constabulary as "neces- 
sarily, from that moment, the active enemy of 
his country." * 

There are many other counts in the indict- 
ment ; no branch of Irish affairs, indeed, escapes 
inclusion. But enough perhaps has been given 

* In this Mr. Griffith does an injustice. This is hardly 
consistent with facts. The Irish Independent, May 15th, 1905, 
contained a letter from Mr. Seamus Macmanus, formerly a 
school teacher and prominent member of the Gaelic League, 
which contains this passage: "The Irish youth who quits 
school without realising his duties as a rebel, is, or should be, 
a discredit to his schoolmaster. . . . He felt his conscience easy 
in the knowledge that his salary wag well and easily earned, so 
far, at least, as the stirring of discontent and the dissemina- 
tion of rebellious opinions was concerned." 


to sl\ow its tendency. Its basic doctrine is po- 
litical, Though Mr. Griffith expresses the belief 
that the elimination of the British connection 
would result in greater material progress, he 
clearly attaches equal, if not indeed greater, im- 
portance to the moral and spiritual resultswhich 
would proceed from the awakening of the na- 
tional idea. Self -centralisation, springing from 
and issuing in self-reliance, is the keystone of 
his doctrine. 

It is, however, of less importance to consider 
the objects at which he aimed than the methods 
by which he proposed to attain them. Other 
men than he had thought the same thoughts, 
though not perhaps with such definite conscious- 
ness, and certainly without the same conviction 
that the material and political were so closely 
intertwined. But what distinguishes him from 
them is this — that while recognising the futility 
of physical force he still absolutely rejects that 
which was regarded as its only alternative — 
constitutional action — as treason to Ireland. 
Parliamentary action being therefore barred, he 
directed his countrymen along the paths by 
which Hungary, Finland, and Poland had won 
to the freedom they could not reach by force of 
arms. Ireland has to construct a national life 
outside the range of British administration. 
It would not be possible at once to withdraw 


the children of Ireland from the National 
Schools, but they might gradually be absorbed 
into the schools of the Irish Christian Brothers, 
or into voluntary schools, to be created and sup- 
ported by the Irish people throughout the world. 
Secondary and University education would have 
to be reformed on similar lines, the lines laid 
down by Kossuth. As Hungary did, so should 
Ireland do in matters of law. There is no pow- 
er to compel Irishmen at variance with one an- 
other to settle their disputes in British law 
courts. Why then should they do so? Let Ire- 
land establish her own Courts of Arbitration, 
in which no barristers or solicitors should be 
allowed to practise "who had devoted their time 
to hawking their souls for sale" in the Four 
Courts, or who did not renounce their practice 
in foreign Courts. Papineau and Deak had 
tried the plan in Canada and Hungary, why not 
adopt it in Ireland? Thus Ireland should boy- 
cott British goods and the armed forces of the 
Crown. She should refuse to pay taxes, not 
necessarily in a way to offend the law, but by 
self-denial, by refusing to drink whiskey or oth- 
er alcoholic liquor, thus depriving England of 
half her Irish revenue. The banking system of 
Ireland could be broken by Kossuth's expedient 
of establishing a patriotic National Bank, which 


lent its funds to the Hungarian people, not to 
the Austrian Government. But over and above 
all else, the Irish people should refuse to send 
representatives to the British House of Com- 

Too much attention cannot be devoted to a 
consideration of the last plank in the platform 
of Sinn Fein. It is the very pith and keiTiel of 
the movement, differentiating it absolutely from 
the Old Nationalism. The Constitutional Na- 
tionalist might be as keen on material reform 
as any Sinn Feiner — ^though it has in fact hap- 
pened that the stress and turmoil of political 
"warfare have pushed economic and social re- 
form into the background except when, as in 
1880, an economic question gave vitality to the 
political movement. But the Constitutional Na- 
tionalist would be content to accept, and has ac- 
cepted, material reform from Great Britain; 
he has, like Sinn Fein, inveighed against British 
misgovernment, but he has committed treason 
against Ireland in asking England to grant 
reforms. "In the British Liberal as in the 
British Tory," says Mr. Griffith, "we see our 
enemy, and in those who talk of ending British 
misgovernment we see the helots. It is not 
British misgovernment, but British government 
in Ireland good or bad, that we are opposed to. " 


Sinn Fein, therefore, is not an offshoot of 
conMitutional Nationalism; it is a distinct or- 
ganism. , It is only because both parties claim 
to be Nationalists that there can be any confu- 
sion of thought on this point. When, in the sen- 
tence above quoted, Mr. Griffith described Brit- 
ish parties as "enemies" and the Irish Party as 
"helots," he in truth grouped them into a com- 
mon hostility to Ireland, for if his view be cor- 
rect, the Irish helot is the deadlier enemy of 
the two, because by every effort at reform he 
locks the shackles more firmly upon his country. 
No social reform, no measure of self-govern- 
ment, however generous, gained by parliamen- 
tary action or recognition of the British connec- 
tion could atone for the intolerable wrong it 
would inflict upon Ireland. This principle lies 
at the root of the Irish question as it exists to- 
day. For now there have been translated into 
fact doctrines which, when they were spoken, 
seemed to the exoteric audience fantastic utter- 
ances which marred an otherwise attractive pro- 
gramme if they were seriously meant, but which 
were probably not really serious. 

It is rather curious to look back upon the 
comments made on the New Nationalism in its 
early days. The Unionists regarded it, as one 
writer said, ' ' with mixed feelings. ' ' The politi- 


cal side, of course, they loathed. It appeared to 
them to be mad, so mad as to make it negligible, 
as a sort of window dressing. With the social 
and economic side of the programme they had a 
good deal of sympathy, it being a cardinal 
point of their creed that the real Irish problem 
is in the main economic and not political. They 
liked the doctrine of self-help, for they had ever 
deplored the fact that Ireland wasted in agita- 
tion time which might be better devoted to in- 
dustry and commerce. They regretted that Sinn 
Fein, which in some respects saw so clearly 
what were Ireland's needs, was falling into the 
same error. Moreover, the Unionists were not 
displeased to see the way in which Sinn Fein 
ridiculed and belaboured the Parliamentary 
Party. Although the attack was delivered from 
a different angle and the criticism was inspired 
from a different source, they enjoyed the attack 
and agreed with the criticism. 

The position of the parliamentary National- 
ists was much more embarrassing and less com- 
fortable. Writhing under the attacks, they 
could not venture on open reprisals. Having to 
keep an eye upon the Irish World and Mr. Pat- 
rick Ford, through whom their war-chest was 
largely supplied, they could not denounce the 
robust NationaKsm of Sinn Fein, while they 


could not accept it without a humiliating con- 
fession of error and their own disappearance 
from the field. Their attitude towards Sinn 
Fein, therefore, was rather that of a dignified 
wayfarer towards the small dog who yaps at his 
heels. Thinking it beneath his dignity to kick, he 
affects a lordly indifference the while he feels in 
fancy the creature's teeth meeting in his leg. 

There were, indeed, some anxious moments 
when fancy seemed changing into certainty. 
The readiness of the parliamentary National- 
ists to accept the Councils Bill, proffered them 
by Sir Henry Oampbell-Bannerman in 1907, in- 
tensified the hostility of Sinn Fein and secured 
for them the adhesion of many seceders 
from Mr. Eedmond's party, among them Mr. 
Dolau, the Member for North Leitrim, and Sir 
Thomas Esmonde, one of the party Whips. Al- 
though the Devolution Bill was disowned by Mr. 
Eedmond and scornfully rejected by a Conven- 
tion of the United Irish League, Sinn Fein had 
got hold of a weapon which it wielded with great 
vigour and dexterity. Mr. Dolan resigned his 
seat and sought re-election against Mr. Eed- 
mond's nominee. He was defeated, but only by 
some 800 or 900 votes. Not even the return of 
Sir Thomas Esmonde to the fold could disguise 
the fact that the ofl&cial Nationalists had only a 


small majority, in a constituency where they 
had aU the organisation and a unanimous Press, 
over Sinn Fein, which had no local papers, no 
organisation, and little money. 

The dignified wayfarer had to abandon his 
contemptuous indifference and kick out; and 
to a great extent verified the military dictum 
that the offensive is the best defence. It was 
hinted that Sinn Fein was tainted with anti- 
clericalism, and that the devout fell away. 

Inflated by the Leitrim election Mr. Grriffith 
induced Sinn Fein to start a daily paper. It 
flickered for a few months and then died out. 
Those who worship success were disheartened 
by this failure and deserted. A scheme was 
mooted by some half-hearted Sinn Feiners to 
join hands with Mr. William O'Brien, who was 
generally at loggerheads with his party — the 
basis of the compromise being that though there 
should be a Parliamentary Party it should be 
under the control of a National Executive, 
which should decide policy and tactics, and 
among the latter whether the party should at- 
tend Parliament and, if so, when it should with- 
draw. The scheme was prematurely disclosed 
and pleased no one. The advocates of the policy 
of "Thorough" on both sides denoimced it, and 
none more heartily than the Sinn Fein Execu- 


tive. But the harm was done. On top of it all 
came tlie General Election of 1910. 

As ip 1885 and 1892, the result of that elec- 
tion gave the Irish Parliamentary Party the 
balance of power in the House of Commons, and 
as in both those years the Liberal Party prom- 
ised Home Eule. Following the events above 
described, this was fatal to the Sinn Fein idea. 
The people resumed their allegiance to Mr. 
Eedmond and the rival organisation shrank to a 
shadow of its former self. Though the central 
body continued to meet, it had few branches 
to control. The United Irishman continued to 
appear, but it was comparatively neglected in 
the interest attached to the Three Years' War 
for Home Eule at Westminster. 

The parliamentary players got all the lime- 
light and the rest of the stage was ia the shade. 
But while Sinn Fein thus stood idly, a super in 
the wings, and watched the leading man playing 
his part to the admiration of the gallery, its 
resolution to oust him, so far from being weak- 
ened by its downfall, developed in intensity. 
Now this is significant. It might have been ex- 
pected that the set-back it had received would 
have tended to create in Sinn Fein a spirit of 
compromise ; that it would have endeavoured to 
rehabilitate itself by joining in the Home Eule 


struggle as advocates of a larger measure of 
self-government. As shown above, it had in 
1905 shown some disposition to accept the Con- 
stitution of 1783. Sinn Fein might, therefore, 
have thrown itself into the fight in the three 
years' war, from 1911-1914, and propounded 
that measure of self-government as the mini- 
mum which Mr. Eedmond could accept, without 
any appearance of having renounced its own 
original views. Ninety-nine parties out of a 
hundred would have played so strong a card. 
Sinn Fein did nothing of the kind. It had 
dropped Grrattan's Parliament once and for all, 
the lower its fortunes sank the stronger grew its 
vision of complete independence, and it diS' 
dained any compromise on that fundamental ar- 
ticle of its faith, even though compromise might 
have smashed its enemies, the "helots," and ad- 
hesion to principle promised to be fatal to itself. 
Let us turn back Mr. Wells's time machine 
and observe Sinn Fein as it was at the beginning 
of 1913. It is still, in the words of Mr. O'Hegar- 
ty, "the evolution of a national philosophy 
rather than a political portent. Its principles 
and policy are based upon ideas rather than 
rhetoric, and they appeal to the intellect rather 
than the passions." Its doctrines are openly 
rebellious, but its methods are not illegal. While 


the political side of its programme shocks those 
who are well affected towards British rule, and 
much o£ its programme appears to them fantas- 
tic and fanatical, there is also much that extorts 
their assent, while its moral influence connnands 
their respect. 

It now remains to examine the causes which 
have converted such an organisation into a 
revolutionary movement that openly prescribes 
sporadic assassination and selects for its allies 
the vilest elements of society. To do so we must 
leave Sinn Fein at this point and trace the 
growth of another movement, long in process of 
gestation, but at that moment quickening into 



With the possible exception of Thomas Em- 
mett, there is not in the whole gallery of Irish 
revolution a more commanding figure or arrest- 
ing personality than that of James Connolly. 
"Whatever view be taken of his doctrines, aims, 
and methods, he! compels the respect due to a 
man who, while battling for a precarious liveli- 
hood on the lowest strata of society, still con- 
trives to store his mind with knowledge; who at 
the age of twenty-six gives a new direction to 
the revolutionary movement in his own country ; 
who was a potent force in the propagation of a 
creed that is now convulsing the world; who 
fought with ardour and ability for the class to 
which he belonged ;, and who finally gave his life 
in a hopeless struggle for the principles in which 
he believed. The history of the industrial move- 
ment with which we are now concerned is com- 
promised in the twenty crowded vears of stormy 



life which lie between the foundations of the 
Irish Socialist Republican Party by James Con- 
nolly in. 1896 and his death in 1916. 

That is not to say that Irish industrialism 
had not a history, often pitiful and occasionally 
violent. There were guilds and societies weU 
back in the eighteenth century, and even in the 
days before the Reformation, and more than 
once Parliament was constrained to make in- 
quiry into the relation between masters and 
men. But the movement had no great vitality. 
Although Connolly observes that Labour was 
well organised in Dublin in the opening years of 
the nineteenth century, and was, indeed, the 
backbone of Emmet's rebellion, it made so little 
headway towards organisation that in 1895 the 
membership of the Irish unions making returns 
was no more than 17,476, divided between 93 
unions. There were other unions which be- 
longed to United Kingdom federations, or were 
branches of British organisations, but all told 
there were not more than 50,000 trade unionists 
in Ireland. And it is notable that in his book, 
Labour in Ireland, Connolly makes little or 
no allusion to the growth or decay of Irish la- 
bour organisation in the past, except the casual 
reference just quoted. And he himself gives as 
the reason that his purpose was not to write a 


history of labour in Ireland, but to give a record 
of labour in Irish history. 

At first sight the distinction is not startling, 
yet it contains the key to the new industrialism 
which he founded, and explains why he launched 
his movement within two years of the meeting 
of the first Irish Trade Union Congress, which 
claimed to open up new vistas to the workers of 
Ireland. The weak point in that development 
of labour was to him that it lacked the idea of 
Irish Nationalism. True, it had asserted the 
Irish labour movement's independence of Brit- 
ish influence, and had thereby incurred the 
displeasure of British trade unionism, but this 
independence was not based on the conception 
of a labour movement founded on Gaelic ideas 
and finding its origin and sanction in Gaelic 

Connolly himself explains his meaning in the 
course of articles, first published in the Shcm 
Van VocJit* and afterwards reprinted under 
the title of Erin's Hope: 

"The I.S.R.P. was founded in Dublin in 1896 
by a few working men whom the writer had suc- 
ceeded in interesting in his proposition that the 
two currents of revolutionary thought in Ire- 
land — the Socialist and the National — rwere not 

•See Chapter III. 


antagonistic, but complementary, and that the 
Irish Socialist was in reality the best Irish pa- 
triot, but ill order to convince the Irish people 
of that fact he must first learn to look inward 
upon Ireland for his justification, rest his argu- 
ments upon the facts of Irish history and be 
champion against the subjection of Ireland and 
all that it implies. That the Irish question was 
at the bottom an economic question, and that the 
economic struggle must first be able to function 
nationally before it could function internation- 
ally, and as Socialists were opposed to all op- 
pression so should they ever be foremost in the 
daily battle against all its manifestations social 
and political." 

Were the practice not abhorrent to right- 
thinking persons, the reader might almost do 
well to turn down the corner of this page, in or- 
der that the above passage may be easy for ref- 
erence, so much does it reveal that is new, so 
much does it explain that it is essential to un- 
derstand. The very name of the book in which 
it appeared is significant. Erin's hope lay not 
only in the uplifting of her proletariat through 
Socialism, but through Socialism in&pired by 
Irish ideas. While the Socialists of other lands 
are bidden to look wide over the great human 
family, overleaping the artificial lines of terri- 


torial boundaries, and studying the story of the 
race rather than the nation, the Irish Socialist 
is taught to concentrate his vision on his own 
country and its history, its traditions and its in- 
stitutions, buried under the detritus of centu- 
ries. It is our task to trace how Connolly based 
his Socialism on Gaelic traditions and institu- 
tions, and propounded revolutionary methods 
as the result of his study of Irish history. But 
the real importance of the passage lies in the ex- 
planation it gives of the future relations which 
arose, and which exist to-day, between the polit- 
ical and bourgeois and the economic and proleta- 
rian revolutionary movements. James ConnoUy 
was, indeed, a Sinn Feiner, preaching its funda- 
mental doctrine — though applied to different 
objects — ^before ever Mr. Arthur Griffiths began 
to move. 

Thus were sown in 1896 the seeds which have 
sprung up into armed revolution and political 
complications the most involved and distracting. 
How they came to be sown must, therefore, be 
understood, and to reach a proper understand- 
ing we should have some knowledge of the fac- 
tors which went to the making of the man who 
sowed them. 

Of no man can it more certainly be said that 
he takes out of his learning very much what he 
brings to it than of James Connolly. By he- 


redity lie was a rebel, by bitter experience he 
was a revolutionary, by Ms environment be be- 
came a Socialist. His uncle was a Fenian, and 
in his coinpany he attended meetings of extreme 
Nationalists when he was a boy in Edinburgh. 
Thus he faced the vicissitudes of his life in Scot- 
land with a strong bias towards Nationalism in 
its insurrectionary form. And what vicissitudes 
they were ! As a boy of eleven he worked in a 
bakery until his health gave way, and then he 
was navvy, pedlar, and sometimes tramp, until 
for a couple of comparatively prosperous years 
he had a job in an Edinburgh factory. Then a 
return to his native Ireland, and back again to 
Edinburgh to take up the work of a dustman un- 
der the Corporation. No wonder the iron en- 
tered his soul and the idea of political insurrec- 
tion grew into revolutionary hatred of his condi- 

Always a student, Connolly might have con- 
fined his studies to Irish literature had he been 
in Ireland. Being in Scotland, a country where 
philosophy is popular, and where at that time 
it happened that the study of social philosophy 
was attracting great attention, he, by a natural 
process, became a Socialist, and a Socialist of the 
Marxian school. There was then in Edinburgh 
one John Leslie, who had written a pamphlet 


in whicli the Lalxd League was discussed from 
the standpoint of Socialistic Labour, and its 
teaching gave direction to his mind. Thus fall- 
ing under Leslie 's infl^xence, he took the decisive 
step of his life. He had given up his post as 
dustman in order to stand as a Socialist candi- 
date for the Town Council of Edinburgh; was 
defeated, and being out of work resolved to go 
to Chili to try farming. Leslie persuaded him 
to cultivate Socialism in Ireland instead, and 
accordingly he went to Dublin, where he got 
work as a navvy in some big drainage opera- 
tions, and afterwards found employment as a 
proofreader on a Sunday paper. 

Here, then, we find united the hereditary 
rebel, the convinced Socialist, the man embit- 
tered by experience, consumed with a sympathy 
for his class, less vehement in expression than 
his future coadjutor Larkin, but not the less 
deadly for being more restrained. This short 
sketch of Connolly's career enables us to under- 
stand what lay behind the Irish Socialist Ee- 
pubUcan Party. 

But that is not enough. It remains to exam- 
ine Connolly's interpretation of Irish history. 
It need not be examined in a critical spirit; to 
do so indeed would be a grave mistake. For the 
thing that matters is not whether Connolly's 


reading of it were true or false, but that it is tlie 
version whicli he gave to his foUo-wers. The 
writer, therefore, tme to his self-imposed pur- 
pose, wiU*present Connolly's views with as little 
comment or criticism as possible. 

Bringing to the study of Irish history an he- 
redity bent towards insurrectionary methods, 
Connolly brought away from it a profound con- 
tempt for its historians and an ineradicable 
hostility to Nationalism of the type to which the 
last four generations have been accustomed. 
When he objects to the historians that they 
ignore or violate the dictum of Marx, "that ia 
every historical epoch the prevailing method of 
economic production and exchange, and the so- 
cial organisation necessarily following from it, 
form the basis upon which alone can be ex- 
plained the political and intellectual history of 
that epoch," he makes a charge to which, until 
recently, the historians of aU countries are 
equally open. They viewed events in a false 
perspective, as quite probably they were viewed 
by those who took part ia them. But Connolly 
goes further, and seems to regard the ignoring 
of social and economic phenomena by Irish his- 
torians as wilful and of set purpose. Their mis- 
reading of Irish history appears to him to be 
due, not to ignorance of the true functions of 


the Mstorian, but to deliberate treachery, bom 
of the instinct of self-preservation. 

The conspiracy had its starting-point in the 
dispersion of the Clans and the disappearace of 
the old system of communal land-ownership in 
1649. Until the final victory of Cromwell the 
basis of Irish Society rested on tribal ownership 
of land, except within the Pale, and consequent- 
ly when the tribes went to war against England 
they were fighting not only for political free- 
dom, but for their land as well. With the sup- 
pression of the tribal or clan system the social 
and economic aspect of the conflict sank out of 
sight. With the passing of the tribal system and 
of the Chiefs of the Clans, the direction of the 
patriotic movement fell into the hands of the 
middle class — for the aristocracy were only pa- 
triotic so long as they feared that the land which 
was theirs by confiscation would be taken from 
them — and so became for the most part the 
idealised expression of middle-class interest. On 
these lines was Irish patriotic history written, 
and on these lines did Irish patriotism operate. 

"Hence," says Connolly,* "the spokesmen 
of the middle-class, in the Press and on the plat- 
form, have consistently sought the emasculation 
of the Irish National Movement, the distortion 

* "Lessons of History," p. 5. 


of Irisli Mstory, and, above all, the denial of aU 
relation between the social rights of the Irish 
tribes and the political rights of the Irish na- 
tion. It was hoped and intended by this means 
to create what is termed ' a real National Move- 
ment,' i.e., a movement in which each class 
would unite in a national struggle against the 
common enemy — ^England." 

It is not difficult to see how such a policy 
might inspire a constitutional programme, as ac- 
cording to Connolly it did, but he goes further 
and sees its taint even in revolutionary move- 

"During the last hundred years every gener- 
ation has witnessed an attempted rebellion 
against British rule. Every such conspiracy or 
rebellion has drawn the majority of its adher- 
ents from the lower orders in town and country, 
yet under the inspiration of a few middle-class 
doctrinaires the social question has been rigor- 
ously excluded from the field of action to be cov- 
ered by the rebellion if successful ; in hopes that 
by such exclusion it would be possible to concili- 
ate the upper classes and enlist them in the 
struggle for freedom." 

As a result they failed — "a warning to those 
who neglect the vital truth that successful revo- 
lutions are not the product of our brains, but 
of ripe material conditions." 


Connolly writes of this error of the insurreo- 
tionists as much in sorrow as in anger; when he 
comes to describe the career of parliamentary- 
Nationalism his anger is tempered only by con- 
tempt. He is a political iconoclast, shattering 
patriotic reputations ruthlessly and pouring 
ridicule on the stock arguments and most telling 
catchwords of patriotic orators. There is no 
more picturesque figure in Irish history than 
that of Sarsfield; he has become a legendary 
hero of Irish Nationalism. The defence of Lim- 
merick, when, in the words of the French com- 
mandant, its walls could be "battered down with 
roasted apples," against William himself, is 
regarded as a national epic. Yet of Sarsfield 
and his men Connolly declares that "so far 
from the paeans of praise lavished on them be- 
ing justified, it is questionable whether a more 
enlightened or patriotic age than our own will 
not condemn them as little better than traitors 
for their action in seducing the Irish people 
from their allegiance to the cause of their coun- 
try's freedom to plunge them into war on behalf 
of a foreign tyrant. ' ' To Connolly the William- 
ite war was a disaster, not because the Catholic 
King was defeated, but because Ireland took 
part in it and so lost the chance of complete 
independence while "the forces of their oppres- 
sors were rent in civil war. ' ' 


It had this further disastrous effect, that it 
ranged the leaders of both parties on the side of 
feudalisnft* "The so-called patriotic efforts of 
the Catholic gentry were directed to the conser- 
vation of their own rights of property, as 
against the right of the English Parliament to 
interfere with or regulate such rights. The so- 
called Patriot Parliament in Dublin was, in real- 
ity, like every other Parliament that ever sat in 
Dublin, merely a collection of land-thieves and 
their lackeys; their patriotism consisted in an 
effort to retain for themselves the spoils of the 
native peasantry ; the English influence against 
which they protested was the influence of their 
fellow-thieves in England hungry for a share in 
the spoil; and Sarsfield and his followers did 
not become Irish patriots because of their fight 
against King William's Government any more 
than an Irish Whig out of office becomes a 
patriot because of his hatred to the Tories who 
are in." 

From the view-point of ConnoUy, therefore, 
the WiUiamite war loses all the dignity with 
which it has been invested by Irish patriots. 
Sarsfield 's dying words at Landen, "Oh, that 
this blood had been shed for Ireland," became 
the merest "tosh," and dishonest tosh at that, 

* Ldbovr in Irish History, p. 17. 


for tlie shedding of it would only have served to 
place a foreign foot upon his country's neck in 
order that he might enjoy the spoil of his delud- 
ed fellow-countrymen. The only importance of 
the struggle which ended at Limerick in 1691 
lies in this — that it stereotyped a form of patri- 
otism, always vicious, and fatal where it was not 



Theeb events make the eigMeenth century no- 
table in the story of Irish. Nationalism — ^the Pe- 
nal Laws, Grattan's Parliament, and the Act of 
Union. While the latter event is the starting- 
point of the Parliamentary Movement, and 
Grattan's Parliament represents its ideal, the 
Penal Laws are invoked in well-nigh every 
speech to keep the flame of patriotism alight. 
These are the keynotes of the war-song of Na- 
tionalism. ConnoUy, on the other hand, dis- 
misses them as historical incidents having no 
particular bearing on the Irish question as he 
sees it. Such importance as the Penal Laws 
possessed arose from the fact that they helped 
to place the manufacturing business of the coun- 
try in the hands of Protestants; otherwise he 
holds them to be of purely "posthumous inter- 
est." They are indefensible, but to denounce 
them is to waste time and even some sympathy. 
For he points out that the effect of the Code in 



impoverishing the Catholics has been touch 

In 1763 a Bill was introduced in the Irish 
House of Commons to give greater facilities to 
Protestants ^Rdshing to! borrow money from 
Catholics, which would indicate that the op- 
pressed had managed to thrive under the Penal 
Laws. And Connolly would almost seem to con- 
demn the attention which has been given to these 
laws, as having the effect of distracting atten- 
tion which would be better devoted to the work- 
ing out of economic laws which caused infinitely 
greater misery and hardship to the people irre- 
spective of religion, such as the famine of 1740, 
or the removal of the embargo on the admis- 
sions of Irish meat, cattle, butter, and cheese 
into England.* 

"The 'patriots' who occupied the public stage 
in Ireland during the period we have been deal- 
ing with never once raised their voices to protest 
against such social injustice. Like their imita- 
tors to-day they regarded the misery of the Irish 
people as a convenient handle for political agi- 
tation; and, like their imitators to-day, they 
were ever ready to outvie the Government in 
their denunciation of all those who, more ear- 

* The effect of this measure was so to enhance the piiee of 
the articles as to make tillage comparatively unprofitahle, with 
the result that small holders were evicted to establish ranches. 


nest than themselves, sought to find a radical 
cure for such miseiy. ' ' * 

In thfs general condenmation he includes men 
like Lucas, Molyneux, and Swift, although that 
great man had penned some of his bitterest sat- 
ires on the side of the suffering people. Their 
agitation for the repeal of Poynings' Law ap- 
pears to Connolly a mere beating of the wind, 
dishonest in its motive — ^though the dishonesty 
may have been unconscious — and entirely futile 
for its purpose, however successful. In this, of 
course, he runs directly counter to the accepted 
belief of H6me Eule Nationalism. Poynings' 
Law placed Irish legislation under the control of 
the British Parliament, it reduced the Irish 
Legislature to a mere debating society. It is a 
frequent theme of Nationalist oratory, adorning 
many a speech and pointing a patriotic moral. 
To Connolly it mattered not a jot whether 
Poynings' Law were repealed or not; the result 
to Ireland would be much the same. Indeed the 
only difference to Ireland lay in this, that were 
the Law repealed the people would be plundered 
by Irishmen; whUe it remained in existence 
Englishmen shared in the plunder. The passage 
in which this theory is expounded merits quo- 
tation as typical of Connolly's position. 

* Labcmr in Irish History, p. 32. 


"In course of time the section of land-thieves 
resident in England did claim a right to super- 
vise the doings of the adventurers in Ireland, 
and, consequently, to control their Parliament. 
Hence arose Poynings' Law and the subordina- 
tion of the Dublin Parliament to the London 
Parliament. Finding this subordinate position 
of their Parliament enabled the English ruling 
class to strip the Irish workers of the fruits of 
their toil, the more far-seeing of the privileged 
class in Ireland became alarmed lest the strip- 
ping process should go too far, and leave noth- 
ing for them to fatten on. 

"At once they became patriots, anxious that 
Ireland — ^which, in their phraseology, meant the 
ruling class in Ireland — should be free from the 
control of the Parliament of England. Their 
pamphlets, speeches and all public pronounce- 
ments were devoted to telling the world how 
much nicer, equitable, and altogether more de- 
lectable it would be for the Irish people to be 
robbed in the interests of a native-born aristoc- 
racy than to witness the painful spectacle of 
that aristocracy being compelled to divide the 
plunder with its English rival. ' ' * Perhaps, he 
admits. Swift and his friends did not confess 
even to themselves that this was the beisis of 
* Labour in Irish Bistory, p. 34, 


their political creed, but lie feels bound to ex- 
pose the flimsy sophistry which strives to im- 
part to*a sordid, self-seeking struggle the ap- 
pearance of a patriotic movement. 

As with Swift and Molyneux, so with Grattan 
and Flood, the "Two Harries," as they are 
contemptuously called by Connolly, quoting the 
words of a street ballad written at the time of 
what he calls the "betrayal of the Irish Volun- 
teers." Grattan is "the ideal capitalist states- 
man, his spirit was the spirit of the bourgeoisie 
incarnate. He cared more for the rights of 
property than for human rights or the interests 
of any religion." "The eminently respectable, 
anti-revolutionary, religious Mr. Henry Grattan 
was at heart a free thinker, free lover, and epi- 
curean philosopher." He had accepted a dona- 
tion of £50,000 from the Government for his 
"patriotic" services, and afterwards "in excess 
of gratitude for this timely aid repaid the Gov- 
ernment by betraying and denouncing the Vol- 

Henry Flood fares little better. "Flood, the 
great Protestant" patriot — ^he of whom Davis 
sings : 

Bless Henry Mood, who nobly stood 
By us through gloomy years — 

in the Irish House of Commons of 1763 fiercely 


denounced the Government for not killing 
enough of the white boys.* He called it "clem- 
ency. ' ' He is further described as a known ene- 
my of the oppressed peasantry and a hater of 
Catholics, and it is charged against him that he 
spoke and voted in favour of a motion to pay 
the expenses of an army of 10,000 British sol- 
diers to put down the Eevolution in America. 

Having thus stripped from these protagonists 
of self-government the halos with which Na- 
tionalism has invested them, Connolly proceeds 
to shatter the image, constructed by popular 
fancy and historical distortion, of the constitu- 
tional system they brought into being. The 
Constitution of 1782 has been represented as an 
ideal to be worked for, but so splendid as almost 
to be beyond reasonable hope of attainment. It 
was the goal of O'Connell; others, claiming to 
be as patriotic as he, based their claim on de- 
mands less extreme. The period during which 
Ireland enjoyed that Constitution is depicted 
as a golden age, socially and economically. Irish 
prosperity was advancing by leaps and bounds, 
owing its origin to the free Parliament, and 
owing its end to the Act of Union. 

*A secret organisation, very powerful in the South of Ire- 
land, so called from wearing white shirts as a disguise. Their 
grievances were agrarian and their method ferocious. 


Connolly devotes some space to the dissipa- 
tion of the latter delusion. In the first place he 
denies that Ireland was really prosperous at all. 
In 1786* the Munster peasantry, then fighting 
against tithes, called upon the Irish Parliament 
to help them in their misery, plundered by the 
Protestant clergy in the form of tithes and by 
the Catholic clergy in the name of dues. Wages 
in Meath were 6d. a day in summer and 4d. in 
winter, and in 1796 the advertisement of a 
Charity Sermon in the Parish Chapel, Meath 
Street, Dublin, stated that in three streets in the 
parish of St. Catherine's "2000 souls had been 
found in a starving condition." 

WhUe Connolly, as a Socialist, is bound to 
hold that the economic condition of Ireland un- 
der Grattan's Parliament was bad because of 
the inadequate share of Labour in the wealth 
produced, he admits that from the capitalist 
standpoint, taking the volume of wealth pro- 
duced as a standard, Ireland was during this pe- 
riod prosperous. But he stoutly denies that in 
any but an infinitesimal degree was this pros- 
perity produced by Parliament. The establish- 
ment of free trading relations between Great 
Britain and Ireland, which antedated Grattan's 
Parliament by some few years, was contribu- 
tory to it, but the root cause lay in an economic 


development outside the power of Parliament to 
create or destroy. The grant of parliamentary 
independence to Ireland coincided with great 
mechanical discoveries, which revolutionised 
manufacture, and by reducing the cost of manu- 
factured goods gave an enormous stimulus to 
trade. Arkwright invented the water-frame in 
1769, Hargreave and Crampton followed within 
the next decade with the spinning jenny and 
mechanical mule, the steam engine was applied 
to blast furnaces in 1788. Domestic industries 
gave place to factories, and the factories were 
hard set to supply the hosts of customers at- 
tracted by the new prices. The cotton and linen 
trades trebled their output, the iron trade was 
doubled. The boom held during the life of 
Grattan's Parliament; its end came soon after 
the Union, but not as a consequence of it. 

The cause of the slump, as of the boom, was 
not political, but economic. As the inventor had 
created Irish trade, so did the inventor destroy 
it. The application of steam not only revolu- 
tionised methods of manufacture, but it diverted 
the process of manufacture to British factories. 
So long as the new machinery could be worked 
by hand Ireland could hold her own, but when 
steam came to be applied to the service of in- 
dustry, the possession of coal weighted the 


scales fatally against her. During the debate in 
the Irish Parliament on the Union BUI, Mr. Fos- 
ter stated that the Irish production of linen was 
twice as 'great as that of Scotland — ^namely, 
47,000,000 yards as against 23,000,000— and he 
attributed this to the fact that Ireland had a na- 
tive Parliament. By the year 1830, the single 
port of Dundee exported more linen than the 
whole of Ireland, and this melancholy result has 
been attributed to the Union. Connolly derides 
the argument. Scotland, he says, like Ireland, 
had been deprived of self-government. Why 
then had Scottish manufacturers advanced and 
Irish declined? Simply because Scotland had 
coal and other advantages which Ireland lacked. 

Grattan's Parliament is the Mecca of Parlia- 
mentary Nationalism as the Union is its Hegira. 
Connolly is contemptuous of both. 

"The theory that the fleeting 'prosperity' of 
Ireland was created by the Parliament of Grat- 
tan is only useful to its propagators as a prop 
to their arguments that the Legislative Union 
between Great Britain and Ireland destroyed 
the trade of the latter country, and that, there- 
fore, the repeal of that Union would lead to the 
re-establishment of Irish manufacturers on a 
paying basis. The fact that the Union placed 
all Irish manufacturers upon an absolutely 



equal basis legally with the mamifacturers of 
Eiigla)|id is usually ignored, or, worse still, per- 
verted in its statement so as to leave the impres- 
sion that the reverse is the case. In fact many 
thousanijs of our countrymen still believe that 
English laws prohibit mining in Ireland after 
certain minerals and the manufacture of certain 
articles. . . . There are not, and have not been 
since the iMion, any such laws." * 

He proceeds to suggest the application of the 
Socratic method by any student anxious to pur- 
sue the study of this remarkable controversy 
in Irish history. Let him, he says, propound 
this question to any leading exponent of Parlia- 
mentarianism : 

"Please explain the process by which the re- 
moval of Parliament from Dublin to London — 
a removal absolutely unaccompanied by any 
legislative interference with Irish industry — 
prevented the Irish capitalist class from con- 
tinuing to produce goods for the Irish market." 

He will, he proceeds, get no logical answer to 
his question — ^no answer that any reputable 
thinker on economic questions will accept for a 
moment. He will get figures of exports and em- 
ployment — that was O'Connell's method, which 

* Labour in Irish History, p. 45. 


has been slavishly copied ever since. But neither 
O 'Connell nor his successors have ever attempt- 
ed to analyse and explain the process br which 
their indftstries were destroyed. One explana^ 
tion only has been given — that the Union led to 
absenteeism, but that is "worse than childish." 
A few hundreds or thousands may have spent 
more, or all of their time in England, but what 
of the millions that remained? They, too, wore 
boots, and shirts, and used tools. English, 
Scottish, French, and Belgian manufacturers 
throve by supplying the Irish people with 
goods, the Irish manufacturers alone could not. 
Why? The question remains unanswered. 

But Connolly is not content to disprove these 
ordinarily accepted doctrines, he propounds a 
positive theory of his own which is in utter con- 
tradiction to them. It was not, he maintains, 
the Union which produced the weakness of Irish 
manufacturers, but the weakness of Irish manu- 
facturers which made the Union possible. Had 
there been in Ireland a wealthy and energetic 
capitalist class, it would have been a barrier 
against corruption. Again, a strong and enter- 
prising capitalist class would not, at Grattan's 
bidding, have forsaken and denounced the Vol- 
unteers when they demanded a reformed par- 
liamentary representation and a more popular 


suffrage. And an Ireland controlled by popular 
suffrage would undoubtedly have established a 
stringent system of protection wbicli, applied in 
time, might have neutralised the advantage 
which her coalfields gave to Great Britain in the 
race for wealth. 

Taking such a view of the political patriots 
of the eighteenth century, and the conscious or 
subconscious motives of the movements they 
directed and controlled, it is not surprising that 
Connolly conceived a profound distrust of con- 
stitutional patriotism and of the parliamentary 
institutions in which they found their field of 
operations. To him there was no difference 
between a Parliament endowed with the powers 
obtained by Grattan and the Volunteers and a 
Parliament shackled and made impotent by 
Poynings' Law. As to the aviator, hills and 
valleys are flattened into one level plain, so to 
Connolly Ireland's history from 1641 to 1800 
presents no alternations of outline, it is a dreary 
level of futility, treachery, and corruption. 
Holding that belief, he regards all the agitation 
of the nineteenth century with contempt, as an 
effort, always fatuous and generally dishonest, 
to restore a system which was useless at its 
best, and at its worst was absolutely fatal to 
Ireland's cause. Henceforth he devotes but lit- 


tie attention to constitutional agitation, except 
so far as it touches the revolutionary move- 
ment, in which alone he sees hope of the regen- 
eration of Ireland. 

In his last speech against the Union, Henry 
Grattan, seeing defeat to be inevitable, apostro- 
phised Ireland in a passage which has often 
been quoted: 

"Yet I do not give up the country; I see her 
in a swoon, but she is not dead : 

Thou art not conquered; beauty's ensign yet 

Ib crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, 

And Death's pale flag is not advanced there." 

So, too, might have spoken Connolly. For he 
sees the promise of returning life in the national 
revolutionary movement which came into being 
while Grattan 's Parliament was at its zenith. 



Foe parliamentary Nationalism the eighteenth 
century contains four facts of capital impor- 
tance: the Union, Grattan's Parliament, the Pe- 
nal Laws, the rising of '98. The first gives it its 
raison d'etre, the second its ideal, the two latter 
provide it with material to rouse the passions 
and stimulate the ardour of its supporters. For 
Connolly the century contains only one phenom- 
enon of moment — the establishment of the So- 
ciety of United Irishmen in 1791. In that event 
he sees the dawn of a new day in Ireland's life, 
the opening of an era of new visions nobler than 
the old, in that they were social rather than po- 
litical. It is not the least of his charges against 
Parliamentarianism that, while it has made of 
the rising of 1798 an epic of patriotism, it has 
deliberately obscured and betrayed the princi- 
ples of which that insurrection was the expres- 


"Few movements in history have been more 
consistently misrepresented by open enemies 
and prof eSsed admirers than that of the United 
Irishmen. . . . The middle-class 'patriotic' his- 
torians, orators, and journalists of Ireland have 
ever vied with one another in enthusiastic de- 
scriptions of their military exploits on land and 
sea, their hair-breadth escapes and heroic mar- 
tyrdom, but have resolutely suppressed or dis- 
torted their writings, songs, and manifestoes." 

It may be that Connolly, bringing to the study 
of the United Irishmen movement a mind filled 
with Socialistic teaching, read into it a more 
reasoned and genuine expression of the doc- 
trine of social revolt than it contained. It was 
probably more of a political movement than he 
admits, but it was certainly more of a social 
movement than subsequent generations have 
recognised. It is, indeed, only by recognising 
that fact that an explanation can be found for 
the appearance of such an organisation at a mo- 
ment when Ireland had her own Parliament, 
equipped with very ample powers, and when she 
was on the flood-tide of a prosperity to which 
she was unaccustomed. The influence of the so- 
cial side of the movement has made itself felt 
in subsequent revolutionary movements, such as 
those in which Thomas Emmett and John 


Mitchell were the leading figures. And there 
can be no question of the influence of the United 
Irishmen on Connolly himself, and even, per- 
haps, upon Sinn Fein. 

Indeed, there is so curious a parallelism be- 
tween the objects of the United Irishmen on 
one side, and Sinn Fein and James Connolly on 
the other, that, were generalised inference not 
so notoriously dangerous, one would be tempted 
to say that at this point Sinn Fein and the 
Workers' Eepublic touched hands for a mo- 
ment, to meet again in co-operation after more 
than a century. To read Connolly's analysis 
of the history of the United Irishmen is almost 
to read the story of Sinn Fein : 

"The organisation was at first an open, 
peaceful association, seeking to utilise the ordi- 
nary means of political agitation in order to 
spread its propaganda among the masses, and 
so prepare them for the accomplishment of its 
greater end — ^viz., the realisation in Ireland of 
a republic. . . . Afterwards . . . the organisa- 
tion assumed the veil and methods of secrecy, 
and in that form attained to such proportions as 
enabled it to enter into negotiations with the 
Revolutionary Directory of France." 

For the last four words write "Germany," 


and the parallelism is complete, even to the de- 
tail that neither of the foreign allies selected 
was resjJeotable. 

Read the century-old Minutes of the first 
Dublin Society of United Irishmen — ^they might 
have been penned by Arthur Griffith : 

"We have no National Government; we are 
ruled by Englishmen and the servants of Eng- 
lishmen, whose object is the interest of another 
country ; whose instrument is corruption ; whose 
strength is the weakness of Ireland. ..." 

In the Secret Manifesto to the Friends of 
Freedom in Ireland it is stated that the external 
business of the society wiU be first propaganda, 
second communication with provincial centres 
and the formation of a National Convention of 
the people of Ireland. Sinn Fein calls it Dail 

If we turn to the social side of. the pro- 
gramme, we find the germs of the proletarian 
revolutionary movement. It teems with refer- 
ences to the Rights of Man and the grandeur of 
the mission of the French revolutionaries. ' ' Our 
freedom must be had at all hazards," so writes 
"Wolfe Tone. "If the men of property wiU not 
help us they must fall ; we will free ourselves by 
the aid of that large and respectable class of the 
community — the men of no property." 


From the Minutes of the first Dublin Society, 
already quoted, another extract may he made : 

"When the aristocracy come forward, the 
people fall backward ; when the people come for- 
ward, the aristocracy, fearful of being left be- 
hind, insinuate themselves into our ranks and 
rise into timid leaders or treacherous auxilia- 
ries. They mean to make us their instruments, 
let us make them our instruments. . . . The peo- 
ple must serve the party, or the party must 
emerge in the mightiness of the people, and 
Hercules will then lean upon his club. On the 
14th of July, the day which shall ever commemo- 
rate the French Revolution, let this Society pour 
out their first libation to European liberty, even- 
tually the liberty of the world and ... let them 
swear to maintain the rights and prerogatives 
of their nature as men, and the rights and pre- 
rogative of Ireland as an independent people." 

In these and similar passages, crude as is 
their doctrine and turgid their phraseology, can 
be discerned the germ of new ideas of democra- 
cy, of internationalism and of class warfare. Of 
the second, indeed, the traces of a very shadowy 
character, and too much must not be deducted 
from the references to France. The Eevolution 
was then in the minds of all, the "Rights of 
Man" tripped from every tongue. The Irish, 


ever quick to take impression from outside, 
would take them most readily from a country 
the traditional enemy of England, and the asy- 
lum for thousands of Irish refugees. But the 
ideas of class interest, of what would now be 
called perhaps class consciousness, were assum- 
ing reality. 

Before the break-up of the Confederation of 
Kilkenny and the disappearance of the Clans 
from Irish history the main lines of cleavage 
had been racial and religious, and so they con- 
tinued for half a century. But the Penal Laws, 
which did maintain the religious cleavage, also 
produced another cleavage which cut across it. 
They did so in two ways. First, though it is 
frequently forgotten, there were Penal Laws 
against Presbyterians which in some respects 
were more efficiently applied than those against 
the Catholics. Next, the anti-Catholic Laws, 
though they were so outrageous that they re- 
mained to a considerable extent a dead letter, 
did have the effect of placing the industrial and 
commercial business of the country in the hands 
of the Protestants. The employers of labour 
were not considerate — ^there is abundant evi- 
dence in the reports of Parliamentary Commis- 
sions, taken early in the nineteenth century, to 
show that artisans were receiving not even star- 
vation wages, but wages which had to be supple- 


mented by the mendicancy of the family to keep 
them from starvation. Probably, on the whole, 
the Protestant workers were the worst off, for 
they formed the bulk of the industrial popula- 
tion. In the rural districts the Catholic tenant- 
ry found, as Connolly puts it, that "the Catholic 
landlord represented the Mass less than the 
rent-roll," and in the preceding chapter we 
have seen them protesting as much against the 
exactions of the Catholic priest as of the Pro- 
testant parson. Thus were formed other lines 
of cleavage — ^between rich and poor, employers 
and employed, landlord and tenant — ^which cut 
across the religious difference and forged a new 
bond of fellowship between the members of the 
conflicting creeds. Hence it came about that 
Wolfe Tone, who, if he were anything, was a 
Protestant, was for a time secretary of the 
Catholic Committee and became the founder of 
the United Irishmen, many of whose leaders 
were Protestants, and which numbered many of 
their co-religionists among the rank and file, the 
bulk of which represented the older faith. And 
it is not without significance that the Society of 
United Irishmen was founded in Belfast. 

While, then, it is doubtful how far the ab- 
stractions represented by the French Eevolu- 
tion had permeated the mass of the United 


Irishmen, there can be no doubt that in their 
movement can be found the first organisation 
on anything like a national scale of the Irish 
proletariat. The operations of the Oak Boys 
and Hearts of Steel in Monaghan Down, and 
Antrim, and of the more formidable White Boys 
in the south, were the premonitory symptoms of 
the discontent which the United Irishmen util- 
ised in furtherance of their political purpose 
with some suggestion that the wrongs should be 
righted. The accusation which Connolly makes 
against the parliamentary patriots is this — ^that 
while they utilised the discontent, they made no 
effort to remove or mitigate its causes ; nay, that 
in some cases they resolutely refused to do so. 

However far the movement of the United 
Irishmen may have been permeated by demo- 
cratic and proletarian influence, there is no 
doubt that the Emmett Conspiracy owed to them 
such success as it had, and was in its nature 
much more closely allied with modem Social- 
ism. Labour had been building up an organisa- 
tion until there were in Dublin in the opening 
years of the nineteenth century a number of so- 
cieties, friendly societies in name, but subserv- 
ing the purpose of trade unions. Being Ulegal, 
these organisations were compelled to secrecy, 
and so became admirable engines of revolution- 


ary propaganda and organisation. It happened 
also that the leaders of the United Irishmen, 
who were mainly of the middle dass, had disap- 
peared, and that consequently the direction of 
the conspiracy fell more into the hands of a low- 
er order. Emmett himself was a social reformer 
of an advanced type. In the proclamation which 
he prepared to be issued in the name of the 
Provisional Government of Ireland, the first 
three articles provided for the wholesale confis- 
cation and nationalisation of all Church proper- 
ty, and the transfer of all landed property, 
bonds, debentures and public securities until the 
National Government should be established and 
a national decision taken as to their disposition. 
In his account of the Emmett Conspiracy 
Connolly mentions an incident of no historical 
moment, but interesting as revealing his attitude 
towards those whom he contemptuously calls 
"patriots." Daniel O'Connell was turned out 
in the Lawyers' Yeomanry Corps of Dublin on 
the night of the rising, and later pointed out to 
Mr. Daunt a house in James Street which he had 
searched for ' ' Croppies. ' ' (Croppies was a nick- 
name for the rebels.) And Connolly then goes 
on to mention that he himself was shown at 
Derrynane, the home of the O'Connells in Ker- 
,ry, a blunderbuss which he was told had been 


obtained by the future Liberator from the own- 
er of a bouse in James Street. 

A quarter of a century later O'Connell comes 
again upon tbe scene, whence he was to play the 
leading part, and to win undying adulation from 
Constitutional Nationalism and unmitigated 
hostility from the parties of Separation and 

Those twenty-five years, which the lawyer 
spent in preparation for his great political ef- 
fort, were bad years for Labour. Industrial 
prosperity was on the wane. With the close of 
the Napoleonic wars came a fall in food prices, 
and tenants found it increasingly hard to pay 
their rents. Trouble developed between land- 
lord and tenant in the country, between employ- 
er and employed in the towns. The trade unions 
seem to have acquired strength and organisa- 
tion. They were still illegal up to 1824, but 
their existence was being recognised and winked 
at by the employers, who often found it conven- 
ient to negotiate with them. With the repeal 
of the anti-combinations laws, partial as it was, 
in 1824 labour organisation developed to such 
an extent that employers became seriously con- 

The chief trouble seems to have arisen 
through the unions being rather close corpora- 


tions, restricted in their membersHp, and re- 
senting the employment of non-union men, or 
"colts."* Their dealings with the colts were 
largely executed through the medium of persons 
bearing the suggestive title of "welters," who 
conducted their physical negotiations with much 
zeal and efficiency. Parliamentary Committees 
sat from time to time to examine into com- 
plaints of violence or of restraint on trade on 
the part of the unions. Violence no doubt there 
was in plenty, but it was most rife in the earlier 
years of the movement; the less frequent calls 
on the services of the "welters" were coincident 
with, and symptomatic of the growing influence 
and authority of organisation. The most elabo- 
rate and noteworthy of these inquiries was that 
instituted on the motion of O'Connell to investi- 
gate the "constitution, proceedings and extent 
of combination by workers." 

O'Connell 's action was dictated by unveiled 
hostility to the Labour movement. "He stood 
in sober fact," says Mr. W. P. Eyan,t "for 
industrial despotism and spoliation." In the 
opening stages of his agitation for the Eepeal of 

*In their History of Trade Unionism Mr. and Mrs. Sid- 
ney Webb describe the rules of the Dublin Trades Unions as 
' ' abominably selfish, ' ' a view with which Mr. W. P. Eyan, in 
The Irish Labour Movement, does not agree. 

t The Irish Labov/r Movement, p. 89. 


the Union lie had had the bacMng of the work- 
ing classes, partly, says Connolly, because they 
accepted his doctrine that the decay of Irish 
trade was due to the Union, and partly because 
"they did not believe he was sincere in his pro- 
fessions of loyalty to the English Monarchy, 
nor in his desire to limit his aims to Repeal." * 
In return for their support he incorporated the 
trades organisations in his Association, giving 
them the same rights as the regularly enrolled 
members. To this many of his supporters ob- 
jected. The Irish Monthly Magazine, an enthu- 
siastic Repeal organ, was especially vigorous in 
its denunciation of the industrial alliance, and 
wrote that it "apprehended great mischief and 
little good from the trade unions as at present 
constituted." It is possible that such protests 
from O'Connell's followers emboldened the 
Lord Lieutenant to proclaim a huge trade union 
demonstration in favour of Repeal. An alli- 
ance of this kind, when the enthusiasm of one 
party was largely founded on the belief that the 
leader of the movement was a hypocrite, and 
when there was no reciprocal sympathy on the 
other, could not, and did not, last very long. As 
O'Connell gravitated more and more towards 
the Whig Party, then notoriously unfriendly to 

* Labour m Irish History, p. 150. 


the demands and aspirations of Labour — ^he was 
a vigorous opponent of Lord Ashley's efforts to 
amend the Factory Laws — "he gradually devel- 
oped into the most bitter and unscrupulous ene- 
my of trade unionism Ireland has yet produced, 
signalling the trade unions of Dublin out always 
for his most venomous attack. " * At last in 
1837 he was Chairman of the Masters' Anti- 
Combination Society, and was denounced by his 
former working-class supporters, who hooted 
him in the street and broke up his meetings. 

In such a spirit he moved for the inquiry of 
1838, and himself took part in it. As an attack 
on Labour it was not a success. Acts of violence 
were proved, but so also was the very deplorable 
condition of the workers. The Committee, per- 
haps for this very reason, presented no Eeport. 

To emphasise the completeness of O'Connell's 
hostility to Labour Connolly describes his dif- 
ferences with Feargus O'Connor, one of his 
ablest supporters and later famous as a leader 
of the Chartists. 'Connor held the view that 
Irish oppression was mainly economic and, see- 
ing the miserable condition of the English work- 
er, he strove to induce his leader to share his 
views and to unite the British and Irish democ- 
racies in a common movement. O'Connell re- 

* Connolly, Labour m Irish History, p. 150. 


fused the advice, although it promised him a 
large addition of strength, and the friends sep- 
arated. Indeed, during the famous State trials, 
Eichard*Lalor Shiel made it one of his pleas in 
favour of 'Connell that he had stood between 
the people of Ireland and the people of Eng- 
leind, and so "prevented a junction which would 
be formidable enough to overturn any adminis- 
tration that could be formed." 

This policy of 'Coimell and its motives will 
be variously estimated. To some it wiU appear 
admirable that he was ready to risk his position 
and impair his hope of securing Eepeal of the 
Union rather than be the means of initiating a 
social revolution, with all its attendant horrors. 
To Connolly, and the men of the modem Irish 
Labour movement, he appears as a traitor to 
democracy and the champion of industrial des- 
potism. To Sinn Fein he is a traitor to the old 
Graelic language and the old Gaelie culture, 
and a helot in that he recognised British rule, 
even though he tried to abolish it. 

Thus is this distinguished man, the "Lib- 
erator," whose name was one to conjure with in 
Irish Nationalism, cast from his pedestal by the 
Irish patriots of to-day. To one section he is a 
helot, to the other a slave-driver, to all the ene- 
my of Irish freedom. The whole Eepeal move- 


ment, indeed, is held by tliem to have been a 
betrayal of the cause of Ireland. 'Oonnell rec- 
ommended it as a link with England, he was 
ready to help England in "bringing down the 
American Eagle in its highest pride of flight." 
In saying it he was a traitor. Lord Lyndhnrst, 
in a speech, had described the Irish as "alien in 
blood, in language, and in religion." Eichard 
Lalor Shiel replied to him in a speech of im- 
passioned eloquence. In one passage, often 
quoted, he repelled the insult by extolling the 
valour of Irish soldiers in England's army. 
Shiel held Lord Lyndhnrst 's words to be an 
insult; Sinn Fein and Connolly "triumphantly 
assert the idea embodied in that phrase as the 
real basis of Irish Nationalism." 



To find tlie real thread of the revolutionary 
movement during this period we must turn from 
the town to the country. In the towns organi- 
sation was only feeling its way, and as it ad- 
vanced so did violence apparently diminish. In 
the country, on the contrary, the organisation 
was singularly effective, and as it became more 
perfect so did the ferocity of its methods in- 

The years that followed the close of the Na- 
poleonic wars were times of distress in Ireland 
as in Great Britain. As prices of foodstuffs fell, 
tenants could not pay the high rents fixed dur- 
ing the long years of war; as wheat-growing be- 
came unprofitable, farms were amalgamated in- 
to grazing estates, and in both cases evictions 
followed. And, strangely enough, the grant of 
Catholic Emancipation contributed to the trou- 
ble. That Act, which forms O'Connell's chief 
claim to the gratitude of Ireland, was accompa- 



nied by a narrowing of the franchise. Before the 
passing of the Act all tenants paying an annual 
rental of forty shillings had had a vote ; by the 
Act the qualification was fixed at £10. As a re- 
sult evictions increased. Landlords had previ- 
ously welcomed a large tenantry, which under 
the system of open voting increased their politi- 
cal power. This inducement being removed, they 
were the more ready to obey the dictates of the 
economic difficulties above mentioned, and to 
reduce the number of their tenants. ' ' The Cath- 
olic middle, professional, and landed classes," 
says Connolly, "by Catholic Emancipation had 
the way opened to them for all the snug berths 
in the disposal of the Government; the Catholics 
of the poorer class as a result of the same Act 
were doomed to extermination to satisfy the 
vengeance of a foreign Government and an 
aristocracy whose power had been defied when 
it knew itself most supreme." 

The result was the famous Eibbon Move- 
ment, so called from the fact that the members 
of the society, when on duty, wore a ribbon 
round their arms. This society had been iu ex- 
istence some eight or nine years at the time of 
the Emancipation Act, and lasted, with quies- 
cent intervals, until about 1857. Its period of 
greatest activity, however, was during the thir- 


ties. Its organisation was remarkably good, 
and the secrecy in which it enshrouded its pro- 
ceedings *!f or long remained practically impene- 
trable. Many parliamentary inquiries were held 
into the nature and proceedings of the Eibbon 
Society; it was denounced hy the Catholic hier- 
archy, but it continued on its way, unmoved and 
unrevealed. By many, among them Sir George 
Comewall Lewis, it was described as a trade 
union, and Connolly expresses the opinion that 
it was an industrial trade union for the protec- 
tion of labourers and cottier farmers. That 
it was a combination for these purposes is cer- 
tain, and it also intervened to prevent the low- 
ering of wages and to promote the lowering of 
Church dues. But to class it as a trade union 
is an injustice to those bodies, as weU as his- 
torically inaccurate. 

In support of this it wUl be interesting to 
consider the obligation which candidates for in- 
itiation were compelled to undertake. For many 
years the terms of the Eibbonmen's oath were 
in doubt. Forms of obligation were produced, 
purporting to be the real oath, but the matter 
was not finally settled until the Pamell Com- 
mission. During that inquiry an oath was read 
to a witness, who replied that he had never 
heard it, though he would not swear that he 


had not heard something like it. While the 
question was being discussed, Mr. Michael 
Davitt, an authority on such matters, rose and 
informed the Commission that the words were 
those of the Ribbon Oath. It runs as follows : 

"In the presence of Almighty God, and this 
my brother, I do swear that I will suffer my 
right hand to be cut from my body and laid at 
the gaol door before I will waylay or betray a 
brother, and I will persevere and not spare from 
the cradle to the crutch and the crutch to the 
cradle ; that I will not hear the moans or groans 
of infancy or old age, but that I will wade knee- 
deep in Orangemen's blood and do as King 
James did." * 

The words of this atrocious obligation dem- 
onstrate quite distinctly that, while the immedi- 
ate objects of Eibbonism were alKed to those of 
trade unions, it had religious and political im- 
plications which differentiated it from these 
bodies. Political genealogists, indeed, trace the 
lineage of Eibbonism back through the Defend- 
ers to Eory Oge 'Moore. In Eibbonism, there- 
fore, and its satellites, the Whitef eet, the Black- 
feet, the Terry Alts, the Lady Clares, we have 
revolutionary bodies, political as well as eco- 
nomic. If personal opinion may here be inter- 

* Official Eeport of the Pamell ConunisBion, Vol. III., p. 153. 


polated it may be surmised that, while contem- 
porary writers describes Eibbonism as a trade 
union aiovement in order to discredit trade 
unions, Connolly follows the same line in order 
to glorify both, and point trade unions in the 
way they should go. 

He makes it a groimd of complaint against 
O'Connell's supporters that they denounced 
this iJibbon Movement. He quotes with disgust 
a manifesto posted in the market place of Ennis 
and in other parts of Clare by Mr. Thomas 
Steele, a very ardent Eepealer, in which he said, 
"Unless you desist I denounce you as traitors 
to the cause of the liberty of Ireland. ... I 
leave you to the Government and the fire and 
bayonets of the military." 

Connolly reprobates such language to the 
heroic men and women who had sacrificed all 
"to win the emancipation from religious tyran- 
ny of the well-fed snobs who thus abandoned 
them." And he continues: 

"It is difficult to see how a promised Repeal 
of the Union some time in the future could have 
been of any use to the starving men of Clare, 
especially when they knew that their fathers 
had been starved, evicted, and tyrannised even 
"before just as they were after the Union. At 
that time, however, it was deemed a highly pa- 


triotic act to ascribe all the ills tliat Irish, flesh 

is heir to to the TJnioii." 

* * # # 

Then came the Famine. It is not a story one 
cares to linger over, that story of suffering and 
blundering pedantry. But it has to be noted be- 
cause of the lasting hostility to England which 
it engendered in the Irish race, and because of 
the deductions drawn from it by Connolly. He 
accepts the saying of the Irish Nationalists that 
"Providence sent the potato blight, but Eng- 
land made the famine," with this addendum, 
"by a rigid application of the economic princi- 
ples that lie at the base of capitalist Society. "To 
venture for a moment into controversy, it may 
be suggested that he would be nearer the truth 
if for the last words he had written "that lay 
at the base of the Whig policy." There have 
been famines since, in India and elsewhere, 
which have been met, even under "capitalist 
Society," with methods very different from 
those that were employed in 1846. It was Ire- 
land's greatest misfortune to be stricken with 
hunger and disease while the country was ruled 
by a party which, of all those that have gov- 
erned during a century and a half, was the most 
prolific of axioms and the most sterile of soul. 

Connolly uses the declaration of Lord John 


Russell, then Prime Minister, that nothing must 
be done to interfere with private enterprise in 
the regular course of trade — a policy rigidly 
followed even to the incredible stupidity of 
stipulating in the Relief Acts that all labour 
should be entirely unproductive — ^to argue that 
such a policy would be impossible under Social- 
ism, though entirely logical under Capitalism. 
"Within the limits of that social system and 
its theories their Acts are unassailable and un- 
impeachable ; it is only when we reject that sys- 
tem and the intellectual and social fetters it 
imposes that we really acquire the right to de- 
nounce the English administration of Ireland 
during the famine as a colossal crime against 
the human race. The non-Socialist Irish man or 
woman who fumes against that administration 
is in the Ulogical position of denouncing an ef- 
fect of whose cause he is a supporter. That 
cause was the system of capitalist property. 
"With the exception of those few men we have 
before named, the Young Ireland leaders of 
1848 failed to rise to the grandeur of the oppor- 
tunity offered them to choose between human 
rights and property rights as a basis of nation- 
ality, and the measure of their failure was the 
measure of their country's disaster." 


The Eebellion of 1848 convulsed Ireland — 
with laughter. Inept in conception, it was piti- 
fully feeble and spiritless in execution. Yet 
its leaders were neither fools nor cowards. One 
of them, Gavan Duffy, became a Colonial Pre- 
mier ; among them were men of ability and read- 
ing; they had courage — cowards do not of their 
own wiU go the way. of the scaffold ; one of them, 
Meagher, was destined, fifteen years later, in 
the American Civil War, to prove himself a 
fighting man and a leader of fighting men. 
What then made of these men, mentally alert, 
physically brave, fired with zeal for the demo- 
"cratic principles of Mazzini, stirred by the up- 
rising of the French democracy, blunderers, con- 
temptible ia council and nerveless in action? 
Connolly has no doubts as to the answer — ^re- 
spectability. Perhaps he is right. Men who 
would conduct a revolution for the upsetting of 
social order — and for Connolly no other revolu- 
tion counts — ^must be fanatical in their creed and 
unscrupulous in their methods. That 'Brien 
and Meagher and Doheny and Duffy were nei- 
ther fanatical nor unscrupulous is the unforgiv- 
able crime which arouses Connolly's wrath and 
sharpens his gibes. "The chiefs of the Young 
Irelander," he says, "were as rabidly solicitous 
about the rights of the landlord as were the 


cMefs of the English Government. While the 
people perished the Young Irelanders talked, 
and their talk was very beautiful, thoroughly 
grammatical, nicely polished, and the proper 
amount of passion introduced at the proper psy- 
chological moment." 

In effect he charges the leaders of the Young 
Irelanders with not understanding, or, if they 
understood, being false to the principles they 
professed. They were bourgeois mumbling 
democratic formulas, dreaming of rebellion but 
repudiating revolution, and unfit to use the ma- 
terial ready to their hand. Such material was 
there in the Eibbon Society, unrivalled for the 
purpose of social revolution, unscrupulous, mys- 
terious, pitiless, "deaf to the moans of infancy 
or age. ' ' It may be that it was those very quali- 
fications which repelled the leaders of Young 
Ireland, men of less callous fibre. If so, in Con- 
nolly's eyes, it was a grievous fault, bringing 
them down almost to the level of the constitu- 
tional ' ' patriots, ' ' and grievously does he mourn 
it. The whole of Connolly's attitude towards 
the Young Irelander deserves most careful at- 
tention for the light it casts on the problem set 
forth in the first chapter of this book, and on the 
present Irish situation. Though Sroith 'Brien 
and his friends were willing to break the British 
connection by force of arms, they are little bet- 


ter than such "helots" as O'Connell because 
their aims were limited to political change, and 
did not embrace the overthrow of the whole so- 
cial system at whatever cost of life or suffering. 

And the tragedy of the failure is all the more 
complete because these faineant leaders sinned 
against the light. There were men among them 
who saw the truth and pointed the way. John 
Mitchell was insistent on the necessity and pol- 
icy of a social revolution which would have 
brought the English Chartists into the field. 
Fintan Lalor, a cripple debarred from physical 
service, was especially bitter against the policy 
of Smith 'Brien and his colleagues : 

"They wanted an alliance with the landown- 
ers. They chose to consider them as Irishmen, 
and imagined they could induce them to hoist 
the green flag. . . . They desired not a demo- 
cratic, but merely a national, revolution." 

Both these men were of the stuff from which 
the true revolutionist is made. But while 
Mitchell was fitted for the barricade, Lalor was 
pre-eminently the man for the council chamber, 
quick to grasp the broad principles and subtle 
in the weaving of the plans. 

First of all rebels against British rule, they 
proclaimed that political rebellion and economic 
revolution should march together. How far 


Lalor preached this doctrine as an article of 
faith or as a practical instrument of rebellion is 
a little uncertain. In a passage in which he as- 
serts that "the soil of the country belongs as of 
right to the entire people of that country, not to 
any class, but the nation, " he is careful to add, 
"no one has a higher respect for the rights of 
property than I have, but I do not class among 
them the robber rights by which the hands of 
this country are held in the grasp of Irish Na- 
tionalism." * 

And, indeed, he throws Socialism to the winds 
in his letter to the landowners of Ireland, in 
which he invites them, not to become Repealers, 
but to think and act as Irishmen, and condition- 
ally on their doing so offers them "new titles" 
and tells them that Ireland will remain theirs 
for ages. "Allegiance to this fair island; it is 
your title of tenure to the lands you hold, and in 
right of it you hold them. ' ' There is no trace of 
land nationalisation in this passage, nor in the 
very eloquent docimient of which it is a part-f 

It is, however, unnecessary to speculate as to 
the precise shade of Lalor 's economic creed, for 
above aU things he insists on the land 

* Irish Felon, No. 1. 

fEeprinted from the Nation in Sir Charles Duffy's Fowr 
Tears of Irish Eistory. 


question as a weapon of successful rebellion. 

In Ms paper, the Irish Felon — ^founded when 
John Mitchell's United Irishman was sup- 
pressed, and itself suppressed after three issues 
— he denounces Eepeal as impracticable and ab- 

* ' I mean to assert this, that the land question 
contains, and the legislative question does not 
contain, the materials from which victory is 
manufactured. . , . This island is ours, and 
have it we will. " * 

Again : 

' ' There is, I am convinced, but one way alone, 
and that is link Eepeal to some other question, 
like the railway carriage to the engine, some 
question strong enough to carry both itself and 
Repeal together. And such a question there is 
in the land — one ready prepared, ages have been 
preparing it. An engine ready made ; one too 
that will generate its own steam without cost or 
care — a self-acting engine if once the fire be 
kindled. Repeal had always to be dragged. 
This I speak of will carry itself as the cannon 
ball carries itself down the hill." f 

In The Faith of a Felon he further devel- 
ops the thesis: — 

"I perceived that the English conquest con- 

* Irish Felon, No. 1. t Hid., No. 2. 


sisted of two parts combined into a whole, the 
conquest of our liberties and the conquest of our 
lands. I saw clearly the reconquest of our lib- 
erties would be incomplete and worthless with- 
out the reconquest of our lands — and could not, 
on its own means, be possibly achieved; while 
the reconquest of our lands would involve the 
other, and could possibly, if not easily, Ibe 
achieved. The lands were owned by the con- 
quering race or by the traitors of the conquered 
race. They were occupied by the native people 
or by settlers who had mingled or merged." * 
Thus selecting the land question as the engine 
which should drag Repeal — and it will be noted 
that, while Lalor speaks of Eepeal, he means 
complete independence" — ^he adVised that the 
revolution should proceed, not by offensive and 
open war, but by defensive measures, to be con- 
verted into open warfare should occasion offer. 
Tenants should refuse on principle to pay any 
rents at all until a National Convention should 
decide what rents they should pay and to whom 
they should pay them. Such a Convention 
"ought on grounds of policy and economy to 
decide that those rents should be paid to them- 
selves, the people, for public purposes and for 
the behalf and benefit of them, the entire gen- 

* Irish Felon, No. 3, July 8th, 1848. 


eral people." MeanwMle, pending such a Con- 
vention, the people should immediately refuse 
to pay all rents and arrears, except any surplus 
of the harvest which might remain after making 
due and full provision for their own needs dur- 
ing the ensuing year. And then he formulates 
the plan of campaign in the event of the British 
Government employing armed force : 

"We must only try to keep our harvest, to 
offer a peaceful passive resistance, to barricade 
the island, to break up the roads, to break down 
the bridges, and should need be, and favourable 
occasion occur, surely we may venture to try 
the steel." 

The Young Irelanders rejected Lalor's coun- 
sels in 1848. Had they accepted them their 
movement would not have been the pitiful farce 
it was. But, as Connolly points out, they were 
barred from accepting them because they were 
bourgeois, respectable, and, some of them, own- 
ers of property. Even had they followed them, 
they might have failed, as Lalor's plan failed 
when put into operation forty years later by Mi- 
chael Davitt. Such speculations are profitless ; 
the thing that matters is that it was Lalor who 
pointed Connolly on the road to social revolu- 
tion as an instrument of Separation. The seed 
sown in the Irish Felon in 1848 only came to its 


full maturity after the lapse of more than half 
a century. 

The Fenian Risiag in. the middle 'sixties, 
though as a rebellion it was far better planned 
and more virile than that of Smith O'Brien, was 
run on much the same general lines. Connolly, 
Ladeed, suggests that it had some of the implica- 
tions of social revolution, and regards the se- 
lection for the post of Commander-in-Chief of 
General Cluseret, who afterwards commanded 
the army of the Paris Commune, as pointing in 
that direction. This, however, seems to be 
another case of his reading his own subjective 
thought into a political movement. All revolu- 
tionaries meet on a plane of advanced ideas, 
and Cluseret was probably one of those adven- 
turous soldiers who turn up wherever there is 
trouble. Mr. Eyan, the historian of Irish La^ 
hour, apparently disagrees with Connolly's 
view, for he describes Fenianism as for several 
years turning several of the sturdier Irish ele- 
ments from immediate social issues. There was 
certainly no trace of Lalor's influence in the 
Fenian rebellion. 

It is, indeed, iuteresting and instructive to 
note how completely the economic factor was 
excluded from the national movement in the 
years that followed 1848. While that abortive 


rising was being contemplated William Thomp- 
son, an Irish landlord, had written a book on the 
distribution of wealth in which he, to a very 
great extent, anticipated the doctrines of Marx. 
The teaching of Eobert Owen, the Utopian So- 
cialist, had enlisted the sympathies of many 
Irishmen of ability and social position. A So- 
cialist Colony, on his model, was established at 
Ealahine, in County Clare, and is said to have 
achieved considerable success, until it came to 
an end owing to the estate having to change 
hands. O 'Connell's Eepeal agitation hadfailed ; 
Smith O'Brien's rebellion had failed ignomini- 
ously — ^Fintan Lalor had shown the cause of 
those failures. And yet none of these events 
might have occurred for all the mark they left 
on the parliamentary demand for Irish self-gov- 

Lalor 's teaching was, indeed, zealously ig- 
nored by the Parliamentarians. To admit that 
of itself the demand for self-government could 
not move the people, seemed to them a fatal con- 
fession. When Unionists quoted Lalor 's words 
that "Eepeal had to be dragged," they resented 
and denied the charge. Even Parnell, who of all 
the Parliamentarians is most leniently treated 
by the extremists, was only with great difficulty 
brought to agree to Davitt's proposal to estab- 
lish the Land League in 1879, and repudiated — 


a little tardily, but still repudiated — the "Plan 
of Campaign," which, embodied Lalor's pro- 
posal to pay only so much rent as tenants could 
afford, in 1887, and Parnell, though he fought 
for Home Eule in the legislative arena, was — if 
his assurance to the American Irish at Cincin- 
nati were honest — at heart an advocate of com- 
plete separation. 

These were his words : 

"When we have given Ireland to the people 
of Ireland, we shall have laid the foundation 
upon which to build up our Irish nation. . . . 
And let us not forget that that is the ultimate 
goal at which all we Irishmen aim. None of us, 
whether we be in America or Ireland — or wher- 
ever we may be — ^will be satisfied untU we have 
destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland 
bound to England." * 

This, then, was the lesson which Connolly 
learned from his survey of Irish history. He 
saw the miseries of the proletariat exploited by 
"patriots" — ^the inverted commas are his — to 
further their movements, but in the movements 
themselves he saw no sign of a desire to allevi- 
ate those miseries — nay, in some instances he 
found a settled hostility to the attempts of La- 
bour to obtain alleviation of itsi sufferings. 

* Speech at Cineinnati, February 23rd, 1880. 


Even in the revolutionary movements, though 
there he could discern some rays of light, he 
does not touch solid ground. And nowhere does 
he detect recognition of what is to him essential 
— that the social reconstruction of the Ireland 
of to-day must be framed in the mould of the 
old Gaelic system of communal property, or if 
not in the same mould — ^for allowance must be 
made for modem conditions — at least in the 
spirit which inspired that system. 

And from the reading he turns away with the 
conviction that Ireland's freedom must come, 
not from above, but from below. 

In 1896 he founded the Irish Socialist Ee- 
publican Party. 



This is not the biography of a man, but of a 
movement, and, therefore, only such incidents 
in Connolly's career during the next few years 
need be noticed as find a reflection ia the evolu- 
tion of his creed. And that there was a consid- 
erable development of his creed during the next 
fifteen years may be largely attributed to his 
sojourn in America. Before that event Connol- 
ly worked on the customary lines of agitation. 
He published extracts from the writings of the 
United Irishmen; he ran a paper, the Work- 
ers' Republic, which had a fitful existence for 
seven years, during which eighty-five numbers 
appeared; he organised a demonstration against 
the Jubilee of 1897, and some turbulent mani- 
festations on the occasion of Queen Victoria's 
visit to Ireland in 1900 ; he twice sought election 
to the Town Council of Dublin for the Wood 
Quay Ward, and was opposed and defeated by 
the nominees of the United Irish League ; and 
he lectured in England and Scotland. These 



energies were not without result. The move- 
ment became known ; its authors, indeed, boast- 
ed most especially of their abandonment of the 
"ridiculous secrecy" in which previous revo- 
lutionary movements had been shrouded, "and 
in hundreds of speeches in the most public 
places of the metropolis, as well as in scores of 
thousands of pieces of literature scattered 
through the country, the Socialists announced 
their purpose to muster all the forces of Labour 
for a revolutionary reconstruction. " * 

In 1903 Connolly went to America, where he 
remained for seven years, during which he 
worked as linotype operator, machinist, insur- 
ance agent and so on, until in 1907, he formed 
the Irish Socialist Federation, becoming its or- 
ganiser in the following year. Those four years 
were eventful for Ireland, for in them Connolly 
came in touch with the Industrial "Workers of 
the World. He then fell under the influence of 
Leon, another of whose disciples was Lenin. 

His was an eclectic mind, quick to take im- 
pressions from its surroundings, and to apply 
them to the one dominant purpose of his life, 
political and social reconstruction. In The 
Harp, the organ of the Irish Socialist Federa- 
tion, he introduced the new Labour policy for 

•Introduction to Erin's Eope, American Edition. 


Ireland, inviting the co-operation of all unsel- 
fish men and women who worked for social 
rightedttsness. It was not at all necessary that 
there should be any particular trade mark. He 
had come to believe that the theoretical clear- 
ness of a few Socialists was not so important as 
the aroused class instincts and class conscious- 
ness of the mass of the workers. He was willing 
to work with any one, whatever their shades of 
view, who would advance the political and in- 
dustrial organisation of Labour. 

In nothing is the eclectic nature of Connolly's 
mind so evident as in the effect upon it of his 
association with the Industrial Workers of the 
World. He accepts the idea of the one big 
union, he rejects the idea of internationalism, 
In both cases he was evidently dominated by the 
paramount aim of unifying the political and 
economic revolution in Ireland and making it 
effective. The passage in which he rejects 
internationalism must be quoted as pro- 
phetic of what afterwards occurred: 

"We propose to show all the workers of our 
fighting race that Socialism will make them bet- 
ter fighters without being less Irish ; we propose 
to advise the Irish who are Socialists how to or- 
ganise their forces as Irish and get again in 
touch with the organised bodies of literartf, edu- 


cational, and revolutionary Irish; we propose to 
make. a campaign among our countrymen and to 
rely for our method mainly on imparting to 
them a correct interpretation of the facts of 
Irish history past and present ; we propose to 
take the control of the Irish vote out of thehands 
of the slimy seonini, who use it to boost their po- 
litical and business interests to the undoing of 
the Irish as well as the American toiler." * 

Up to this point Connolly's policy, extreme as 
it was, was capable of being applied in practice 
under the ordinarily accepted governmental 
forms, and, unless it be very obscurely implicit 
in the constitution of the Irish Socialist Eepub- 
lican Party, there was nothing in his previous 
writings to indicate that his Irish Socialist Ee- 
public would materially depart from those forms. 
But in 1908 he produced a scheme in which the 
influence of the industrial extremists is clearly 
visible. It appeared first in the Harp and was 
afterwards reprinted in Socialism Made Easy, 
and is so important that, though lengthy, it 
must be stated in Connolly's own words: 

"The political institutions of to-day are sim- 
ply the coercive forms of capitalist society; they 

* The 'Earp, No. 1. Seonini, pronounced shoneens, an Irish 
term of reproach, signifying worthless fellow. Xhe first italiea 
are ours. 


have grown up out of and are based upon terri- 
torial divisions of power in tlie hands of the 
ruling class in past ages, and were carried over 
into capitalist society to suit the needs of the 
capitalist class when that class overthrew 
the dominion of its predecessors. The delega- 
tion of the function of government into the 
hands of representatives elected from certain 
districts, states, or territories, represents no 
real natural division suited to the requirements 
of modem society, but is a survival from a time 
when territorial influences were more potent 
than industrial influences, and for that reason is 
totally unsuited to the needs of the new social 
order, which must be based upon industry. The 
Socialist thinker when he paints the structural 
form of the new social order does not imagine 
an industrial system directed or ruled by a body 
of men and women elected from an indiscrimi- 
nate mass of residents within given districts, 
said residents working at a heterogeneous col- 
lection of trades and industries. To give the 
ruling, controlling, and directing of industry 
into the hands of such a body would be too utter- 
ly foolish. What the Socialist does realise is 
that under a Socialist form of society the ad- 
ministration of affairs will be in the hands of 


representatives of the various industries of the 
nation ; that the workers in the shops and facto- 
ries will organise themselves into unions, each 
union comprising all the workers at a given in- 
dustry ; that said union will democratically con- 
trol the workshop life of its own industry, elect- 
ing all foremen, etc., and regulating the routine 
of labour in that industry in subordination to 
the needs of society in general, to the needs of 
its alhed trades, and to the department of indus- 
try to which it belongs. That representatives 
elected from these various departments of in- 
dustry will meet and form the industrial admin- 
istration or national government of the coimtry. 
In short. Social Democracy, as its name implies, 
is the application to industry, or to the social 
life of the nation, of the fundamental principles 
of democracy. Such application will necessarily 
have to begin in the workshop, and proceed logi- 
cally and consecutively upward through all the 
grades of industrial organisation until it reach- 
es the culminating point of national executive 
power and direction. In other words. Socialism 
must proceed from the bottom upwards, where- 
as capitalist political society is organised from 
above downward; Socialism will be adminis- 
tered by a committee of experts elected from the 
industries and professions of the land; capital- 
ist society is governed by representatives elect- 


ed from districts, and is based upon territorial 
division. The local and national governing or 
other a,dministrative bodies of Socialism will 
approach every question with impartial minds 
armed with the fullest knowledge bom of expe- 
rience;, the governing bodies of capitalist so- 
ciety have to call in an expensive professional 
expert to instruct them on every technical ques- 
tion, and know that the impartiality of said ex- 
pert varies with amd. depends upon the size of 
his fee. 

"It will be seen that this conception of Social- 
ism destroys at one blow all the fears of a bu- 
reaucratic State, ruling and ordering the lives 
of every individual from above, and thus gives 
assurance that the social order of the future will 
be an extension of the freedom of the individual, 
and not a suppression of it. In short, it blends 
the fullest democratic control with the most ab- 
solute expert supervision, something unthinka- 
ble of any society built upon the political state. ' ' 

Study of this statement of policy enables us 
to understand the debt which iu later days 
Lenin confessed he owed to Connolly, and how 
Mr. de Blacam is able to boast that Bolshevism 
was born in Ireland.* 

The period of gestation had been long. Dur- 

* Aodh de Blaeam, Towards the Sepublio. 


ing the twelve years which had elapsed since the 
founding of the Workers' Republican Party the 
movement had made but slow headway in Ire- 
land, except among some of the more ardent and 
advanced thinkers. The accredited leaders of 
the trade unions frowned on the new doc- 
trine ; proposals that Labour should in its cor- 
porate capacity take part in politics were regu- 
larly voted down at the annual Congress. The 
Gaelic League and Sinn Fein failed to be at- 
tracted by Connolly's appeal to the ancient so- 
cial tradition of the Gael. To this Connolly's 
absence contributed ; when he was translated to 
America he left no one worthy to wear his cloak. 
Mr. W. P. Eyan mournfully speculates on what 
might have been had he remained in Ireland to 
knit together the intellectual and proletarian 
forces of evolution. There were, nevertheless, 
as he points out, influences at work which were 
gradually bringing the two together. Leaving 
out of account Connolly's extreme social opin- 
ions, there was much in his reading of Irish his- 
tory — ^his appeal to Gaelic tradition and his de- 
testation of the Parliamentarians — ^to arouse 
the sympathy of Sinn Fein, and men like Sheehy 
Skeffington and Pearse had places in both wings 
of the revolutionary movement. 
The position at the beginntag of 1907 was 


this. In America Connolly was studying social 
problems, constructing a constitution from the 
materials furnished by the Industrial Workers 
of the World, and evolving philosophic bases 
for his theories. But that alone was not 
enough. The philosopher and theorist can point 
the way, but he cannot set the mass moving 
along it. To do that requires qualities m which 
Connolly was then deficient, if indeed he ever 
fully acquired them. He had his sympathies, but 
he repressed them too rigidly; he was too much 
the thinker, too precise in facts, too logical, ever 
to become the effective mover of men. 

At this moment such a man stepped upon the 
Irish stage, a man knowing little of philosophy 
and caring less, heedless of the past, reckless of 
the future, looking only at the present, and see- 
ing it through eyes glowing with revolutionary 
fire — ^no logician, inconsequent, perhaps some- 
times incoherent in argument, but gifted with 
burning speech, violent, coarse, but singularly 
effective with the people to whom he spoke. Like 
Connolly, James Larkin was a revolutionary by 
instinct and bitter experiences in the depths, 
depths lower than ever Connolly sounded, and a 
rebel against British rule by inheritance from 
his father, one of Davitt's comrades in the 
abortive Fenian plot against Chester Castle. 


Whether he was attracted by it or whether he 
created it, wherever Larkin went there was gen- 
erally trouble. He came to Belfast early in 
1907, and before the year was out there were 
serious strikes in that city, riots, military and 
police intervention, and shooting. 

From Belfast as a centre Larkin opened up a 
campaign in Dublin. He chose for his field of 
operations the trades at the very bottom of the 
social scale — the dockers, carriers and casual 
workers, who were unorganised, neglected by 
the skilled artisans, and who existed in the most 
appalling surroundings. To read of these Dub- 
lin slums in a cold official Eeport is to bum with 
anger, to visit them is to blush with shame for 
the unhappy people who have to be seen by their 
fellow men in such unspeakable degradation. It 
is not surprising that to these men Larkin came 
in the guise of a missionary, speaking to them in 
the language they knew and could understand, 
and all the more effective because he himself 
had passed through the fire. As the result of his 
mission, and aided by a strike in Cork, in which 
he, of course, took a hand, the Irish Transport 
and General Workers' Union wasformedinl908. 
It was d'estined in later years to become the 
dominant factor in the Irish Labour Movement. 

Meanwhile in the rural districts there was a 


growing unrest such as has so often in Irish 
history indicated the coming of revolutionary- 
storms. Although the cattle-driving movement 
never attained the dimensions of the Land 
League Campaign, and was free from the sav- 
agery of the White Boy and Eibbon operations, 
it caused much suffering and loss to its victims, 
who were very largely of the small landowning 
and tenant class. It is here mentioned, not as a 
factor in the larger events which followed, but 
as indicating a general restlessness which fur- 
thered the purposes of those who were aiming at 
a social upheaval. It is also worth noticing be- 
cause its author, Mr. Ginnell, who then sat in 
Parliament as a Nationalist, took the occasion to 
denounce the Parliamentary Nationalists in un- 
sparing language. The United Irish League was, 
he declared, corrupt and tyrannical. Its meth- 
od of selecting candidates was a "brazen impos- 
ture." The people were enslaved by corrupt 
leaders, misrepresented by men who were them- 
selves the slaves of others ; leaders did not dare 
to be honest lest their personal character should 
be taken from them, the voters were the helpless 
tools of men with private axes to grind, and 
public life was abhorrent to decent men.* 
It must have been about this time that Con- 

* Land and Liberty, Laurence Ginnell, M.P. 


nolly, as Mr. Eyan tells us, came to the conclu- 
sion that his migration to America had been the 
biggest mistake of his life. He must have felt 
that theorising and philosophising in America 
was waste of time while the leaven was ferment- 
ing so rapidly in the loaf at home, and that it 
was nearly time for him to return and take a 
hand in the game he had started so long before. 
As a preliminary he transferred his paper, The 
Harp, to Ireland, in January, 1910, when it was 
published from the office of the Irish Nation, 
with Larkin as sub-editor. Thus the men of 
theory and action had come together, the one 
complementary to the other, a rare combinar- 
tion for the work they had in hand. 

In the Irish edition of the paper he followed 
up his American policy, laying less stress on 
theoretical Socialism than on the development 
of class consciousness. True to the principle he 
once enunciated, that "the true revolutionist 
should ever call into action on his side the entire 
sum of all the forces and factors of political and 
social discontent," he appealed to all who de- 
sired political change to co-operate with him in 
his aims. To some extent he succeeded. Among 
the disciples of Sinn Fein were some ardent 
spirits who chafed against the impotence of that 
body and welcomed a movement more virile and 


promising of success. Attracted in the first 
instance by these qualities, they gradually be- 
came more thoroughly impregnated with Con- 
nolly's economic doctrines, and thus became liai- 
son officers between the intellectual and physi- 
cal sides of the movement. 

Within six months of taking over the direction 
of The Harp, Larkin, as might be expected, 
found himself faced with about half a dozen libel 
actions, and Connolly returned to Ireland. From 
that moment, though The Harp vanished before 
the coming legal storm, events began to move. 
Under Connolly's influence Larkin became more 
circumspect, under Larkin 's influence Connolly 
proclaimed the policy of "less philosophising 
£ind more fighting." In pursuance of that dic- 
tum he announced and applied the doctrine of 
the sympathetic strike as a prelude to the estab- 
lishment of the One Big Union. As an organ- 
iser of the Industrial Workers of the World, he 
wrote in the New Age, he had reached the con- 
elusion that the interests of one were the inter- 
ests of all, that the hope of victory lay in sudden 
and unexpected action, and that "no considera- 
tion of a contract with a section of the capitalist 
class absolved any section of us from the duty of 
taking instant action to protect other sections 
when said sections were in danger from the cap- 
italist enemy." He realised that the worker? 


would sustain many defeats, and that their vic- 
tories would often be ephemeral, but "the re- 
sultant moral effect would be of incalculable 
value to the character and the mental attitude 
of our class towards their rulers. ' ' 

Acting on these lines, there were continual 
strikes throughout the country, until the Trans- 
port Union and its leaders aroused the animos- 
ity not only of employers, farmers, and clergy, 
but even of the Dublin Trades Council itself. 
Liberty Hall, the headquarters of the Union, 
came to be looked upon much as, in these later 
days, one might regard a poison gas manufacto- 
ry. But the Ishmaelites pursued their course, 
not only undisturbed, but encouraged by the hos- 
tility they had aroused. In 1911 they produced 
the Irish Worker, to replace the defunct Harp, 
in which Larkin wrote a "Call to Arms" which, 
though a somewhat colourless example of his 
style, may be quoted in part as indicative of his 
method : 

"During the recent skirmish between Labour 
and Capitalism in Ireland you got a foretaste of 
how your bowelless masters regard you. Their 
kept Press spewed foul lies, innuendoes, and 
gave space to knaves of our own class for the 
purpose of garrotting our glorious movement. 
At present you spend your lives in sordid labour 
and have your abode in filthy slums ; your chil- 


dren Lunger and your masters say yonr slavery 
must endure for ever. If you would come out of 
bondage, yourself must forge the weapons and 
fight the grim battle." 

Coincidentally with these activities the allies 
addressed themselves to the task of making 
Labour a political force. As mentioned before, 
the Trade Union Congress had always rejected 
the idea, but Connolly set to work to break 
down the opposition. A Dublin Labour Party 
was formed "to unite the forces of Labour in 
order to secure the election of independent La- 
bour representatives to Parliament and local 
government bodies." The idea caught on: in 
the first municipal election after its formation 
the new party secured the election of nine of its 
candidates, including Larkin, and at the Clonmel 
Labour Congress of 1912 a motion to found an 
Irish Labour Party, independent of all other 
parties, was carried by a majority of more than 
two to one. From that time the annual Con- 
gress meetings became more and more engaged 
with political questions, both national and inter- 
national, and entered into relations with the 
British Labour Party with reference to ques- 
tions before Parliament, more especially those 
relating to Ireland. During 1912 nominees of 
the Labour Party secured seats in many towns, 
including Belfast, Cork, Sligo, Wexford, and 


Waterf ord, and in the following year the title of 
the organisation was changed to Irish Trade 
Union Congress and Labour Party. 

Into the great Dublin strike of 1913 we do not 
propose to enter in detail. It was a desperate 
struggle, fought out through many months with 
fierce determination on both sides. Every con- 
ceivable weapon, even including religion, was 
brought into play. There were rights and 
wrongs on both sides, both sides committed er- 
rors, and neither could claim a decisive victory. 
From our present point of view, however, its 
importance lies in this, that "it was the great 
turning point in the history of the working class 
in Ireland, and helped to give the workers of 
Ireland their place in the front ranks of the 
world army of militaflt andinsurgentLabour." * 

It was, indeed, in the nature of a rehearsal 
for the greater tragedy to be played three years 
later. During the struggle the strikers had come 
into frequent conflict with the police and had 
suffered heavily. It was suggested that the 
workers should be armed and, acting on the sug- 
gestion, Connolly conceived the idea of the Citi- 
zen Army, which was organised by Captain 
White, son of the defender of Ladysmith. 

* Ireland at Berne. Reports presented to the International 
Labour and Socialist Conference held at Berne, February, 1919. 
Issued by the authority of the Irish Labour Party and Trade 
Union Congress. 



We liave now followed from their sources to 
the year 1913 two revolutionary currents, the 
one a brawling torrent, the other a sedate and 
sluggish stream, destined soon to meet though 
not for several years to mingle ; we have seen 
how the proletarian torrent spent itself in its 
mad rush, and it now remains to see how the 
sluggish intellectual movement stood at the 
opening of that year. And here we approach 
the realm of inference. Hitherto it has been 
possible to describe the policy and objects of 
Sinn Feiu and Labour in the words of its ac- 
credited leaders. Henceforth there are under- 
currents, the influence of which is apparent, but 
which are of necessity obscure. Both Sinn Fein 
and Connolly, as we have seen, prided them- 
selves on their publicity, but there came a time 
when publicity became impossible for them, as it 
becomes impossible some time or another for 
those who are plotting revolution. 



At what precise moment Sinn Fein began to 
contemplate revolution it is impossible to say. 
Eebellious it had always been in theory, but it is 
one thing to contemplate revolt as an abstract 
proposition and another to take the grim meas- 
ures to put it into operation. When 1913 opened, 
and with it the second stage of the fight over 
the Home Rule Bill, the Sinn Fein leaders cer- 
tainly did not contemplate armed rebellion. To 
begin with, they were not in a position to do so, 
and they knew it. The excitement of the parlia- 
mentary fight was driving everything else out 
of the minds of the people. Sinn Fein was neg- 
lected, impotent and penniless. It is important 
to note the latter fact in view of the sudden 
affluence which so soon followed. Its leaders 
hated the Parliamentarians and detested the 
Home Eule BUI. Mr. Eedmond-Howard, in- 
deed, tries to minimise their opposition to his 
uncle's policy. He says that Sinn Fein with- 
drew from opposition lest it should be said that 
in a moment of acute difficulty it had hampered 
any Irishman in winning any liberties for Ire- 
land, and its daily paper was withdrawn.* Mr. 
'Hegarty takes a different view of its action. 
The daily paper was withdrawn, not to save Mr. 
Eedmond embarrassment, but for lack of funds ; 

* Six Days of the Irish Bepublic, p. 76. 


the Sinn Feiners marked time hecanse they 
knew weJJ that "the issue would be unfavour- 
able to the continued adhesion of the country to 
the Parliamentarian policy."* Both writers 
agree that Sinn Fein was giving Mr. Eedmond 
a chance, but according to Mr. O'Hegarty it was 
a chance to hang himself, not to win Ireland's 
liberties. Nor is this conclusion vitiated by an 
article by Mr. Arthur Griffith in the Irish Re- 
view of May, 1912. In that article he condemned 
the Home Eule BiU, but added, "If the BiU be 
amended to give Ireland real control of her soil 
and taxes and power of initiation in her legisla- 
tion, I shall welcome its passage as a measure 
for the improvement of conditions in Ireland, 
and a step clearing the way to a final settlement 
between the two nations." 

This, after all, was no more than a reasser- 
tion of his willingness to accept Grrattan's Par- 
liament, which, as we have seen, he had induced 
Sinn Fein to embody in its programme. But, 
though Mr. Griffith held that comparatively 
moderate view himself, it was with difficulty that 
he got his colleagues to accept it in 1905, and it 
is more than doubtful if he could have got a ma- 
jority for it in 1913. For during the intervening 
period Sinn Fein had shed many of its most 

* Sinn Fein, p. 38. 


moderate elements. Some had gone owing to 
the cry that Sinn Fein was anti-clerical ; others 
had retired discouraged by the slump in its for- 
tunes after the short-lived boom of 1907-8 ; many 
left to join Mr. Eedmond when the Home Rule 
Bill was introduced, on the ground that half a 
loaf was better than no bread, and that, though 
the Bill itself might not be wholly satisfactory, 
it would provide a jumping-off place for further 
developments. And, while these influences were 
at work within the party to eliminate the mod- 
erates, there were external influences at work to 
make those who remained more extreme in their 
views. Some fell under the influence of Connol- 
ly's movement, attracted by his presentation of 
Irish history, his appeal to the old Gaelic social 
system, and his insistence on the principle of na- 
tionality. Others, whom his extreme communis- 
tic doctrines repelled, fell under American Fe- 
nian influence, always ready to seize every 
chance to foment trouble in Ireland. It is nota- 
ble that during this period the extreme Irish 
Party in America was divided into two sections, 
that represented by the Irish, World, backing 
Mr. Eedmond, the other, represented by the 
Gaelic American, supporting Sinn Fein. 

While, therefore, at the beginning of 1913 
Sinn Fein was inconspicuous, penniless, and 


infinitely less strong than it had been five years 
earlier, and while Mr. Griffiths' views remained 
substantially unchanged, it is certain that in 
spirit it was more unyielding and uncompro- 
mising, and that it was moving, though perhaps 
very slowly, from intellectual theories to more 
practical measures. 

It was at this juncture that Sir Eoger Case- 
ment came to Ireland, on his retirement from 
the British Consular Service. No more sinister 
figure ever stepped upon the Irish stage than 
this British officer who came to play a dual role, 
that of an Irish rebel and a German agent. 
Whether he was more the Irish patriot or the 
German agent it is not easy to decide, nor is it 
necessary, for it was Casement's good fortune 
to find his domestic policy and his foreign obli- 
gations moving together towards a common goal 
— ^the liberation of Ireland and the placing of 
Great Britain under the heel of Germany. 

In respect of Irish politics Casement's pro- 
clivities were akin to those of the Gaelic League 
and Sinn Fein. His entry into the national 
arena roughly synchronised with the founda- 
tion of the League with whose literary aims he 
was in sympathy. He was one of those who from 
this beginning developed into hostility to the 
parliamentary movement and to British rule, of 


which he was nowhere much enamoured. Dur- 
ing his trial it was suggested both by himself 
and his counsel that the action which brought 
him to the scaffold was the action of a patriot 
driven to unfortunate measures by the arming 
of the Ulster Volunteers and the disappointment 
of his political hopes. Under these influences, so 
went the theory, he turned to Germany merely 
because Germany was then at war with Eng- 
land, and because he thought he might find 
among the Irish prisoners of war men who 
would range themselves on the side of the Irish 
Volunteers. The allegation that he ever sought 
to enlist Irish soldiers to fight against England 
was stoutly denied ; all, it was protested, that he 
ever desired was to induce them, when the war 
was over, and if necessity unhappily arose, to 
enlist them to fight for Ireland. That ingenious 
theory vanishes into thin air the moment it is 
examined in the light of Casement's career, and 
the activities on which he entered immediately 
upon his arrival in Ireland in 1903. 

From an early period of his life Casement fell 
under German influence. He was associated 
with Mr. Morel in the Congo atrocity agitation, 
a campaign doubtless humanitarian, but curi- 
ously subserving Germany's twofold purpose 
of generating ill-will between Belgium and 


Great Britain and of suggesting the blessedness 
of German Kultur as an alternative to Belgian 
barbarity. Casement was an ardent auxiliary 
to Mr. Morel. British journalists, who were not 
reticent in their criticisms of Belgian rule, were 
surprised and bored by his hauntiug of news- 
paper offices and the way in which he urged them 
to more vigorous measures. (It was only after 
1916 that his motives hegan to dawn upon 
them.) The allies of the Congo then parted. 
Morel to devote his energies to the development 
of German influence in Morocco, Casement to 
play a like part in relation to Ireland. 

The connection between Casement and Ger- 
many, begun in West Africa, became closer and 
more varied in succeeding years. His family 
was connected with Germany by marriage, he 
himself had business interests in that country, 
and was on very intimate relations with Ger- 
mans in high positions, including Herr Bal- 
lin, the head of the Hamburg- American line and 
a personal friend of the Kaiser, a very singular 
fact seeing that he was unacquainted with the 
German language. 

One other point, and this brief review of 
Casement's antecedents may close. Holding 
the views he did, he accepted an offer of knight- 
hood from the King with, it is said, some scru- 


pies of conscience. In his trial lie found himself 
under the necessity of explaining his action, and 
did so by saying that he could not refuse. That 
statement was untrue. Both before and since 
his time men have respectfully declined similar 
offers. There is living a distinguished man of 
letters who declined an honour even after it 
had appeared in the Gazette. Casement did not 
decline, he accepted the offer in terms which 
have been euphemistically described as "court- 
ly," but which would be more correctly de- 
scribed as servile. The language of his reply 
is the language of a man who, plotting treason, 
desires to disarm suspicion : 

"I find it very hard to choose the Avords in 
which to make acknowledgment of the hohour 
done me by the King. I am much moved at the 
proof of confidence and appreciation of my serv- 
ice on the Putumayo conveyed to me by your 
letter, wherein you tell me that the King had 
been graciously pleased upon your recommen- 
dation to confer upon me the honour of knight- 
hood. I am, indeed, grateful to you for this 
signal assurance of your personal esteem and 
support. I am very deeply sensible of the hon- 
our done to me by His Majesty. I would beg 
that my humble duty might be presented to His 
Majesty when you may do me the honour to con- 


vey him my deep appreciation of the honour he 
has been so graciously pleased to confer upon 
me." , 

And having written this letter we are in- 
formed that he never even opened the parcel 
which contained the insignia.* If he were not 
then conscious of treason, why did he not even 
examine the symbol of the honour he had accept- 
ed with such abject gratitude? It may be a 
redeeming point in his moral character, but it is 
very suggestive of his political guilt. In that 
very year he was plotting with Professor Kuno 
Meyer, who was undoubtedly a German agent, 
to prevent a rapprochement between the United 
States and Great Britain and to embroil the re- 
lations between the two countries. He also 
wrote the first of a series of remarkable articles, 
entitled "Ireland, Germany and the Freedom of 
the Seas," to prove that Ireland's hope of free- 
dom and the liberty of the world lay in alliance 
between Germany and Ireland to procure the 
downfall of the British Empire. These articles 
appeared in the Gaelic American after the out- 
break of war, and wiU be referred to again 

In 1913 Germany was making feverish though 
secret, preparations for the great adventure. 

• The Irish Bebellion of 1916, Wells and Marlowe. 


Twice during the preceding six yea^s she had 
put out feelers in North Africa, to draw them 
in again when she found the ground not suffi- 
ciently prepared. Not all the efforts of Morel 
could convince the world that Morocco could 
only survive under the influence of Teutonic 
Kultur. Her path to world-empire lay elsewhere, 
and she was getting ready for the journey while 
her agents and emissaries smoothed the way 
and blazed the trail. Just as in Belgium and 
France her engineers were secretly making con- 
crete foundations for the big guns of 1914, so 
throughout the world her agents were purchas- 
ing spies and promoting disaffection among her 
potential foes. Her missionaries and consuls 
were busy in India, there were intrigues in 
South Africa, in every land under the British 
flag — for England was the enemy — spies were at 
their work. It was not likely that the Hun, thor- 
ough in all that was underhand, would omit so 
promising a sphere of operations as Ireland. 

For Ireland was Great Britain's Achilles' 
heel, alike by her strategical position and the 
temper of her people. Philip of Spain, Louis 
of France, the Directory, all had been ready to 
use Irish disaffection against England, their 
enemy. In St. Helena Napoleon lamented his 
failure to copy their example. "Had I gone to 


Ireland instead of Egypt the Empire was at an 
end." As it was in the sixteenth, seventeenth, 
ajid eighteenth centuries, so Germany meant 
that it should be in the twentieth, and Casement 
went to Ireland to fulfil the plan. It is possible 
that he desired to serve what he conceived to be 
Ireland's interests, but it is certain that he was 
anxious to serve the interests of Germany. 
During the year before the war in all the arti- 
cles in the Sinn Fein papers that can be traced 
to his pen there is only one — and that a vile and 
filthy attack upon Lord Roberts — which is not 
concerned with Germany. 

Almost immediately after his arrival in Ire- 
land he opened his campaign with an article in 
the Irish Review, which has often been quoted, 
entitled "Ireland, Germany and the Next "War." 
The article was signed "Shan Van Vocht," but 
there is no doubt that it was written by Case- 
ment. In this he discussed the thesis that it 
would be to Ireland's interest to support Great 
Britain in the event of a war because, were Brit- 
ain defeated, she would either remain attached 
to England and so have to share the burden of 
defeat, or she would become the prey of the vic- 
tor, "Shan Van Vocht" rejected this thesis, 
pointing out that there was a third alternative 
^-viz., that Ireland might be separated from 


Great Britain and established under European 
guarantees as a neutralised, independent Euro- 
pean State. 

"With. Great Britain cut off and the Irish Sea 
held by German squadrons, no power from with- 
in could maintain any effective resistance to a 
German occupation of Dublin and a military 
occupation of the island. To convert that into 
a permanent administration could not be op- 
posed from within, and, with Great Britain 
down and severed from Ireland by a victorious 
German Navy, it is obvious that opposition to 
the permanent retention of Ireland by the victor 
must come from without. It is equally obvious 
that it would come from without, and it is for 
this international reason that, I think, a perma- 
nent German annexation of any part of the Unit- 
ed Kingdom need not be seriously feared. Such 
a complete change in the political geography of 
Europe as a German-owned Ireland could not 
but provoke universal alarm and a widespread 
combination to forbid its realisation." 

He then goes on to point out that Germany 
would have to attain her end, "the permanent 
disabling of the maritime supremacy of Great 
Britain," by the less provocative measure of es- 
tablishing Ireland as a neutralised, independent 
State under international control. This he con- 
sidered would be an arrangement that "a Peace 


Congress should, in the end, be glad to ratify 
at the instance of a victorious Germany." 

Those who have read the works of General 
Bemhardi will realise how frail would have been 
that international combination on which Ireland 
was to depend for her independence. For Ger- 
many's plans did not contemplate the existence 
of any European Power that would be in any 
position to thwart or bend her purpose. 

"Shan Van Vocht" admits that Germany 
would consult her own interests: 

"That Germany should propose this form of 
dissolution in any interest but her own, or for 
the heaux yeux of Ireland, I do not for a mo- 
ment assert." 

But he goes on to say that a neutralised Ire- 
land would serve Germany's plans, while she 
would also be consulting the "normal and intel- 
lectual" claims of Ireland. He sets forth his 
opinion in the following delicious sentence : 

"Germany would attain her ends as the cham- 
pion of National Liberty and could destroy 
England's naval supremacy for aU time by an 
act of irreproachable morality." 

On such slender security as German morality 
was Ireland bidden to rally to "the champion 
of National Liberty. ' ' These are the words of a 
German agent enlisting recruits for his employ- 


er rather than of an Irish patriot enlisting an 
ally for his cause. 

This article, which appeared in July, was sent 
to General Bernhardi by an anonymous cor- 
respondent — it is not difficult to guess his iden- 
tity — with a request that he should notice it. 
The General did so in September in the columns 
of the Berliner Post: 

"To-day, indeed, German policy seems to be 
steering full sail towards an arrangement with 
England, but as the goal could not be reached 
without the abandonment of our whole future 
as a world-Power, it is valuable for the reaU 
poUtiher to examine exhaustively both the 
strength and the weakness of England." 

He found signs of these "weaknesses" in 
various parts of the world, such as India, Egypt 
and elsewhere, and then he continues : 

"It is not without interest to know that, if it 
ever comes to a war with England, Germany 
will have allies in the enemy's camp itself, who 
in the given circumstances are resolved to bar- 
gain, and in any case will constitute a grave 
anxiety for England and perhaps tie fast a por- 
tion of the English troops. This is no time for 
Germany to pursue a policy of renunciation." 

General Bernhardi was duly rebuked by the 
official Press for his frankness, but ' ' Shan Van 


VocM" had attained his purpose, and from that 
time forth the columns of Irish Freedom* the 
organ of the Sinn Fein extremists and of Case- 
ment himself, teem with references to Germany 
as the saviour, and Ireland became the happy 
hunting ground of German Press correspond- 
ents and spies. 

With all these Casement was in close relation. 
Especially would it seem that he was intimate 
with a certain Baron Von Horst, of the nature 
of whose mission in England there is no possi- 
ble doubt. This man was of middle-class origin 
who had established a business in England, and 
who was ennobled for some mysterious reason, 
though indeed the mystery is not impenetrable 
in view of his operations. During his sojourn 
in England he developed a remarkable taste for 
British polities, and it is notable that his sym- 
pathies were invariably with those whose pa- 
triotism was dubious and whose desire to make 
trouble was evident. At one time he financed 
the Herald, which was being run by Mr. George 
Lansbury, and over which every one who had 
touched it financially had burned his fingers. 

* This paper was controlled by Macdermott and James 
Connolly. The former was a Sinn Feiner, so that this com- 
bination represented the alliance between the intellectual and 
proletarian movements. Both men were signatories to the 
Proclamation of the Irish BepubUc in 1916. 


Undeterred by these painful examples, this be- 
nevolent foreigner found money for Mr. Lans- 
bury, and lost it. On the occasion of the dock 
strike, which resulted in the transfer of a good 
deal of trade from the Thames to the Elbe, the 
big-hearted Baron subscribed to the strike fund 
on a scale incommensurate with his means. 
Among his other enterprises he had a cinema 
theatre, which later became a meeting place for 
revolutionaries, or for any one likely to make 
trouble for the authorities. He also, some two 
months or so before the war, attempted to pur- 
chase rifles from a dealer in London, declaring 
himself to be the initiator of the Irish Volun- 
teers. The deal, however, did not come off when 
his nationality was revealed. Baron Von 
Horst's career in Ireland finally terminated in 
August, 1914, when he was arrested for dis- 
tributing anti-recruiting literature and interned. 
In these and similar activities Baron Von 
Horst had the valuable assistance of a Miss 
Lillian Troy of California. When the Irish 
question threatened to develop into serious trou- 
ble, these inseparable comrades threw them- 
selves into the fray, as always, on the anti-Brit- 
ish side. It was not long before the trio found 
a subject which by great good fortune served the 
double purpose of abusing England and of 


pointing to Germany as the appointed saviour 
of Ireland. 

Tlie ©unard Company gave notice of its in- 
tention to discontinue the practice of calling at 
Queenstown, in this doing just what the White 
Star Line had done previously. Casement at 
once made the heavens ring with his protests, 
and Baron Von Horst and Miss Troy joined in 
the chorus. The action of the company was 
only part of Britain's steadfast policy to injure 
Ireland's trade and to isolate her from the 
world. But it was a happy circumstance that 
Germany was animated by no such selfish pur- 
pose. The Hamburg- Amerika line would call at 
Queenstown and redress Ireland's wrong. Thus 
would England's machinations be defeated, and 
the visits of the German liners would link up 
Ireland with the continent of Europe, opening 
up new avenues of trade and vistas of prosper- 
ity. Miss Troy wrote in Sinn Fein an eulogium 
of the noble services of Von Horst and Case- 
ment, praising the energy with which the latter 
had pressed Ireland's case upon Herr BaUin, 
and extolling the skill and bravery of the Ger- 
man sailors in facing a harbour which English 
captains were afraid to enter. And then the 
Sinn Fein papers took up the tale, prompted no 
doubt by the ingenious operators of the scheme. 


THe coming of the Grerman liners, it was said, 
would lead to the establishment of close trade 
relations between Ireland and Germany. No 
longer would Ireland be compelled to sell her 
goods to England, her only customer, at an 
alarming sacrifice. Her cattle would cross the 
North Sea and fetch £2 a head more than they 
did in Liverpool and Bristol. No one explained, 
and indeed no one inquired why, if Germany 
wanted beef she did not send to Ireland and get 
it where prices ruled so low; no one asked 
whether, as a fact, Germany needed to import 
cattle from oversea, or why England, which was 
searching every continent for food, and bring- 
ing livestock thousands of miles, should be able 
to buy Irish cattle so cheap. It was enough that 
England was being attacked, and Casement was 
happy enough to win great conmaendation from 
his countrymen and high credit from the for- 
eigner whose cause he so ably served. 

What may be called the "Queenstown stunt" 
and the article in the Irish Review admirahly 
prepared the way for that momentous step — the 
formation of the Irish Volunteers. From that 
moment Sinn Fein ceased to be a purely intel- 
lectual movement, and became an active revo- 
lutionary force. 

There have been conflicting opinions as to the 


motives which underlay the formation of the 
Irish Volunteers. The natural theory and the 
one genferally accepted at the time, was that they 
were to be used against the Ulster Volunteer 
Force. It may well be that some of those who 
enlisted cherished the same idea, and perhaps, 
like the Eibbonmen of some fifty years before, 
contemplated the possibility of wading in Or- 
angemen's blood. 

But these theories are wrong. Mr. 'Hegarty 
is very emphatic in his denial of any intention 
to fight Ulster. "They did not establish the 
Irish Volunteers as a counter-blast to the Ulster 
Volunteers, or with any idea of either fighting 
or overawing Ulster. ' ' The Ulster Volunteers 
counted for this much in the formation of their 
Southern rivals — ^they encouraged those who 
wanted to have an armed force to make the at- 
tempt to form one. As the Government, so went 
the calculation, had permitted the Ulstermen 
to create a Volunteer force, "there was a sport- 
ing chance ' ' that it would not prohibit the for- 
mation of a similar body in the South of Ire- 
land.* It may have been present to the minds 
of those who wished to arouse more bitter feel- 
ings against England that such a prohibition 
would admirably serve their purpose. As a 

* O 'Hegarty, Sinn Fein. 


fact Sinn Fein was disposed to be grateful for 
the opportunity. In the Manifesto of November 
25th, 1913, which called for Volunteers, the con- 
ditions created by the Ulster movement were de- 
scribed as "not altogether unfortunate." The 
Manifesto also contained words which show that 
the real object of the promoters was not tempo- 
rary action in reference to the Home Eule Bill, 
but something more far-reaching. "The Vol- 
unteers, once they have been enrolled, will form 
a permanent element in the national life under 
a National Government." When it is remem- 
bered that the Home Eule Bill, for which Mr. 
Eedmond was then battling, particularly pro- 
hibited the maintenance of armed forces by the 
Irish Government, this sentence is significant. 
It becomes perfectly clear that the kind of Na- 
tional Government which the Irish Volunteers 
were to serve was not the kind of National Gov- 
ernment which the British would be at all likely 
to grant. 

Among the founders of the Irish Volunteers 
there were moderate men, who never contem- 
plated, and would have shrunk in abhorrence 
from anything revolutionary. There always are 
such moderate men in revolutionary enter- 
prises, men whose moderation makes them use- 
ful auxiliaries outside, but whose moderation 


excludes them from the imier couneil. They 
think they are leaders, while really they are only 
decoys^ One of them, Col. Moore, formerly of 
the Connaught Rangers, in later days described 
the personnel of the original Committee, of 
about twenty-five. It took him two or three 
days "to size them up and separate the 
groups." And he thus describes them: 

"There were about two extremists and four 
or five boys under their domination. . . . Five 
or six Sinn Peiners were in a separate group; 
they might be described as extreme Home Rul- 
ers ; they did not approve of the methods of the 
Parliamentary Party, but were not revolution- 
ists. There were a few like MacNeill, Pearse, 
Macdonagh, Plunkett and O'Eahilly, who be- 
longed to no especial political party ; they were 
Idealists. The remainder of the Committee 
were moderate men, inclined to foUow the Par- 
liamentary Party."* 

Col. Moore says in his letter that it is inter- 
esting to note how some of the Sinn Feiners and 
Idealists gradually became extremists and 
merged with the Fenians. The process of evo- 
lution was not gradual, but rapid, so rapid that 
it is more than doubtful if there were any evolu- 
tion at all. It is infinitely more probable that 

• Col. Moore, Freeman's Journal, Maj 30th, 1916. 


whatever there was of evolution in their politi- 
cal principles had already been accomplished 
when Col. Moore met them, and that they al- 
ready had their goal in view, though they kept 
it concealed from their moderate colleagues. 
For of the five Idealists whom he names four 
took part in the Eebellion : Professor MacNeill 
was only deterred from doing so by the arrest 
of Casement and the capture of the Aud. 

Very significant of the real nature and aims 
of the Volunteer movement is the effect it had 
upon the fortunes of Sinn Fein. As we have 
seen, it had been a year before in abject poverty. 
It had never been well off. Mr. O'Hegarty 
states that one contested election, involving an 
expenditure of, at the outside, £1000, had 
seriously crippled it. But now it bounded into af- 
fluence, and the money came from the Clan-na- 
Gael, which had long been watching its develop- 
ments and was now assured that it was on the 
right line. Pearse, who was one of the original 
Committee, had, like the Countess Markievics, 
one foot in Connolly's Labour Movement and 
the other in Sinn Feia, and Connolly and Lar- 
kin were favourably known to the extremists of 
America as revolutionaries of the most ap- 
proved brand. It is impossible to doubt that the 
true motive of the Irish Volunteers was revolu- 


tionary, though it is possible that the revolu- 
tionary tendencies were further quickened by 
the insistence of the trans- Atlantic paymaster. 
It is extremely instructive to read the fuller- 
blooded Sinn Fein journals at this period. Sinn 
i^eiw itself, Mr. Arthur Griffith's organ, remains 
more or less intellectual and economic in its out- 
look. Irish Freedom, the channel through 
which Casement addressed the public, was more 
outspoken. Mr. Daly weekly regaled its read- 
ers with his Fenian reminiscences; essays on 
military tactics filled columns. But, perhaps 
most remarkable of aU, was the sudden revival 
of the Wolfe Tone cult, which was coincident 
with the formation of the Volunteer Force. 
When we remember that Wolfe Tone's two 
claims to his country's gratitude were that he 
had organised a rebellion at the time when Ire- 
land had her own Parliament, and had called in 
foreign allies to aid him in his purpose of de- 
stroying Grattan's Parliament as an engine of 
British tyranny, this sudden and passionate re- 
vival of his memory is not a little suggestive — 
suggestive not only of the aims of the inner cir- 
cle, but of the means by which they were to be 



Grant us a great war for the liberty of the peoples. 

We pray thee, O Lord. 
For arms and our flag raised again in tattle. 

We pray Thee, O Lord. 

With a Ktany, from whicli the above is an ex- 
tract, did Irish Freedom hail the opening of 
1914, the year of Fate. 

It is curious how this idea of war runs like 
a scarlet thread through all the articles in Irish 
Freedom at this period; it would be surprising, 
were it not certain that Casement's was the 
miad which inspired, and his often the hand 
that wrote them. The world was not thinking 
of war. Such uneasiness as existed when the 
Kaiser made his theatrical demarche at Agadir 
had faded out of mind ; the war in the Balkans, 
the powder magazine of Europe, had produced 
no explosion. Lord Haldane had brought back 
a cheery optimism from Berlin, and no one 
knew that it was assumed; at the very moment 



when the Sinn Fein paper was publishing its 
grim litany the British Chancellor was assuring 
the country that never was the time more oppor- 
tune for reducing the vote for armaments. The 
Chanceries of Europe might be vigUant, but the 
people were careless, working and playing as 
they worked and played in Pompeii the day be- 
fore the dead volcano awoke to new life. The 
only thought of war in England was when men 
prayed for peace in their time. But in Ireland 
men were talking war, thinking war, praying for 
war, because Casement taught them — and Case- 
ment knew. 

Up to this moment he had played his part 
with patience. He had, indeed, been active 
when Germany made her tentative move in 
Morocco in 1911. His visits to Ireland then 
were frequent, his confabulations with Kuno 
Meyer constant. Though the necessity for ac- 
tion then had passed away, his time had not 
been wasted, for he had made friendships and 
preparations which stood him in good stead 
two years later. In the interval he had acquired 
a title and gained a reputation which helped him 
nicely, and his retirement from the service was 
fortunately coincident with an emergency which 
would demand his unfettered services. So in 
1913 he could gather together all the strings, 


and play Hs secret paxt in forming the Irish 
Volunteers, not merely to counteract the Ulster 
movement or to win Ireland's freedom, but to 
assist in keeping those British troops at home 
which General Bemhardi regarded as of such 
first-rate importance. 

It is very notable how Casement's activities 
increased as the months went on. He may not 
have known that in August of 1913 Germany 
had actually informed Italy of her intention to 
make war on Serbia, and had only held her hand 
when Italy declined to take a part in the game. 
But he knew, as every German agent knew, that 
the Day was near at hand, and that this time 
there would be no drawing back. 

There appeared in Irish Freedom for March, 
1914, an article which can with the utmost cer- 
tainty be ascribed to Casement. It is signed 
"The Poor Old Woman." Now, this is the 
English translation of "Shan Van Vocht," the 
nom de plwne of the writer of the article in the 
Irish Review quoted in the previous chapter. 
There is, moreover, in the article a most remark- 
able illustration of Great Britain's method of 
dealing with her subject nationalities. She is 
compared to the "Sipo Matador," or "murder- 
ing creeper" of Brazil. If we remember that 
Casement was "Shan Van Vocht," that he was 


Consul-General in Brazil and was familiar -with 
its forest life from his experiences at Putuma^ 
yo, we may adapt the words of Macaulay when 
he fixed the authorship of Junius 's letters on 
Sir Philip Francis, and say, "Either Casement 
or the Devil." 

The article commences with these remarkable 
words : 

"In these opening days of 1914 I bring, with 
a message of hope, these scattered thoughts 
upon the British Empire and its approaching 
dissolution to lay before the youth of Ireland. 
I say dissolution advisedly. . . . Home Eule 
will not save it. The attempt to bribe Ireland, 
and the greater Ireland beyond the seas . . . will 
not suffice. The issue lies in stronger hands." 

He then draws the parallel above mentioned 
between Britain and the "Sipo Matador," and 
continues: "A brave hand may yet cut the 
'Sipo Matador,' and the slayer be slain before 
he has quite stifled his victim." Then follows 
a lurid picture of the complacent security of the 
Empire and its approaching doom. 

"'All's well with God's world' — and poet 
and plagiarist, courtier and courtesan, Kipling 
and cant — ^these now dally by the banks of the 
Thames and dine off the peoples of the earth, 
just as once the degenerate populace of Lnpe- 


rial Eome fed upon tlie peoples of the pyramids. 
But the end is near at hand. The 'Secret of 
Empire' is no longer the sole possession of 
England. Other people are learning to think 
imperially". The Goths and Visigoths of modern 
Europe are upon the horizon. . . . London, like 
Rome, will have strange guests. They will not 
pay their hotel bills." 

And finally Casement denounces England's 
attempt to "bribe" America by giving Ireland 
Home Eule : 

"Were the Anglo-Saxon alliance ever con- 
summated it would he the biggest crime in hu- 
man history. . . . The emanations of Thames 
sewage are all over the world, and the sewers 
are running still. The penalty for the pollution 
of the Thames is a high one, but the prize for 
the pollution of the Mississippi is higher still. 
. . . The 'Anglo-Saxon' Alliance means a com- 
pact to, ensure slavery and to beget war. . . . 
The true alliance to aim at for all who love 
peace is the friendly union of Germany, Amer- 
ica, and Ireland. These are the true United 
States of the World. Ireland, the liiik between 
Germany and America, must be freed by both. ' '* 

We need not pause to consider the view which 
Casement takes of an Anglo-Saxon alliance, 

* Irish Freedom, March, 1914. The italics are ours. 


though Americans may be astonished to learn it 
only needs their co-operation with the people 
from whom they sprang to rivet the chains of 
slavery upon a world devastated by wanton 
war. Nor need we waste time over American 
sensations when this discovery comes to their 
notice. The really significant point is that Case- 
ment represents Germany as the only humanis- 
ing factor in any world-ruling alliance. And in 
this alliance Ireland is to be a partner. This is 
an advance on the position of a neutralised 
State assigned to her in the Irish Review arti- 
cle. She is now to be the link between the two 
World States, America and Germany ; they three 
are to be the true United States of the World. 

After such an outpouring can it be doubted 
that the Irish Volunteers were to be something 
more than a Fenian Brotherhood, that they were 
to be the pledge of Ireland's fidelity to the Kai- 
ser? Many of the Volunteer leaders did not 
know it; Professor John MacNeill, Gaelic 
Leaguer and idealist, did not realise at that time 
that he was not an apostle but a dupe, not a 
leader but a fraudulent advertisement. He 
realised it later, but he was then too enmeshed 
to escape from the net. 

This scheme was planned and executed by 
one who had accepted honours and was at that 


moment receiving a pension from the British. 
Government. A few months later this same 
man wrote in Fianna an article which Irish 
Freedom declared was delightful and indispens- 
ahle to every Irish hoy. It was on the subject 
of "Chivalry." 

Its author was at that time, July, 1914, in 
America, whither he had been sent to act as 
liaison officer between the American Irish ex- 
tremists and the German Government. But be- 
fore he went he wrote, or inspired, a final ap- 
peal to the Irish people. It was headed 
"Arm Quickly." A few extracts will show its 
nature : 

"Again the events of this past few months 
have restored Ireland to international status. 
Since the mission of Wolfe Tone to Paris 
Europe has forgotten Ireland and has never 
given a tBTought to the possible imporiance of 
Ireland in the conflict of European interests. . . . 
Ireland is again coming to be a factor in the 
thoughts and plans and life of Europe. . . . For 
Ireland the tide has turned and is running with 
an almost fearful swiftness. . . . Stranger events 
than any that have come yet may come very 
soon, and probably will come. . . . There is one 
urgent duty that devolves upon every Irishman 
at this moment, more urgent than any other. 


. . . That duty is to become armed, and to be- 
come armed very quickly."* 

If Cagement's forecast of the ending of the 
great war was mistaken, how marvellously pro- 
phetic was he of its coming! Within three 
months the Austrian Archduke died in Sera- 
jevo, within four Germany had launched her ul- 
timatum. Even in miaor details his prophecies 
were fuMUed. Strange visitors, Goths and 
Visigoths, visited London. They did not pay 
their hotel biUs. And Casement himself was 
one of them. 

About this time the conspirators began, to 
separate, each betaking himself to his appointed 
task. The prelimiuary work was done. Kuno 
Meyer and Casement had striven to block that 
Anglo-Saxon alliance which would have op- 
posed so terrible a barrier to Teutonic ambition, 
they had contrived to turn the eyes of Ireland 
to Germany as her liberator, as in former days 
they had turned to Spain and France. And this 
they had done, not only to secure liberty for Ire- 
land, but to secure the Empire of the World for 
Germany. Casement probably thought prima- 
rily of the first of these objects as Kuno Meyer 
would naturally think most of the second, and 
so they made their bargain. Before he wrote 

* Irish Freedom, May, 1914. The italics are ours. 


"Ireland and the Next "War" or "The Else- 
where Empire," from which we have just quot- 
ed, Casement had written an article, "The 
Keeper of the Seas," which was published in 
August, 1911. Its general tenor is the same, but 
there are a few sentences which deserve quota- 
tion, as refuting once and for all the theory that 
the Irish Volunteers were formed to counter- 
balance the Volunteers of Ulster, or that the 
present movement is due to dissatisfaction 
with the Home Eule BUI or discontent at its 
postponement. The article also affords food for 
thought to those who contemplate measures 
tending to weaken the connection between Great 
Britain and Ireland. Casement's words may 
yet be heard on many platforms. 

"Without Ireland there would be to-day no 
British Empire. The vital importance of Ire- 
land to England is understood but never pro- 
claimed by every British statesman . . . and 
the vital importance of Ireland to Europe is not, 
and has not been, understood by any European 
statesman. To them it has not been a European 
island, a vital and necessary element of Euro- 
pean development, but an appanage of England, 
an island beyond an island. Montesquieu alone 
of French writers grasped the importance of 
Ireland in the international affairs of his time ; 


and he blames the vacillation of Louis XTV., 
who failed to put forth his strength to establish 
James upon the throne of Ireland, and thus by 
an act of perpetual separation to 'affaiblir le 
voisin.' Napoleon, too late in St. Helena, real- 
ised his error: 'Had I gone to Ireland instead 
of Egypt, the Empire of England was at an 
end. ' Perhaps the one latter-day European who 
perceived the true relation of Ireland to Eng- 
land was Niebuhr. 'Should England,' he said, 
'not change her conduct, Ireland may stUl, for a 
long period, belong to her, but not always ; and 
the loss of that country is the death-day, not 
only of her greatness, but of her very existence.' 
. . . Detach Ireland from the map of the British 
Empire and restore it to the map of Europe and 
that day England resumes her native propor- 
tions and Europe assumes its rightful stature 
in the Empire of the "World. Ireland can only 
be restored to the current of European life, 
from which she has for so long been purposely 
withheld, by the act of Europe. What Napoleon 
perceived too late may yet be the purpose and 
achievement of a Congress of Nations. . . . Ire- 
land's strategic importance is a factor of su- 
preme weight to Europe, and is to-day used in 
the scale against Europe. . . . The arbitrium 
mvmdi, claimed and most certainly exercised by 


England, is maintained by the British fleet; and 
until that power is effectively challenged and 
held in check, it is idle to talk of European influ- 
ence outside of certain narrow Continental lim- 
its. The power of the British Fleet can never 
be permanently restrained until Ireland is re- 
stored to Europe." 

This constant reiteration of the word 
"Europe" is, of course, the merest camovn 
flage, to use the expression of the day. How 
could "Europe" resume its rightful stature in 
the Empire of the World? Individual nations 
have held their place in world-empire, but never 
a Continent. If Europe had felt the pressure of 
Britain's fleet intolerable, Europe could end it. 
Against the fleets of United Europe that of Great 
Britain would be powerless. The late war 
taught us how difficult, even with vast naval su- 
premacy, and in alliance with France and Italy, 
the problem of living could become. For 
"Europe" then we must read some other name, 
and that Casement and Kuno Meyer supply in 
their concluding sentence: 

"Germany then of necessity becomes the 
champion of European interests as opposed to 
the world-dominion of England." 

And poor, blind, besotted Europe never saw it ! 

In the summer of 1914, then, the friends sep- 


arated, Kimo Meyer to go to Germany, Case- 
ment to Am erica. But, before he sailed, he 
went to* London — ^he himself told the story in 
a New York paper — ^where he made final ar- 
rangements with a small band of Irish friends, 
whom he had gathered together in May, 1914, 
to purchase arms on the Continent and to land 
them in Ireland. He does not say what these 
arrangements were, but it is a fact that about 
that time there began to appear in the Gaelic 
American, an extreme Clan-na-Gael paper, a 
series of lengthy articles contributed by Lieut.- 
Col. J. T. Warburton, formerly of the Eoyal 
Engineers, who referred in them to his connec- 
tion with Casement. These articles were calcu- 
lated to give great comfort and satisfaction to 
the clients of the Gaelic American. They con- 
tained grossly vulgar references to the Queen, 
violent diatribes against Mr. Redmond, and the 
coarsest abuse of the service to which Col. War- 
burton had once belonged. British soldiers, said 
Col. Warburton, were "justly described by the 
New York Volunteer Committee as the laugh- 
ing-stock of soldiers throughout the world." 
They had shown cowardice in the New Zealand 
War, where he himself had fought; the Boers 
had "kicked them from one end of South Africa 
to another"; if an expedition were sent to 


France (this in August, 1914), "I expect it will 
soon be defeated and surrender. " " The British 
Army," he wrote, "is a negligible quantity, be- 
cause it contains but few Irish and Scots. ' ' He 
rejoiced greatly during the retreat from Mons 
— "The British have bolted and have been driv- 
en like isheep before the Crermans." Their 
flight was disgraceful because their casualties 
had not been heavy, and he hints not obscurely 
that officers were voluntarily surrendering 
themselves. The English had no military ar- 
dour — "We are tremendously martial so long 
as there is no fighting." As for Kitchener's 
Army, it was hopeless. Public houses had to be 
closed at 11 p. m. because the men got drunk, and 
Kitchener himself did not know what to do with 
them. And in the Gaelic American of August 
22nd he makes this impassioned appeal : 

"Are our American friends prepared to send 
rifles to help England against a country which 
has never harmed her? I think not." 

In all that has been written about the Great 
War the patriotic efforts of this fine British sol- 
dier, probably drawing a pension, have received 
no mention. But they should not pass unre- 

Having set these forces at work, Casement 
went to America, and on August 1st he was 


staying in Philadelphia with Mr. Joseph Mo- 
Garrity. The nature of his business with Mr. 
McGarrity may be judged from a telegram sent 
by the German Foreign Office to Count von 
Bemstorff, the German Ambassador at "Wash- 
ington, on January 26th, 1916: — 

"January 26, for Military Attache. You can 
obtain particulars as to persons suitable for 
carrying on sabotage ia the United States and 
Canada from the foUomng persons: (1) Jo- 
seph McGarrity, Philadelphia, Pa. ; (2) John P. 
Kealing, Michigan Avenue, Chicago; (3) Jere- 
miah O'Leary, 16 Park Eow, New York. One 
and two are absolutely reliable, but not always 
discreet. These persons are indicated by Sir 
Eoger Casement. In the United States sabotage 
can be carried out on every kind of factory for 
supplying munitions of war. Eailway embank- 
ments and bridges must not be touched. Em- 
bassy must in no circumstances be compro- 
mised. Similar precautions must be taken in 
regard to Irish pro-German propaganda. 
"Signed, Representative of General Staff," * 
It is melancholy to have to record that the 
discreet Mr. Jeremiah O'Leary was, in June, 
1918, indicted, together with John Ryan, an at- 
torney in Buffalo, Lieut.-Commander Wessels, 

"Published by American Government. 


of the Grennan Navy, and Baroness Maria von 
Kretsohmann, a relative of the G-erman Em- 
press, for acts of treason, such as giving mili- 
tary information, destruction of piers, docks 
and troop transports with bombs, assisting 
Germany ia landing an armed expedition in Ire- 
land, fomenting a revolt in Ireland, and so on. 

On August 22nd there appeared in the Gaelic 
Americcm the first of a series of six articles by 
Casement, under the title of "Ireland, Germany 
and the Freedom of the Seas." Part L, he 
said, was written in 1911, and the otber five at 
odd moments between that time and 1913. The 
first of the series was written before the Home 
Eule Bill was drawn, and therefore represented 
a settled policy formulated without regard to 
the merits or demerits of that measure, while 
all six were written while the author was a high 
official in the service of Great Britain, accepting 
knighthood with fulsome professions of grati- 
tude. In them Casement elaborates the doc- 
trines already described, but he brings them up- 
to-date with a few sentences which may be 
quoted : 

"England fights as the foe of Europe and the 
enemy of civilisation. In order to destroy Ger- 
man shipping, German commerce, German in- 
dustry, she has deliberately planned the con- 


spiracy we now see at work. The war of 1914 
is England's war. . . . The crippling of the 
British fleet will mean a joint German-Irish in- 
vasion of Ireland." 

And then Casement ceases from his literary 
propaganda with the remark : ' ' The rest of the 
writer's work must be essayed not with the 
author's pen, but with the rifle of the Irish Vol- 

By this time Sinn Fein had completely aban- 
doned any pretence of moderation. Professor 
MacNeill was writing impassioned appeals to 
Mr. Joseph McGarrity for arms. "We entreat 
and beseech you to join with us, making this 
the grand effort of our lives, and shrinking 
from no sacrifice that the peril and the hope of 
so great a crisis may demand. ' ' * Mr. Arthur 
Griffith, who, though he numbered Sir Eoger 
Casement among the contributors to his paper 
Sinn Fein, had managed to preserve an appear- 
ance of decent moderation so long as it paid, al- 
lowed his real self to appear whenwarbroke out. 

"Ireland is not at war with Germany. She 
has no quarrel with any Continental power. 
. . . England is at war with Germany. Ger- 
many is nothing to us in herself, but she is not 
an enemy." f 

• Gaelic American, July 18th, 1914. 
t Sirm Fein, August 8th, 1914. 


A little later Mr. Griffith had an opportunity 
to help Germany and he eagerly seized it. Case- 
ment wrote two letters to Ireland from Amer- 
ica, one of which was stopped by the British 
Censorship, while the other got through. In it 
Casement begged Irishmen to stay at home, and 
to refuse to assist England in her dishonest at- 
tack on a people with whom Ireland had no 
ground of quarrel. This letter was published in 
Sirni Fern at great length and, in an abbreviated 
form, in the Irish Independent, and had an im- 
mediate effect in stopping recruiting. In order 
to clinch the matter, Casement, to quote his own 
words, "hoped that the German Government 
might be induced to make clear its peaceful in- 
tention towards Ireland, and that the effect of 
such a pronouncement in Ireland itself might be 
powerful enough to keep Irishmen from volun- 
teering for a war that had no claim upon their 
patriotism or their honour. With this aim chief- 
ly in view I came to Germany in November, 
1914, and I succeeded in my purpose. ' The Ger- 
man Government declared openly its goodwill 
to Ireland and in convincing terms.' " 

Here we touch an extremely important point. 
During the latter part of 1918, and in this pres- 
ent year, Sinn Fein has discovered that it had 
backed the wrong horse and has been trying to 


hedge. Its leaders, except the impulsive Coun- 
tess Markievics, have repeatedly declared that 
there w^^ no alliance with Germany. They 
have further declared — Mr. De Valera has done 
so repeatedly in America — ^that they never re- 
ceived any German money.* Both these state- 
ments are absolute and deliberate falsehoods, 
and this is a convenient place to consider them. 

And first as to the alliance. The "convinc- 
ing terms" in which Germany expressed her 
goodwill to Ireland were sent to America by 
wireless and published on November 21st, 1914 : 

"Sir Roger Casement was received at the 
Foreign Office and pointed out statements which 
have appeared in Ireland . . , that German 
victory would inflict great loss on the Irish peo- 
ple. In reply the Acting Secretary of State of 
the Foreign Office, by order of the Imperial 
Chancellor, officially declared that the German 
Government repudiated the evil intentions at- 
tributed to it, and only desires the welfare of 
the Irish people and country. Germany would 
never invade Ireland with a view to its conquest 
or the overthrow of any native institutions of 
that country. Should fortune ever bring Ger- 

•See Irish Independent, July 17th, 1919. Mr. De Valera 's 
irords are, "I have denied time and again that our organisa- 
tion has received a mark or a rouble, and call on those who 
make the charges to substantiate them." 


man troops to Ireland's shores they wonld land 
there, not as an army of invaders to pillage and 
destroy, hut as forces of a nation inspired hy 
goodwill towards the country and people for 
whom Germany desires only national prosper- 
ity and freedom." 

The view taken of this document by the 
American-Irish is evident from the following 
resolution adopted by the New York Irish Vol- 
unteer Fund Committee : — 

' ' No honest friend of the Irish people would 
assail a man who secured such a guarantee from 
a friendly Power as Sir Eoger Casement has 
secured from the Grovernment of the German 
Empire, a guarantee which will remove any 
doubt which may have been entertained regard- 
ing German goodwill by a section of the Irish 

But Germany did not give this friendly guar- 
antee for nothing. The contract had to be bi- 
lateral. The inducement held out by Casement 
that such a guarantee would keep Irishmen from 
enlisting was well enough, but it would be more 
to the purpose were Irishmen to exchange that 
attitude of passive neutrality for one of active 
co-operation. Casement readily fell in with the 
idea, if indeed he had not already conceived it. 
Very probably he was delighted to get such 

* Gaelic Americcm, Decemter 5th, 1914. 


easy terms. It is extremely curious to observe 
how his intercourse with the Germans had 
caused him to absorb their peculiar mentality 
which enables them to ignore any point of view 
except their own, and to invert with a garb of 
virtue anything that makes for their advantage. 
Some eight months later, August 7th, 1915, 
Casement wrote a letter, which was published 
in the Gaelic American, in which he described 
his experiences among the Irish prisoners. He 
repudiated as a "stupid and ehUdish lie" Mr. 
Eedmond's assertion that he had been mobbed 
by the soldiers whom he had endeavoured to 
enlist for his Irish Brigade. He had, he said, 
walked among them alone and unguarded. It 
was indeed true that some of the ' ' silly youths ' ' 
had declared that "they were Englishmen and 
had no use for an Irish traitor." But he goes 
on, "I paid no attention to these valiant sup- 
porters of Mr. Eedmond. . . . Had those 
friends of Mr. Eedmond been as brave in body 
as they were in words, I might have had to use 
my cane." And he concludes this astonishing 
epistle : ' * All the Irish prisoners of war at Lim- 
burg are not renegades and comer boys, but 
then all of them are not followers of Mr. Eed- 
mond and fighting for British ideals of civilisa- 
tion, progress, and humanity." 


It must have been a shock to liiin to find that 
out of two thousand five hundred men only 
fifty-two responded to his seduction. Having 
himself found it so easy to conspire against the 
country whose pay and rewards he was taking, 
he must have been amazed to find among these 
poor half -starved, ill-used, poorly paid "Tom- 
mies" such loyalty to the King to whom they 
had sworn fealty. In his distress he resolved 
to call religion to his aid. He sent a message 
to his friends in America through Count Bern- 
storff, the German Foreign Office acting as in- 
termediary, asking them to send a priest to help 
him, and in response they despatched a Eoman 
Catholic clergyman, whose efforts were no more 

Such was the bargain, made and kept by both 
the contracting parties. If ever in this world 
there was an alliance, that between Sinn Fein 
and Germany was one. 

Now as to the question of the receipt of Ger- 
man money by Sinn Fein. As might be ex- 
pected, these financial transactions were car- 
ried out with every precaution to obey the in- 
structions of the German Foreign Office that 

* Trial of Josepli Bowling, Times, July 9th, 1918. See also 
Eeport of Casement's trial. 


the Embassy at WasMngton was not to be com- 
promised. Eevelations made at a later date 
by tbe American Government show that moneys 
paid from that source flowed through most tor- 
tuous channels, so that, like the victims of the 
U-boats, it should "leave no trace." But ia 
spite of these precautions there is full knowl- 
edge of financial transactions between Count 
Bemstorff and the American directors of the 
Irish movement. The terms of the treaty made 
by Casement were printed in Berliu in a leaflet 
which was circulated in Ireland as coming from 
the German Foreign Office. But this is not all. 
We have Count Bemstorff 's own words to prove 
the allegations. 

After the failure of the Dublin rebellion Sinn 
Fein found itself in low water. Its desire for 
revolution was undiminished, but its purse was 
empty. In these circumstances it appealed to 
Count Bemstorff for help, in itself an indication 
that it had made similar appeals before. On 
June 17th, 1916, the Foreign Office informed 
Count Bemstorff that help would be forthcom- 
ing if Sinn Fein would indicate what was want- 
ed. In July Count Bemstorff replied to Berlin. 
Things, he said, were moving again in Ireland 
and the rebels were reorganising their forces. 


They were, he added, in need of money, but he 
had put that matter right. 

This revelation is doubly interesting, first be- 
cause it proves beyond contradiction that Sinn 
Fein did receive German money; next because 
it destroys the fiction, concocted by some recent 
apologists of Sinn Fein, that the rebellion was 
not its work, but that of the party of revolu- 
tionary labour. 

At this point we leave Casement and his in- 
trigues in Germany for the moment, and re- 
turn to Ireland. 



The quarrel between the Parliamentarians and 
Sinn Fein, which had long been smouldering, 
began to glow when the Irish Volunteers were 
called into existence, and burst into flame with 
the outbreak of war. "Whatever were the real 
feelings of Mr. Eedmond as Sinn Fein snapped 
at his heels, he concealed them under a contemp- 
tuous indifference. The Sinn Feiners were 
merely a negligible handful of cranks, who, like 
Benedick, would still be talking though no one 
heeded them. But when the cranks proceeded 
to raise a Volunteer Force, matters became 
more serious. From the merely party point of 
view the new departure was threatening. Even 
though the Force might be for display rather 
than for use, it would popularise Sinn Fein and 
by its novelty detach many of his more ardent 
supporters. And it was not certain that it would 
be confined entirely to ceremonial parades and 
innocuous display. The leader of the Irish 
Party was not ignorant of the existence of a 



section in America whicli regarded his policy 
with disfavour, because of its moderation, and 
which might, as it did, see in the Volunteers an 
engine for active mischief. 

These early doubts developed into active ap- 
prehension with the appearance of Casement's 
articles in Irish Freedom, and th© growing 
activity of the American-Irish controlled by 
Devoy, Judge Cohalan, and Jeremiah O'Leary. 
Mr. Redmond's heart must have been heavy as 
he marked the rapid growth of the Volunteers 
and of the revolutionary truculence of its lead- 
ers. Revolution was fatal to his policy and re- 
pugnant to his mind. In spite of certain ambi- 
guities of speech, of which his opponents were 
not slow to avail themselves, Mr. Redmond 
proved, in the supreme crisis of his life, that he 
was true to the British connection. Had he, in 
August, 1914, but proclaimed Irish neutrality, 
he would probably have been the most popular 
and, perhaps, powerful Irish leader of a century. 
Instead of that he embraced the cause of the Al- 
lies, risked all, and lost. To him, therefore, the 
rising tide of revolution brought the most acute 
embarrassment. He dare not oppose the move- 
ment — to do that was to court disaster — and so 
he resolved to control it. With this view he 
demanded the right to nominate twenty-five 


members to the Committee. This transferred 
the embarrassment to the Sinn Feiners. They 
dared not refuse, for Mr. Eedmond's was still 
a name to conjure with, so with some bluster 
and many wry faces they gave way. It was then 
that the smouldering fires began to glow. 

They broke into flame when he endeavoured 
to raise battalions for the service of Great 
Britain. Unionists of high position and strong 
views joined the Volunteers when Mr. Eedmond 
proposed to unite them with the men of Ulster 
in an army of defence. The Ulster Volunteers 
stood out and prepared to form an Expedition- 
ary Division. Mr. Redmond followed their ex- 
ample, and then Sinn Fein finally broke away. 
A manifesto was drawn up on September 9th 
and published on the 25th in which Mr. Eed- 
mond was excommunicated and his nominees 
removed from the Committee. The signatories 
to this document were Professor MacNeill, The 
O'Rahilly, Thomas Macdonough, Joseph Plun- 
kett, P. H. Pearse, Bulmer Hobson, Eamonn 
Ceaunt, Sean MacDearmada, and Mellowes. 
Following the issue of the manifesto, the Vol- 
unteer Force split into two factions, the larger 
adhering to Mr. Redmond under the name of the 
National Volunteers, while the smaller body 
kept the old name. Henceforth it is with the lat- 


ter body that we are concerned, for the National 
Volunteers gradually ceased to play any active 
part in Irish politics. 

It is possible that at this time there was, even 
among the Irish Volunteers who had oast out 
Mr. Redmond, a moderate section. Giving evi- 
dence before the Rebellion Commission, Col. 
Moore, who adhered to Mr. Redmond, stated 
that the leaders of the Volunteers — ^before they 
divided — and among them men who afterwards 
fought in the Dublin rising, were willing to join 
in the defence of the Empire, but were refused. 
"What happened was this : Soon after war broke 
out a staff officer in Ireland proposed that mili- 
tary training should be given to all the Volun- 
teers in Ireland; that the military should be 
withdrawn and the barracks, thus vacated, 
should be filled by the Volunteers. In this way 
he calculated 20,000 men could be trained for 
two months, sent into camps and their places 
taken by another batch of recruits. Many of 
the Volunteer leaders agreed, but Lord Kitchen- 
er rejected the proposal. "Why he did so is un- 
certain. He may have thought that the risk of 
leaving Ireland denuded of troops, sorely as he 
needed them elsewhere, was too great, as indeed 
well he might after reading the articles in Irish 
Freedom, and other organs of Sinn Fein. He 


may even have feared — and of course lie had se- 
cret information as to affairs in Ireland — ^that 
the acqiriescence of some of the Volunteer lead- 
ers was only a pretence to get the British troops 
out of Ireland, and indeed, some suggestive ref- 
erences to the proposal had appeared in the 
Irish Volwnteer. He probably knew, as the Eng- 
lish Labour men who went over to help Connol- 
ly with funds had soon discovered, that the Dub- 
lin strike of the preceding year was a rehearsal 
of revolution rather than a strike against indus- 
trial conditions, and he certainly must have had 
knowledge of Fenian activities in America. At 
all events he turned the proposal down, and 
quite probably he was justified by the rupture 
which within a few weeks took place in the Vol- 
unteer Movement. 

It would be unprofitable, even were it possi- 
ble, to foUow in detail the course of events dur- 
ing the next few months, during which the rift 
in the Volunteers widened into a yawning chasm, 
and Mr. Eedmond came to be classed with 
O'Connell as a traitor to Ireland. In January, 
1915, things had gone so far that the Gaelic 
American published a dreadful letter, purport- 
ing to be written in hell by Lord Castlereagh, 
the statesman who carried through the Act of 
Union, James Carey, the author of the Phoenix 
Park murders and the informer on whose evi- 


dence the murderers were hanged, and Eichard 
Pigott, the author of the forged letters in the 
Parnell Conunission. They praise Eedmond 
highly for his policy, and say "his Satanic Maj- 
esty has prepared a very warm reception for 
him and we hope Mr. Eedmond" will not keep 
him waiting long. ... Our membership {i.e., 
the membership of traitors to Ireland) has 
greatly increased in the last few months through 
the arrival here of almost all the brave West 
Britons Mr. Eedmond has induced to go to the 
front to defend our glorious flag." 

Though in Ireland party passion did not 
reach such heights of expression, it was rising 
every day, fanned by the news of the Irish-Ger- 
man alliance, which arrived through wireless 
stations, of which, as Count Bemstorff informed 
Berlin, there were many in Ireland.* The terms 
of the German statement were printed in Berlin 
in leaflet form and were circulated in the coun- 
try. Large numbers of this leaflet, as well as 
of Casement's articles on "Ireland, Germany 
and the Freedom of the Seas," were found, to- 
gether with ammunition and explosives, in the 
house of a man called De Lacy at Enniscorthy, 
County Wexford, in February.f Proclamations 

* Grovernment statement, May 25th, 1918. 

t Enniscorthy was one of the centres of rebellion in 1916. 
De Lacy escaped to America, where he intrigued with German 
agents and was given two years' imprisonment. 


were posted up in many parts of tlie county to 
the following effect: 

"PedJ)le of Wexford. 

"Take no notice of the police order to destroy 
your property and leave your homes if a Ger- 
man Army lands in Ireland. When the Ger- 
mans come they will come as friends and put an 
end to English rule in Ireland. Therefore, stay 
in your homes, and assist as far as possible the 
German troops. Any stores, hay, com, or for- 
age taken by the Germans will be paid for by 

German agents and spies were ubiquitous and 
busy at this time. Baron Von Horst was ar- 
rested for distributing anti-recruiting and se- 
ditious literature ; Lody, a greater than he, was 
captured at Killarney, where, it was stated be- 
fore the Eebellion Commission, one of the hotel 
waiters was also a German spy. Up and down 
the country agents were at work, predicting 
British defeat and extolling the single-minded 
generosity of the Huns. Stories were current in 
the west of Ireland which illustrate the effect 
of these efforts, among them the following, 
which is within the knowledge of the writer. A 
vessel, it was said, had been stopped by a U-boat 
off the south-west coast. When the German com- 
mander learned that she was carrying grain to an 


Irish port, he bade her proceed. "I will never," 
he handsomely declared, "interfere with the 
food of the priests and good people of Ireland. ' ' 
The disposition of the conspirators in 1915 
was as follows : In Germany Casement was mak- 
ing desperate efforts to make good his pledge to 
the German Government; in America Kuno 
Meyer was stumping the country, ostensibly lec- 
turing on the Gaelic language, but really carry- 
ing on intrigues the nature of which may be easi- 
ly defined, while his friends and partners the 
Irish-American leaders directed operations, and 
Count Bernstorff obligingly violated the canons 
of diplomatic usage by allowing them to use 
his post-bag, and acted as paymaster for these 
so-called American citizens and their needy 
parasites. There was even a secret code, the 
' ' Cypher Devoy, ' ' which was specially used for 
communications between the rebels and their 
German allies.* In Ireland the Sinn Fein 
leaders denounced the Constitutional National- 
ists, extolled Germany, vilified every Irishman 
who donned the British uniform, with special 
terms of reproach for any who, like Corporal 
O'Leary, might have earned particular glory, 
and worked feverishly on the task of drilling 

* Von Igel papers. Published by the American Committee 
of Public Safety, September 23rd, 1917. 


and equipping the Volunteers. They had their 
reward in later days, when Professor Edouard 
Meyer of the University of Berlin declared that 
"during the war Ireland had shown herself 
Germany's true aUy, not only with arms in her 
hands, but by her passive resistance. ' ' 

The sinking of the Lusitcmia, though it was 
hailed with delight by the American conspira- 
tors, caused them much embarrassment. Prior 
to that event, though they had grumbled openly 
at what they regarded as President Wilson's 
one-sided neutrality, they clung to the belief 
that a large section of the American people were 
friendly to Germany, or at least strictly impar- 
tial in their sentiments. After the atrocity that 
fond hope vanished. The German Empire sank 
with the great ship : the same torpedo destroyed 
both. All semblance of sympathy for the Cen- 
tral Empires disappeared, and it needed the 
firm hand of the President to hold his people 
back. America did not enter the war until two 
years later, it is true, but the altered sentiments 
of the nation must have been disconcerting to 
Devoy and his colleagues, and may possibly 
have had some effect in precipitating events in 
Ireland. The change in American feeling and 
its influence on the Sinn Fein leaders may be 
traced in the editorials of the Gaelic American, 


in the added virulence of their attacks on tlie 
American papers, and the steadily growing list 
of journals that came under their ban. 

In Ireland things began to move swiftly as 
the year went on. Organisers formed new de- 
tachments of Volunteers throughout the south- 
ern provinces and the numbers were steadily 
swelled by desertions from the National Volun- 
teers. Arms were smuggled in, including some 
machine guns;, weapons were stolen from the 
National Volunteers, and were obtained by 
thefts or purchase from soldiers home on leave ; 
explosives were concealed in convenient places 
and bombs were manufactured. Old soldiers 
acted as instructors, and the Sinn Fein papers 
devoted much of their space to articles on mili- 
tary tactics, such as street fighting, defence or 
destruction of roads and bridges, rearguard ac- 
tions, and such modifications of established 
rules as were necessitated by the nature of the 
country. Germany helped with very full in- 
structions in staff work, and with admirable 
maps of Dublin and the country. 

The most important event of this period, 
however, was the alliance that was formed be- 
tween the Irish Volunteers £ind the Citizen 
Army, important less from the strictly military 
point of view than from its ultimate political 


results. As a fighting force tlie Citizen Army 
■was almost negligible ; it added some hundreds 
of desperate men, mainly concentrated in Dub- 
lin, of theTrish. Volunteers, and indeed it was the 
Citizen Army wbieli was most active in the Dub- 
lin rebellion. But the junction between the forces 
had enormous political consequences. It 
brought together the two revolutionary cur- 
rents, thenceforth to flow in a single stream. 
Except for a few idealists like Pearse, Sinn 
Fein had scant sympathy with the economic 
aims of Connolly and Larkin — Arthur Griffith, 
indeed, was strongly opposed to the great Dub- 
lin strike. Larkin and Connolly, on their side, 
would regard the responsible Sinn Feiners, such 
as Count Plunkett, Professor MacNeill, Mr. 
Sweetman, and The O'Eahilly, as natural ene- 
mies. They found a link of union in hatred of 
Great Britain, and thenceforward the national 
movement changed its character. As always 
happens in revolutions, so soon as the intellec- 
tuals call the sans culottes to their aid, they be- 
come merged in the proletarian movement. Up 
to 1915 Great Britain had to deal with a politi- 
cal and intellectual movement; since that time, 
and now, she is faced by a revolutionary force 
no longer wholly political, but infused and large- 
ly inspired by anarchical doctrines. Thus Sinn x 


Fein saddled itself with an incubus, fatal to its 
original principles, and destined to be embar- 
rassing in the last degree. The day will surely 
come when, like Mr. Bumble, it will bitterly la- 
ment that it sold its liberty so cheap. 

With the opening of 1916 the Irish leaders 
determined that the "Day" had arrived. Those 
in America probably found their position get- 
ting more irksome. An American writer has 
said: "If Americans had small patience with 
Ulster in 1914, they had still less with Sinn Fein 
in 1916."* Casement, in Berlin, was being 
pressed by Germany to "deliver the goods." 
His failure to seduce the Irish soldiers had 
somewhat shaken Teutonic faith in his reliabil- 
ity, and he had to do something to redeem his 
promises. In Ireland the conspirators had pre- 
pared elaborate and, on paper, extremely effec- 
tive plans of campaign ; they probably calculated 
too optimistically the amount of the aid that Ger- 
many would lend ; moreover, though Mr. Birrell 
refused to be alarmed, their spies in the Govern- 
ment Departments reported that other officials 
were awakening to a sense of realities ; and so 
they resolved that the time had come to strike. 

During March, 1916, messages were going 
back and forward between Germany and Amer- 
ica, as to the transmission of arms to Tralee 

* Waldo G. Leland, QvMrterly Seview, July, 1918. 


Bay, the possibility of U-boats entering tbe Lif- 
f ey, and arranging a code of signals for use dur- 
ing these operations. The Irish Volunteers car- 
ried out a'f ew dress rehearsals in Dublin, includ- 
ing a sham attack on the Castle, and Professor 
MacNeill, as Chief of Staff, ordered general 
marches and parades of the Volunteers for 
Easter Sunday, April 23rd. 

On April 18th, the following despatch was 
sent to Count Bernstorff , marked ' ' very secret ' ' : 

' ' Judge Cohalan requests the transmission of 
the following remarks : The revolution in Ire- 
land can only be successful with the support of 
Germany; otherwise England will be able to 
suppress it, even though it be only after a hard 
struggle. Therefore help is necessary. This 
should consist principally of aerial attacks on 
England and a diversion of the fleet simultane- 
ously with the Irish revolution. Then if possi- 
ble a landing of arms and ammunition in Ire- 
land and possibly some officers from Zeppelins. 
This would enable the Irish ports to be closed 
against England and the cutting of the food 
supply for England. The services of the revo- 
lution, therefore, may decide the war."* 

The rest is known. On April 21st, the Aud 

* Found by American Secret Service agents in the office of 
Von Igel, a German agent. Nem York World, Sept. 23rd, 1917. 


was sighted by the Bluebell. She professed to 
be a Norwegian ship, bound from Bergen to 
Genoa. Dissatisfied and suspicious, the com- 
mander of the Bluebell ordered her to accom- 
pany him to Queenstown. On the morning of 
the following day the Aud hoisted German col- 
ours, the crew took to the boats and the ves- 
sel soon afterwards sank. She was manned by 
German officers and sailors, and carried a large 
cargo of arms and ammunition. On the 21st, 
too, Casement, with two companions, landed 
from a German submarine at Curraghgane, in 
Tralee Bay, and was arrested within a few 
hours. The news reached Professor MaoNeUl 
on Saturday, and he issued orders cancelling the 
marches and parades on the following day. He 
was willing to wound, but, in face of Casement's 
arrest and the failure of the German munitions 
to reach Ireland, he was too prudent to strike. 
Others did strike, but the plans had gone awry, 
and the rebellion was crushed. But for an ac- 
cident to a motor-car, it would not have been 
crushed in a week, on such small chances do 
great matters hinge.* Had the car met Case- 
ment, Professor MacNeill would have been less 
prudent, his volunteers would have gone out for 
their manoeuvres, provisioned for a few days' 

* Irish Volunteer, April 22nd, 1916. 


bivouac. As it was, tlie revolution was mainly 
confined to Dublin, tbougb there was figbting 
also in Galway, Wexford, and County Dublin, 
wbere two officers and eight men of the Royal 
Irish Constabulary were killed and fourteen 
wounded, while in Tralee the Volunteers were 
mobilised. The sinMng of the Avd and the ar- 
rest of Casement did not prevent a calamity, but 
they averted a very grave danger. 

So Casement passes from the stage, the most 
ignoble of all the leading players in the drama. 

The loss of life — of material damage to Dub- 
lin we say nothing — ^was not inconsiderable. Of 
those who fought for the Crown, 19 officers and 
19 of other ranis were killed, and 46 officers 
and 326 other ranks were wounded. From the 
hospitals 180 civilians were reported killed and 
614 wounded, and this certainly does not ex- 
haust the list of casualties. 

For a country which is uniformly described 
in Ireland as revelling in tyranny the retribu- 
tion exacted by Great Britain was not excessive. 
Some three thousand rebels were arrested, two 
thousand of whom were deported, the great ma- 
jority being released in a few months. Of the 
leaders, fifteen were executed. Others, sen- 
tenced to death, had their sentences commuted 
to penal servitude for Hf e, but were all released 
in a little more than a year. Among them was 


De Valera, who commanded one of tlie rebel de- 
tachments in Dublin, and who was among the 
last to surrender. Thus, by midsummer 1917 
not a single rebel remained in prison for of- 
fences connected with the rising, and only fif- 
teen of those who had hatched the plot which 
caused such ruin and su£fering had paid the ex- 
treme penalty. 

Nevertheless the epithets applied to G-eneral 
Maxwell, the Commander-in-Chief, would have 
been more appropriate, if indeed not excessive, 
if applied to Wallenstein or Alva. The Bishop 
of Limerick, being restrained by his episcopal 
position, contented himself with writing to the 
Guardians of the Tipperary Union of "that 
brute Maxwell, who in my opinion is only one 
degree less objectionable than the Government 
that screens behind him. ' ' What he might have 
said had he been a mere layman is interesting 
as a speculation, but must be neglected in view 
of the succeeding portion of the letter, which is 
not only interesting, but important, since it gave 
the cue for the future Irish policy: 

"Ireland is not dead yet. While her young 
men are not afraid to die for her in open fight ; 
and when defeated stand proudly with their 
backs to the wall as targets for English bullets, 
we need not despair of the old land. " * 

* Letter to Tipperary Board of Guardians, June, 1916, 


This pronouncemeiit had all the more effect 
because the Bishop had generally been regarded 
as a moderate, exercising a conservative influ- 
ence upon Nationalist thought. Its immediate 
result was to unmuzzle the younger and more 
hot-blooded clergy and to revive the chastened 
passion of the Eepublicans ; its ultimate effects 
were far-reaching, for it destroyed the hopes of 
ainicable settlement which at that time had be- 
gun to take visible shape. 

The rebellion had shocked the more sober 
elements of society. It had brought them face 
to face with the reahties of Civil War. The 
gaunt ruins of Sackville Street were so many 
signposts pointing towards conciliation. The 
Government seized the opportunity to reopen 
the negotiations which had failed on the eve of 
the war. Mr. Asquith himself crossed over to 
Dublin and went out of his way — some thought 
too far out of his way — to be conciliatory to the 
rebels. Mr. Lloyd George — ^who has since 
shown his abilities as a negotiator on a larger 
field — ^was charged with the task of bringing 
parties together. He was within an ace of success. 

The Ulster Unionist Council met. Under the 
terms of the Ulster Covenant the Unionists of 
all the nine Ulster counties had bound them- 
selves to stand or fall together. But if the pro- 


posals of the Government were to be accepted, it 
was necessary that the counties of Cavan, Mo- 
naghan, and Donegal should stand out and ac- 
cept the rule of the Parliament in Dublin. After 
long consideration they agreed to waive their 
rights under the Covenant and to place them- 
selves at the disposal of the Council. It has 
been said that they only yielded to the argument 
that thus they would "kill Home Rule." But 
that is not true. The effect of their decision on 
the fate of the Home Rule Bill was never even 
mentioned. The only question discussed was 
that of national expediency, the desirability of 
bringing Ireland into line on the side of the Al- 
lies, then hard pressed, and of presenting a unit- 
ed front to the world. And indeed, had the de- 
cision of the Ulster Council been taken as a 
matter of party tactics, it would have been an 
extremely venturesome gamble. For the Con- 
vention of the Nationalists of Ulster, which fol- 
lowed later, agreed to the exclusion of the six 
counties of Antrim, Down, Armagh, London- 
derry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh from the opera- 
tion of the Home Rule Act. There was, how- 
ever, one point on which the parties were not 
agreed. The Unionists wished the exclusion of 
the six counties to be "definite," while the Na- 
tionalists declared that it should be "provision- 


al," i.e., that, as Mr. Lloyd George had. pro- 
posed, it should be subject to revision, as part 
of a scheijie of general Imperial reconstruction, 
a year after the termination of the war. 

The difference was serious, indeed it was 
fundamental, but it might perhaps have been 
adjusted in view of the great Imperial necessi- 
ties o:^ the time, the shock of Civil War, and the 
desire of the Unionists and of Mr. Eedmond 
that Ireland should play her full part in the 
great world struggle. 

Thus, as Mr. Redmond saw clearly, did Ire- 
land out of evil get a second and most unexpect- 
ed opportunity. Once, in 1914, had the chance 
presented itself, and she let it slip. And now it 
came to her two years later. Had Ireland taken 
the first chance, and said to Britain, "Your 
cause is mine," there is no reasonable measure 
of self-government, short of separation, which 
she might not have asked for and received. Irish 
Unionists, even though they might have but lan- 
guid confidence in the merits of Irish admin-- 
istration, would have felt it churlish to deny 
men who had taken their share of the war; 
they would have thought that, after all, they had 
been true to the flag, and would have been con- 
tent to bury the old animosities and suspicions 
in the trenches where the wearers of the Orange 
'and the Green lay entombed together. 


After the rebellion Ireland could not hope for 
such fuU concessions, though even then she 
might have got much, but, in the spirit of Dr. 
O'Dwyer's letter, she again flung away the sub- 
stance for the shadow. The Eoman Catholic 
Hierarchy of Ulster had been the bitterest op- 
ponents of exclusion in the Nationalist Conven- 
tion ; their colleague in the south set the heather 
on fire. At once Sinn Fein raised a cry against 
Partition. The pause in the negotiations, 
caused by the different limitations set on exclu- 
sion by the Unionists and Nationalists, gave the 
chorus time to gain volume, and as it gained in 
volume so did Mr. Eedmond find himself com- 
pelled to stiffen his back on the point of "provi- 
sional" exclusion, or to see his power, already 
waning, disappear altogether. On the Union- 
ists the effect of Dr. O'Dwyer's letter and the 
outburst of Republican fury was to convince 
them that concessions made to promote unity 
would be made in vain, while the Government 
saw in the unrepentant attitude of Sinn Fein a 
confirmation of the view of the southern Union- 
ists that the establishment of a Parliament in 
which Sinn Fein would be powerful, and while 
Ireland was in such an unsettled condition, 
would be a dangerous experiment, which might 
materially prejudice the conduct of the war. Ac- 


cordingly on July 24tli — ^by a strange coinci- 
dence it was on that same day two years before 
that the Conference at Buckinghana Palace had 
broken down — Mr. Asquith announced in Par- 
liament that the Grovemment had abandoned the 
attempt at a settlement. 

The history of these few weeks has been thus 
dwelt upon as one of the most pregnant phases 
of the revolutionary movement. It reveals Sum 
Fein as the sworn enemy of any attempt at set- 
tlement by consent, a fact of the highest impor- 
tance in the consideration of contemporary Irish 
politics. From a broader point of view it is 
deeply interesting in that it is perhaps the first 
instance of the Roman Catholic hierarchy rang- 
ing itself on the side of revolution based upon 
the most extreme doctrines of Socialism. 

As has just been said, the southern Unionists 
had, while the negotiations were in progress, 
impressed on the Government the risk of erect- 
ing an Irish Legislature in the then state of the 
country. It has been the fashion to treat warn- 
ings from that quarter as the creations of a fe- 
vered and prejudiced imagination, but in this 
instance at least they had solid foundation. 
Even while they were being uttered Count Bem- 
storff was informing his Foreign Office that the 
reorganisation of the Irish Republicans was 


proceeding apace, and that lie liad supplied them 
with the money of which they stood in need. 
The Eepublican junta in America observed the 
action of the Bishop of Limerick with great ap- 
proval, and took measures to provide him with 
a colleague of pronounced views. It chanced 
that about that time the bishopric of Cork fell 
vacant. Among the prominent candidates was 
one of moderate opinions and friendly to the 
British connection. Another was Dr. Daniel Co- 
halan. Count Bernstorff greatly interested him- 
self in the matter, and on August 23rd tele- 
graphed as follows to the German Foreign Office : 
"The Bishop of Cork having died, there is a 
sharp contest over the succession. The present 
Assistant Bishop, Daniel Cohalan, is the choice 
of the local clergy ; but England is using unusual 

efforts to have appointed. is strongly 

anti-German, although Germany, at our request, 
released him shortly after the outbreak of war, 
Assistant-Bishop Cohalan is cousin of Judge 
Cohalan, and strongly Nationalist and pro-Ger- 
man. He was the intermediary between the in- 
surgent Cork Volunteers and the British mili- 
tary authorities, and publicly exposed the gross 
breach of faith of the English with the surren- 
dered men. Hence the effort to defeat him 
through the English Envoy at the Vatican. . . . 


It would have a great moral effect in Kome if 
Cohalan were chosen. If Germany can exert 
any influence to bring about this result it would 
defeat the English intrigue aimed against her 

What efforts Germany made must be a mat- 
ter of surmise. Certain it is that Dr. Daniel 
Cohalan is now the Bishop of Cork. 




Fob a moment let us turn our eyes from the 
United Kingdom to the Continent, that we may 
view Irish affairs in their relation to the war. 
While Sinn Feia was making its final prepara- 
tions for rebellion — the coincidence could hardly 
have been accidental — France was battling for 
her very life ; while Dublin was being battered 
out of shape Verdun was crumbling out of exist- 
ence. The battle of Jutland was fought in May, 
and was celebrated by the Irish Eepublicans in 
verses recited, amid wild applause, in the revo- 
lutionary concert halls.* While the Govern- 
ment at home was striving for settlement, and 
Sinn Fein was making it impossible, the battles 
of the Somme were raging. While Dr. 'Dwyer 

* A couple of verses will show the nature of this effusion : 
The Bats Came Out. 
Britannia rules the waves, Britons never shall be slaves! 
We've been told the tale so often that we've scarcely room 
for doubt; 
Irish rebels in their graves, done to death by cowardly knaves 
Would sleep peacefully, I'm certain, if they knew the rats 
came out. . . . 



was denouncing the brutality of General Max- 
well, Nurse Cavell and Captain Fryatt were be- 
ing done to death by the allies of the Irish Sep- 
aratists.* As always, England's extremity was 
Ireland's opportunity, and the Eepublicans 
used it to the full. 

Their attitude was both singular and signifi- 
cant. It might have been expected that the fail- 
ure of the rising would have left them in a chas- 
tened mood, of which their moderate leaders 
would have taken advantage to recall them 
from the dangerous paths into which they had 
strayed. Conciliation was in the air. Mr. As- 
quith had been polite to the point of flattery in 
his talks with the captive rebels, the spirit of ne- 
gotiation was abroad, and they not only stood 
aloof, but bestirred themselves to prevent agree- 
ment. Some little sign from them would have 
done much to diminish the rigour of Mr. Eed- 
mond's attitude, but it was not given. Whether 
he desired it or no, he was forced, if he and his 
party were not to be swept from the stage, to 
meet the Ulster demand with an uncompromis- 
ing negative. 

Nay more. Sinn Fein took heart from the 

The blood of murdered Irishmen appeals to Heaven once again; 

The fleet that shelled old Dublin town have got a clean 
True Irish hearts will ever pray God wiU speed the coming day 

When Britain 's fleet is swept away when next the rats come out 


negotiations set on foot by Mr. Lloyd George. 
Outwardly denouncing the Government as bar- 
barously tyrannical, it secretly construed its de- 
sire for settlement as a proof of abject weak- 
ness and grew more insolent and defiant tbe 
while it pursued its negotiations with Germany. 
Sinn Fein Clubs sprang up all over the country 
until within a few months they were counted in 
hundreds ; the Irish Volunteers swelled from a 
brigade into a couple of Army Corps. 

Numerous attempts were made by the more 
moderate Nationalists to stem the Republican 
advance by diverting the popular demand into 
less dangerous channels. The Irish Nation 
League was formed at Omagh in August, as a 
half-way house between the Parliamentarians 
and the Eepublicans. It came to nothing. Mr. 
Redmond tried to retain the constituencies by 
motions in Parliament for inquiries into the 
events of the rebellion, the abolition of martial 
law, and the release of the deportees. The Gov- 
ernment made some concessions. Sir John 
Maxwell was recalled; a new Chief Secretary 
was appointed; over three-quarters of the in- 
terned prisoners were released. It was all in 
vain: Sinn Fein pursued its course unmoved 
and unrelenting. Throughout the autumn it was 
beseeching Germany to send an expedition, and 


to establish bases for submarines and Zeppelins 
in the west of Ireland. In December it was 
pressingjihe German Government for a favour- 
able reply, at the very moment that the Man- 
chester Guardian was calling for a general am- 
nesty as a step to perfect harmony, and that the 
Daily News was proclaiming that it was useless 
to expect any improvement in Ireland's senti-. 
ments while the rebels were interned at Fron- 
goch. Six hundred were released, and Sinn 
Fein became more irreconcilable. 

In February Count Plunkett was elected 
member for North Eoscommon with over three 
thousand votes against less than seven hundred 
cast for Mr, Redmond's candidate. And then 
Mr. Redmond made a last attempt to stem the 
current, with a motion proposed by Mr. T. P. 
'Connor : 

' ' That, with a view to strengthening the hands 
of the Allies in achieving the recognition of the 
equal rights of small nations and the principle 
of nationality against the opposite German 
principles of military domination and Govern- 
ment without the consent of the governed, it is 
essential without further delay to confer upon 
Ireland the free institutions long promised to 

• March 7tli, 1917. 


Mr. Lloyd George, who by this time was 
Prime Minister, speaking as a Home Euler, said 
that the Cabinet was ready to give self-govern- 
meat to that part of Ireland which desired it, 
but not to that part which rejected it. It was 
impossible to force any one part of Ireland to 
live under a law which it did not approve, least 
of all in the circumstances then existing. There 
could be no question of imposing "Home Eule" 
on the people of the north-east, as hostile to 
Irish rule as the rest of Ireland is to British 
rule, yea, and as ready to rebel against this as 
the rest of Ireland is to revolt against British 
rule. He then moved the following amendment : 

"That this House would welcome a settle- 
ment which would produce a better understand- 
ing between Ireland and the rest of the United 
Kingdom, but considers it impossible to impose 
by force on any section or part of Ireland a form 
of Government which has not their assent." 

Mr. Eedmond rejected the amendment. The 
time for conferences and negotiations, he said, 
had gone by. He denied the right of minorities 
to call check to the spirit of a nation; he de- 
manded the Home Eule Act, the whole Act, and 
nothing but the Act. The state of Ireland, he 
said, was very serious. The constitutional 
movement had, by forty years of toil, practically 


eliminated the revolutionary agitation, and now 
its work was being wrecked in sight of port. 

Were one disposed for controversy, it might 
be pointed out that Mr. Eedmond put the effect 
of the constitutional upon the revolutionary 
movement too high, and placed too generous an 
estimate on the value of the Home Eule Act as 
an implement of conciliation. For at the very 
time when the success of the measure was se- 
cured, and even before it was introduced, the 
forces of revolution, which Mr. Eedmond de- 
clared had been practically eliminated, were de- 
ciding the measure and concerting rebellion. 
But that may pass. 

Having made his protest, Mr. Eedmond left 
the House with his followers, and the debate 
ended without a decision being taken. The next 
day the Nationalists published a manifesto, pro- 
claiming their loyalty to the cause of the Allies, 
though compelled to go into opposition to the 
Government, and appealing to the Irishmen of 
America and the Dominions to put pressure on 
the British Government to act towards Ireland 
in conformity with the principles for which the 
Allies were fighting in Europe. 

Even this dramatic and adroit move met with 
no response from Sinn Fein. Then, if ever, was 
its opportunity. The wording of Mr. Eedmond 's 


i^anifesto could be read to include a demand 
for self-government on the broadest lines. * ' The 
principles for which the Allies are fighting" 
mi^ht even be construed to mean complete in- 
dejiendence. Why then did Sinn Fein remain 
unmoved? Surely, for one reason only — ^thatit 
knew that Mr. Eedmond, though he would have 
taken the widest form of self-government if it 
were offered him, did not contemplate severance 
from the Empire; Because of that he was still 
the West Briton, the helot and the traitor. 

An opportunity soon occurred for Sinn Fein 
to show its opinion of Mr. Eedmond and to give 
an answer to the Prime Minister's suggestion 
for settlement. Major Willie Eedmond was 
killed at Messines, dying, by a pathetic coinci- 
dence, among the Ulstermen. Mr. De Valera 
was nominated for East Clare, Major Eed- 
mond 's constituency. On the next day, June 
15th, 1917, the Government proclaimed a gen- 
eral amnesty and all the Irish prisoners were 
released. They availed tlaemselves of their lib- 
erty to make speeches of the most seditious 
char3,cter up and down the island, declaring that 
"England is beaten to the ropes;" "France is 
bled white;" "Germany is no enemy of Ire- 
land. " " England, ' ' cried one orator, ' ' has been 
an enemy in the past, why should we not assist 
her enemies now?" Another speaker supplied 


the answer: "Get ready; keep getting ready; 
when the call comes stand to arms." 

By this time America was in the war. But 
that did not prevent "The Provisional Govern- 
ment of the Irish Eepublic" from sending its 
"Ambassador," Dr. Patrick MoCartan,* to 
President Wilson and Congress, with a conunu- 
nication which contained the following passage : 

"Our Nationalism is not founded upon griev- 
ances. We are opposed not to English mis- 
government but to English government in 
Ireland. . . . While prepared, when the oppor- 
tunity arises, to assert our independence by the 
one force which commands universal respect 
and to accept aid from any quarter to that end, 
we hope Americans will see their way to aid in 
doing for Ireland what they did for Cuba." 

Considering the circumstances, it is probable 
that no more astonishing communication was 
ever made to the head of a great nation than 
this. It was presented in the name of the Irish 
Eepublic, an organisation hostile and rebel- 

* Dr. McCartan was at that time a fugitive from Ireland. 
He is now Dispensary Doctor for the Omagh District Council 
and has leave of absence, his return to his duties being delayed 
for what have been stated in the Council to be "well-known 
reasons. " He is also a Sinn Fein MP. and is, or recently was, 
an inmate of an American gaol. 


lions to a State on whose side America was then 
fighting and in active alliance with Germany, 
with whom America was at war. It was framed 
by a junta one of whose leading members had 
been specially recommended as a rehable agent 
for organising sabotage in the United States. 
And America was asked to put pressure on 
England to give Ireland that right of seces- 
sion which half a century before she had re- 
fused to her own dissentient States at the cost 
of four years of bitter war. 

It is probable that in sending this message, 
and in the choice of the ambassador who should 
convey it, Sinn Fein was inspired as much by a 
desire to insult the President as by any hope of 
receiving a favourable reply. In the days when 
America was still neutral the Irish-Americans 
had abused the head of the State with a free- 
dom which on this side of the Atlantic it is dif- 
ficult to understand. The exchange of neutral- 
ity for active co-operation with the Allies drove 
them to frenzy. It paralysed their energies, it 
deprived them of the services of Count Bem- 
storff, Von Igel, and the rest of the Teutonic 
horde ; they saw their fellow Irishmen in Amer- 
ica swept into the maelstrom of the conscrip- 
tion which they had successfully resisted in 
Ireland as the barbarous implement of blood- 
thirsty tyranny. In their distress these hyphen- 


ated citizens of the United States, notwitli- 
standing that myriads of Irishmen were fighting 
for America, still continued to plot for Ger- 
many's success, though force of circumstances 
compelled them to transfer their main energies 
from New York to Berlin. 

In America what work was done was through 
the Society of the Friends of Irish Freedom, 
founded in 1916, of which Mr. Jeremiah 
O'Leary was President, with Professor Kuno 
Meyer and Mr. St. John Gaffney, ex-Consul- 
General of the United States at Munich, as his 
principal colleagues. When America entered 
the war Kuno Meyer returned to Germany, 
where he again worked with St. John Gaffney 
and a Mr. Chatterton-Hill, and founded the Ger- 
man-Irish Society, which was the European 
counterpart of the Friends of Irish Freedom. 
Among the officials of this Society were Herr 
Erzberger, Baron von Eeichthofen, Count 
Westarp, the leader of the Junkers in the 
Eeichstag, Professor Edouard Meyer, Profes- 
sor Schiemann, and many other eminent per- 
sons. The Society ran a monthly review, Irische 
Blatter, of which Chatterton-Hill was editor. 

It is important to observe that the first num- 
ber of this magazine appeared in May, 1917, a 
month after the United States had declared war 


against Germany, driven to that extreme meas- 
ure, so repugnant to the genius of the Ameri- 
can people, by the conviction that German suc- 
cess would be fatal to civilisation, liberty, and 
moral law. Yet in the opening address of the 
German-Irish Society and in the pages of 
Irische Blatter we find the following passages : 

"The war has proved that Germany has very 
few friends. But the Irish have acted as friends 
at home as well as in the United States, and 
Germany must not underestimate the value of 
Irish friendship. From the beginning of the 
war the American-Irish adopted the German 
cause with enthusiasm, and in alliance with the 
German-Americans conducted a courageous 
fight for true neutrality. There is no doubt 
that, but for the support of the Irish organisa- 
tions, the politically unorganised German- 
Americans would have been condemned to im- 
potence. . . . The German-Irish Society will 
devote its energies to reopening Ireland to the 
world, and especially to Germany. It will . . . 
generally and in every way further the pro- 
gressive development of the Emerald Isle in 
the interests of the German as well as the Irish 

So much for the inaugural address. Two 
points may be noted. First, the Irish activities 
which so embarrassed the American Govern- 


ment in the period of neutrality. Second, the 
promise to throw Ireland open especially to 
Germany^ whose crimes had dragged America 
reluctantly into war. The following are pas- 
sages from page 102 of Irische Blatter of May, 

"When the West-Irish harbours serve as 
bases for TJ-boats, and a large part of the coun- 
try is in the hands of one of the organised revo- 
lutionary armies, then will England's rule over 
the sea quickly come to an end. Not only can 
many English ships carrying munitions and the 
necessaries of life be sunk, but others can be 
captured and towed into Irish ports to supply 
the Irish army with munitions and the Irish 
people with food. Thus would England be 
handed over to her enemies and the war quickly 
brought to an end." 

Here we pause to contemplate the prospect 
opened up, not only for Great Britain but for 
America, by the Friends of Irish Freedom and 
the German-Irish Society. Secured in their 
possession of the Irish coast, U-boats were to 
have the Atlantic traffic at their mercy. Amer- 
ican transports to be "sunk without trace," 
their ships, like those carrying the Eed Ensign, 
to be sunk or captured at will. The war would 
be swiftly brought to an end, and America 


would share in the defeat. And this was the 
programme of American citizens, directed not, 
as in the case of England, against a nation which 
had imposed her rule upon them, but against 
the country of their own choosing. 

Meanwhile in Ireland Sinn Fein was prosper- 
ing amazingly. De Valera was elected for East 
Clare by a huge majority; Mr. Cosgrave won 
the suffrages of Kilkenny; in South Longford 
Mr. MacGuinness wrested a seat from the Par- 
liamentarians. A solemn resolution was taken 
that no representatives of Sinn Fein would rec- 
ognise British rule by taking their seats at 
Westminster, thus incidentally sparing them- 
selves the painful necessity of committing wil- 
ful and deliberate perjury. The Clubs contin- 
ued to multiply,* and the armies, to which 
Irische Blatter so hopefully referred, to in- 
crease.! The negotiations which had been in 
progress in December had for the time come to 
an end in consequence of Germany's refusal to 
send troops — she was by now beginning to feel 

*At the Sinn Fein Convention, October 25th, 1917, 1009 
Clubs were represented by 1700 delegates. It was stated by the 
Secretary that the total number of Clubs was about 1200, with 
a membership of about 250,000. 

t Mr. Duke, Chief Secretary for Ireland, estimated that the 
Sinn Fein Volunteers numbered 200,000 men in October, 1917. 
— Eansard, October 24th, 1917. 


tlie pincli — though she was ready and willing 
to send arms and provide money. 

Disappointed in their hope of another Civil 
War, the high spirit of the Sinn Feiners found 
an outlet in those forms of crime which habit- 
ually distinguish moments of political excite- 
ment in Ireland — shooting of police, robbery of 
arms, cattle-driving, and boycotting. One case 
of boycotting deserves commemoration. In 
November, 1917, Mrs. Eyan, a school mistress, 
was driven out of her school by a body of Sinn 
Feiners ; the school was closed by order of Sinn 
Fein and pickets were posted to prevent it be- 
ing reopened until another teacher was ap- 
pointed. Mrs. Eyan's offence was that, on the 
occasion of Lord Kitchener's death in 1916, she 
had played the Dead March in Saul in the pres- 
ence of her pupils. "What is one to think of a 
great national movement for liberty that can 
descend to such pettiness? 

Again, it is significant that these activities 
coincided with an attempt to reach a settlement 
of the Irish question more elaborate and con- 
taining greater presages of success than ever 
before. Out of twelve months of groping for a 
possible solution emerged the Convention, to 
which were nominated, or in some cases elected, 
103 members, representative of every shade of 


opinion, and perhaps more representative of 
Ireland as a whole than any other body which 
had assembled since the Union. Great hopes 
were attached to the meeting of this assembly, 
and therefore it at once became the object of 
Sinn Fein to wreck them. 

From the outset Sinn Fein stood aloof, refus- 
ing to send delegates to the Convention. It de- 
parted from its attitude of neutrality when it 
began to get abroad that a most promising 
spirit of harmony and goodwill pervaded the 
meetings. To prevent any such alarming de- 
velopment Sinn Fein became threatening and 
disorderly, to such a point that Mr. Lloyd 
George had to give a solemn warning in Parlia- 
ment that he would not allow incitements to re- 
bellion, nor preparation for rebellion, nor any 
separatist propaganda for the "sovereign in- 
dependence" of Ireland. 

Then the Eoman Catholic Church took fright. 
The Bishops of Kildare, Clonf ert, and Achonry 
preached in condemnation of the revolutionary 
doctrines. A letter from Cardinal Logue was 
read in all the churches of the Archdiocese of 
Armagh on November 25th, in which he con- 
demned : — 

"An Utopian and ill-conceived agitation, 
which could not fail to be followed by present 


suffering, disorder, and danger, and whicli in 
the future would surely produce disaster, de- 
feat, and, ruin — and all this in pursuit of a 
dream which no man of sound sense could hope 
to see realised: the establishment of an Irish 
Eepublic whether by an appeal to the potentates 
of Europe sitting in the Peace Conference or by 
an appeal to force." 

Thus did the elders of the Church throw over 
the younger clergy and others, more mature in 
age, but equally hot in blood, and say to Sinn 
Fein "Thus far and no farther." 

Sinn Fein was as deaf to the orders of the 
Church as it had been to British advances and 
Nationalist desire for settlement. New Ireland 
replied to the Bishop that "Ireland had learned 
in a terrible school not to regard eminent ec- 
clesiastics as the supreme authority in questions 
of politics." Mr. De Valera, protesting his at- 
tachment to religion, maintained that the laws 
of the Church did not condemn his doctrines. 

So closed the year 1917, Unionists and Na- 
tionalists striving hard and honestly to find a 
basis for agreement; Sinn Fein striving hard 
and lawlessly to make their efforts of no effect. 
In order to achieve its purpose Sinn Fein at 
this time made a further movement towards the 
party of revolutionary Labour. New Ireland, in 


October, enunciated the opinion that of all 
European parties Socialism most nearly ap- 
proached the idealism of Christianity, an asser- 
tion not in itself remarkable, but interesting as 
marking the development of the alliance which 
had begun before the rebellion. This further 
advance towards the extreme Labour Party 
was perhaps in some measure Sinn Fein's reply 
to the admonitions of the Church. We have 
seen how in its early days the movement suf- 
fered no little damage from the suggestion that 
it had anti-clerical implications, and it is pos- 
sible that it now turned towards a party which 
had scant reverence for ecclesiastical thunder- 
ings to make up for any losses it might sustain 
among its more devout adherents. 

But there was another reason as well. The 
negotiations between Sinn Fein and Germany, 
which had broken down in the closing days of 
1916, had been resumed, and this time with more 
practical result. True, Germany was unable to 
send men, for these were becoming more scarce 
every day, but she could send arms and was 
making elaborate preparations to send them. 

St. Patrick's Day, 1918, was celebrated in 
Berlin with great enthusiasm, in spite of the 
fact that, except for Dr. Chatterton-Hill, the 
celebrants were entirely German. Count West- 


arp presided at a banquet at the Hotel Adlon, 
when speeches were delivered quite in the vein 
of those o:^the "Watertoast Sympathisers. Their 
tone can be the better appreciated if it be re- 
membered that, when they were spoken, Ger- 
many was preparing for her last desperate 
throw and sorely needed every atom of help 
that she could get. 

Count Westarp laid down the doctrine that 
'^a people which was incapable of a righteous 
hatred towards their mortal enemies was also 
incapable of any profound devotion to their 
own cause." England, he went on, which had 
been Ireland's mortal enemy, was now Ger- 
many's mortal enemy as well. Germany had 
never thought before the war that it would be 
her mission to destroy England's maritime su- 
premacy — ^here one pauses to reflect on the arti- 
cles concocted by Casement and Kuno Meyer in 
1911, and the toast of "Der Tag"— hut she had 
been forced into the task and was in a position 
to accomplish it, thanks to her numerical su- 
periority and to the U-boats. Councillor of 
Legation Von Strumm, who represented the 
Foreign Office, played his best card to his part- 
ner's lead. It was recently reported, he said, 
that Ireland was quiet and that an Irish Con- 
vention had assembled which was to settle her 


destinies to tlie general satisfaction. But now 
talk of the Convention had ceased, and Lord 
French had gone to Dublin to "tranquillise" 
Ireland. They knew what that tranquillising 
meant : the people of Ceylon and the Transvaal 
could tell them. If, as Mr. Asquith had said, 
England's territorial conquests in the war were 
to come before the Peace Conference, Ireland 
should come before it too. Lord French might 
conquer Ireland, but he would never subjugate 
her, and Ireland could always count on the sym- 
pathy of the German people. 

Dr. Chatterton-Hill, in his response to these 
assurances, described Sinn Fein as "that great 
political, economic, and cultural movement 
which recognised England as the evil genius of 
Ireland, and which thwarted her and combated 
her in every direction." And then he an- 
nounced that "Ireland was on the eve of great 
events." For his audience this dark utterance 
held no mystery. To aid her great offensive on 
the Western Front, Germany had arranged to 
land a big supply of arms and ammuniton in 
Ireland. Less than a month after Dr. Chatter- 
ton-HiU's prophecy, an emissary landed on the 
coast of Clare to announce its imminent fulfil- 
ment. He was an Irishman, one Dowling, alias 
'Brien, one of the few who had yielded to Case- 
ment 's seductions at Litnburg. A few weeks 


later, in May, U-boats left Cuxhaven laden with 
arms and ammunition, but never reached their 
destinatioij. And then came the 18th of July, 
when Lndendorff played his last throw at the 
Marne and lost. 

So perished Casement's dreams of German 
dominion and the hopes cherished by Sinn Fein 
of a German invasion of Ireland. 

But Sinn Fein had gained something by its 
activities. In March Mr, Eedmond died, 
brokenhearted by the failure of his policy and 
by domestic sacrifices made in vain, and with 
him disappeared the most formidable opponent 
of Eepublicanism in the Nationalist ranks. 
The Convention, too, had failed to arrive at a 
settlement. Sir Horace Plunkett summed up 
the cause of its failure in two words : "Ulster 
and Customs." ' 

More or less directly, Sinn Fein had been in- 
strumental in developing these obstacles. It 
had stiffened the Nationalist demands and the 
Unionist resistance. It had widened the gulf 
between the two great schools of Irish thought 
until it became unbridgable. There was room 
for accommodation, though cramped and un- 
comfortable, in previous measures of Home 
Eule — the exclusion of Unionist Ulster, for ex- 
ample. But that device, artificial and difficult 


at the best, became absolutely impossible in a 
scheme which gave the Irish Government the 
power of erecting a tariff wall. The success of 
Sinn Fein in upsetting the attempts at settle- 
ment by consent so often repeated swept away 
all the ambiguities which had theretofore ob- 
scured the Irish question, and made it a clear 

These successes, however, were only partial 
and negative. They were more than counter- 
balanced by the defeat of Germany. Deprived 
of her assistance, Sinn Fein had to seek other 
alliances, and in the article in New Ireland we 
have an indication of the direction in which its 
thoughts were turning. 



Time was when the American-Irish were united 
with the Russian sojourners in the great Repub- 
lic in very cordial friendship. Those were the 
days when Bokhara and Merv were on men's 
lips, when maps of Central Asia were in de- 
mand, when people shuddered at the name of 
Penjdeh, and the slumbers of British statesmen 
were troubled by visions of the Colossus with 
one foot planted at Archangel and the other at 
Cape Comorin. The Irish in America also had 
their visions, but they were dissipated by the 
war of 1906 and the destruction of Rodjestven- 
sky 's Armada. They transferred their hopes to 
Grermany, only to see them in their turn shat- 
tered at the Mame. But ia her death agony 
Germany had constructed a force to which the 
Irish revoljitionaries turned in their distress, a 
Russia, no longer the especial enemy of Eng- 
land, but the enemy of every nation that aspired 
to be civilised. 



, The way to this renewal of the old friendship 
had been smoothed by Connolly during his so- 
joi^rn in America. His hereditary Fenianism, 
hid ardent assertion of nationality and his con- 
tempt of the policy of Mr. Eedmond and the 
Parliamentarians, gave him easy access to such 
men as John Devoy and Jeremiah O'Leary, 
while his career as an organiser of the Indus- 
trial Workers of the World brought him in con- 
tact with the potential Bolsheviki. Accord- 
ingly we find the merits of Lenin's Government 
extolled increasingly as the fortunes of Ger- 
many wavered in the balance and declined. 
Among a certain section of the Irish Eepubli- 
cans there would appear to have been at first a 
certain hesitancy, begotten perhaps of the 
growing fear that the creation of the Soviet 
Government had reacted injuriously to Ger- 
many, perhaps — ^for there is a party of the 
Eight as well as of the Left in Sinn Fein — of an 
instinctive dislike of the new doctrine. 

But they were voices crying in the wilderness. 
As has been shown, Connolly's robust national- 
ism and the practicality of his methods had 
drawn towards him. men like Pearse, who grad- 
ually became imbued with his economic doc- 
trines and carried the infection into the Sinn 
Fein organisation. There were others whose 


sole object was to attain independence, and who 
were nof too nice or curious as to the source 
from which they got assistance, and others 
again who were revolutionaries first, last, and 
all the time, and whose aim was destruction. In 
a movement such as is Sinn Fein, whose ulti- 
mate sanction is force, such elements are certain 
to overhear the intellectuals and idealists, even 
if they have no direct encouragement from its 

In this instance the extreme revolutionary 
section and the Bolshevik alliance had firm 
friends in the inner circle of Sinn Fein, The 
men who, in America, played the leading part 
in the formation of the new alliance were Dr. 
Patrick McCartan and Liam {cmglice Wil- 
liam) Mellowes. A few words are here neces- 
sary to explain the position held by these men 
in their work in America. 

"When the United States went into the war 
and Count Bemstorff left Washington, the 
methods of transatlantic conspirators had to 
be completely changed, and Mellowes and Mc- 
Cartan were charged with the direction of af- 
fairs. Both had left Ireland after the rebellion, 
in which Mellowes commanded a force operat- 
ing in County Galway. There is reason to be- 
lieve that he had spent some time in Germany 


after his escape from Ireland, and it is certain 
that in New York he was working in association 
with a Baron von Eechlinghausen, a German 
agent, one of their ohjeots being to forward 
money to the Turks and to establish a mysteri- 
ous Turkish organisation in America. The oth- 
er, and the main object, of this trio — ^Mellowes, 
McCartan, and Eechlinghausen — ^was to organ- 
ise another revolution in Ireland in the spring 
of 1918. In the preceding chapter we have seen 
how this plot failed, how Cowling was captured 
on landing in County Clare, and the arms 
shipped at Cuxhaven failed to reach their desti- 

The main cause of the failure was the arrest 
of McCartan and Mellowes in October, 1917. 
The "ambassador" was arrested at Halifax 
while on his way to Ireland, while at the same 
time Mellowes was captured in New York on the 
eve of his departure, to use his own words, "for 
the Easter sports of 1918." Documents were 
found in Mellowes ' possession dealing with the 
secret history of the 1916 rebellion, which could 
not have reached any one who was not entirely 
in the confidence of Sinn Fein. One of them 
clears up the mystery, which puzzled the Ee- 
bellion Commission, of the famous order for 
the precautionary arrest of the revolutionary 
leaders which was read by Alderman Kelly at a 


meeting of the Dublin Corporation on April 
19tli, 1916, four days before the rising. The or- 
der was given to Alderman Kelly by Mr. Little, 
the editor of New Irelcmd, as having been is- 
sued from Dublin Castle. The document found 
in MeUowes' possession, however, shows that it 
was a forgery, done by the Sinn Fein extremists 
to force the wavering hands of Professor Mac- 
Neill and to precipitate the rebellion.* In both 
these purposes it succeeded : MacNeill gave the 
orders for the Easter Monday operations, 
though, as we have seen, he cancelled them. 

So seriously did the arrest of Mellowes and 
MoCartan compromise the revolutionary plans, 
that in November Siim Fein was compelled to 
send a long despatch to their New York agents 
with a new set of instructions. This despatch 
was carried by a certain Thomas Welsh, who 
was arrested as he was disembarking from the 
Celtic and was taken from him as he was at- 
tempting to tear it to pieces.f 

"General" Mellowes, therefore, holds a high 
place in Sinn Fein, but that held by Dr. McCar- 
tan is still higher. He is a medical man, a Fel- 
low of the CoUege of Surgeons, and the Sinn 
Fein "ambassador" to the United States, in 

* Freeman's Journal, November 29th, 1917. 
^Ibid., November 27th, 1917. 


which capacity we have already seen him ap- 
proaching the head of the State. And in that 
capacity also he was negotiating with the "am- 
bassador" of the Russian Soviet Eepuhlic. Of 
the nature of Mellowes' connection with the Bol- 
shevists we have no precise knowledge except 
that imparted by the Irish Labour organ, the 
Voice of Labour, in the following paragraph: 

"Almost every message we get from America 
tells us how strongly an old friend, Liam Mel- 
lowes, stands up for the Russian fighters for 
freedom." * 

Dr. McCartan's relations are infinitely more 
definite. So far back as January, 1918, his 
sympathy with the Russian Soviet Government 
was recorded by New Ireland, a Sinn Fein pa- 
per, and urged as a reason for his selection as 
candidate for South Armagh : 

' ' Dr. McCartan is imprisoned in America for 
his activities as a worker in the cause of Irish 
Republicanism. He went to America as an ac- 
credited representative of the movement. We 
know that his views are very strong upon the 
importance of using the Russian democratic 
programme for the benefit of Ireland, and of al- 
lying ourselves with Russian democrats, and 
with real democrats throughout the world." f 

* Voice of Labour, June 2l8t, 1919. 
i New Ireland, January 26th, 1918. 


During the following year the world shud- 
dered at the infamies of Lenin and Trotzky and 
their Conyjiissaries, but the Bolshevik enthusi- 
asm of the Sinn Fein ambassador suffered no 
abatement. The Soviet Government sent an 
ambassador to America, a Mr. L. Martens, who 
was rapturously greeted by the Irish revolution- 
aries. In the spring of 1919 an exchange of 
notes took place between him and the Irish en- 
voy. The circumstances which led to it are not 
without interest. A story was going the round 
of the American and British Press that the So- 
viet EepubKc was subsidising Sinn Fein to the 
tune of some millions of roubles. The moderate 
Sinn Feiners contradicted the assertion and took 
occasion to express disapproval of the Soviet 
methods. This would seem to have given pain 
to Mr. Martens, for he straightway addressed a 
letter to Dr. McCartan asking whether these 
sentiments were shared by his government, 
and incidentally denying that the Eussian Ee- 
public had sent any funds to Sinn Fein. 

In his reply Dr. McCartan disclaimed the au- 
thorship of the report about the subsidies, and 
with regard to the more important query said : 

"The 4,000,000 people of the Eepublic of Ire- 
land, in their struggle to free themselves from 
military subjugation by an Empire of 400,000,- 
000, want and welcome the aid of all free men, of 


all free peoples, and, certainly, of the free men 
of the Eussian Socialist Federated Soviet Ee- 

He then proceeds to say that the Irish people 
do not believe the accotmt of Soviet rale retailed 
by the Northcliffe Press, nor the stories of 
Soviet outrages told by the British Grovemment, 
which was itself participating in the butcheries 
of Koltchak, Denikin, and Mannerheim, and 
then he thus concludes : 

"Hence, between the gallant, starving, iso- 
lated Eussians striving against alien enemies to 
found securely in Eussia a government of the 
people, by the people, for the people, and the 
Irish also isolated in their struggle against 
British armies of occupation to found securely 
the Eepublic of Ireland, there can exist only 
that sense of brotherhood which a common ex- 
perience endured for a common purpose can 
alone induce." * 

These assurances would appear to have been 
entirely satisfactory to Lenin, for in June 
Tchitoherin, the Bolshevik Foreign Minister, 
sent a radio message to Bela Kun, which was 
published by L'Humanite on June 16th. The 
message ran thus: 

* New York Call, May 10th, 1919, reprinted in tiie Voice of 
Labour, June 21st. The same issue of the latter paper testifies 
to the sturdy championship of the Bolshevists by Liam Mellowes. 


"Whereas in nearly every country our com- 
patriots have neither protection nor represen- 
tation, we have put all foreigners in the same 
position, and we wiU afford them no special pro- 
tection. Exception wiU be made, however, in 
the case of the Irish and the Egyptians, and 
of any other nationality oppressed by the Al- 

Mr. Cathal 'Shannon remarks that "for 
this special mark of honour both Irish and 
Egyptians will be grateful to the Soviet Ee- 
public." * 

"We shaU doubtless be assured, as we were 
assured in respect of Germany, that there is no 
alliance between the Soviet Eepublic and the 
Eepublicans of Ireland. Perhaps not — ^why 
bandy phrases? — ^but there is a very substantial 
understanding. It is abundantly clear that the 
intellectual and idealistic side of the revolution- 
ary movement had surrendered to the proleta- 
rian. There are, of course, some who view this 
development with distrust and dislike, among 
them Mr. O'Hegarty, but as a whole Sinn Fein 
has obeyed the ordinary law of revolutionary 
evolution and no longer controls the force which 
it set in motion. 

It will be convenient at this point to consider 
the particular causes which impel Sinn Fein 

• Voice of Laboiur, July 5th, 1919. 


wiUy-nilly to gravitate towards the left, over 
and above the ordinary revolutionary tendency 
just alluded to. There is first the belief that 
Eussian Communism is destined to triumph, as 
set forth in a Sinn Fein paper: 

"Their ideas are in the ascendant and 
against them mere military force is powerless. 
They have affected Germany deeply, they will 
certainly affect France, Italy will follow easily 
enough, England is doubtful, and the United 
States wiU remain quite impervious. America 
will have only American democracy, which is 
merely snobbery and conceit under another 

Holding this faith, Sinn Fein sees in the 
spread of Bolshevism through Europe an em- 
barrassment for Great Britain more serious 
even than the threats of German militarism, 
and all the more serious because of the possibil- 
ity that it may invade Great Britain, as no Con- 
tinental Power could ever do. Sinn Fein has 
accordingly been impelled to enter into relations 
with John Maclean, the Bolshevik Consul-Gen- 
eral in Glasgow, and the Clyde Committee. Mes- 
sages passed between them just before the Gen- 
eral Election giving reciprocal assurances of 
co-operation and asseverating the harmony of 
their respective aims. 

* Neio Ireland, January 12tli, 1918. 


Next, Sinn Fein has to consider its own po- 
sition in Ireland. It now holds seventy-three 
seats, but it must have doubts whether it wiU 
hold as many at the next General Election. 
Some of them it owes to the self-abnegation of 
the Labour Party, which wiU hardly be so self- 
denying on the next occasion. And Labour has 
been growing in strength. The affiliated mem- 
bership of the Irish Trade Union and Labour 
Party Congress in 1912 was 70,000; in 1916 it 
had risen to 120,000; in 1918 250 delegates 
claimed to represent 250,000 members, while be- 
tween 1916 and 1918 the income had increased 
from £410 to £1,610. Labour is therefore a thing 
to be reckoned with, not only for its voting 
strength but as a field for recruiting. 

And there is this further consideration which 
can hardly be absent from the calculations of 
De Valera. In all countries the rural population 
is the last to catch the fever of revolution. In 
Ireland the change from tenancy to ownership 
is bound to operate as an additional prophylac- 
tic against infection. Three hundred thousand 
agricultural proprietors have been created, one 
hundred thousand more have entered into ar- 
rangements to purchase, and all of them on easy 
terms which enable them to resell their proper- 
ties at a large profit. These men are not inflam- 


mable material, nor are the dealings of the 
Soviet Eepublic with the peasantry of Eussia 
likely to arouse their enthusiasm — ^when they 
get to know them. Sinn Fein is therefore 
thrown back perforce on the urban population, 
where revolutionary Labour is in the ascendant. 
Such a combination of forces compels Sinn Fein 
to accept the alliance, much as some of its mem- 
bers may mistrust it, of the Bolshevik element 
in the revolutionary movement. 

"Were the revolutionaries to achieve their ob- 
ject, it is probable that the new Irish Eepublic 
would be the theatre of a sanguinary struggle 
between the constructive and destructive wings 
of the movement. But until that moment Sinn 
Fein ignores the probable catastrophe of the 
future in order to win the possible triumph of 
the present. Indeed, it is compelled to ignore it. 
It is being driven headlong by furies of its own 
creation into paths which, most likely, it never 
contemplated ten, or even five, years ago. It 
has proclaimed a Eepublic, elected a President, 
nominated its envoys, established its Parlia- 
ment. To descend from such altitudes to an ac- 
ceptance of local self-government would be sui- 
cide. It would perish under the ridicule of the 
world and the execrations of the people it has 
deceived. Not one man of its leaders would ever 


again have a place in the public life of Ireland, 
for Great Britain could never trust the word of 
men who formed alliances with Germany and 
avowed their desire to destroy her in the hour 
of her sorest need. 

Sinn Fein, therefore, must go forward be- 
cause it cannot go back. But it cannot go for- 
ward alone, it must have an ally. "Where is 
one to be found? France, to whom revolution- 
ary Ireland was wont to look, turns her back on 
her to-day. America may express a platonic de- 
sire to see the Irish question settled, and even 
settled on broad lines, but Sinn Fein knows in 
its heart that neither America, nor any other 
Power in friendship with Great Britain, would 
formulate or support a demand that she should 
concede independence to Ireland, when the very 
men who demand it have proclaimed that the 
loss of Ireland means the loss of her place in the 
world. So fully does Sinn Fein realise that fact 
that already they are exchanging the language 
of appeal and flattery for the language of men- 
ace to the United States. 

To what, then, can Sinn Fein turn for assist- 
ance other than the revolutionary movement 
which knows neither boundaries, nor interna- 
tional obligations, nor scruples, and which itself 
is using every device, however disgraceful, to 


gain adherents wherever it can find them? 
Were the position thus nakedly presented to 
some leaders of Sinn Fein, they would repudi- 
ate it, though, there are many that would not — 
Mr. "Walsh, for instance, the member for Cork 
City, who said at Blackpool that "if the devil 
himself and all the devils in hell were up agaiast 
the British Government the Irish people would 
be pro-devU and pro-hell. ' ' * But they comfort- 
ably blind themselves to it when they enter 
into relations with the extreme Labour Party. 

Mr. de Blacam states the case very clearly in 
the following passage : 

"In the great national boycott of the English 
language, English manufactures, English insti- 
tutions. Labour will play a large — perhaps the 
largest — ^part. Labour has practical work be- 
fore it no less than Sinn Fein. Neither is a 
mere agitation nor a theory turned into a party. 
Sinn Fein is the nation's expression of its iden- 
tity and right to self-determination, and its man- 
date does not authorise it to declare for any 
specific programme save in so far as that pro- 
gramme proves to be the out-working of the 
self -determining nation. Once in history Capi- 
tal stood for liberty. In the Polish war against 
Russia a hundred odd years ago, the capitalists 

'Irish Times, December 11th, 1918. 


— Jewish bankers — of Poland cast in their lot 
with the weaker side. "Were the wonder to be re- 
peated, and were Irish capitalists to stand in 
with the nation, Sinn Fein would accept their 
aid. But Irish patriotism has proved to be sole- 
ly resident in the democracy, and Labour is the 
only party which has waived its private aims 
for the national cause. In the Labour move- 
ment, harmonising as it does with reviving Gael- 
ieism, we see the nation determining itself. Sinn 
Fein, that asks all citizens to work for Ireland 
in their individual ways, is by its principles and 
nature bound to sanction the patriotic endeav- 
ours of the Labour Party, and to use the weap- 
ons which a truly national body places in its 
hands. By sheer force of patriotism, the La- 
bour Party is engrossing political power, and by 
forming — let us not say the workers but, what is 
synonymous, the nation — ^into 'One Big Union,' 
it is forging the most powerful weapon ever held 
by the Gael. Before the united action of the One 
Big Union, English capitalism, and with it Eng- 
lish political power, are to be rendered im- 
potent. The one-day anti-conscription strike 
showed how a nation, wakened by Labour to a 
sense of its economic solidarity, even though de- 
prived of political power, can assert its wiU." * 

* Towards the Sepublic, Chap. VT. 


And this is how the Labour Party puts it: 
'*^' The Eussian Government was the only Grov- 
ernment that had sincerely and whole-heartedly 
called for the self-determination of Ireland. 
Their British Government had not done it be- 
cause it was capitalist. Their Yankee Govern- 
ment had not done it because it was capitalist. 
The German Government had not done it be- 
cause it was capitalist too." * 

It would not be difficult to quote declara^ 
tions by leaders of Sinn Fein which show how 
far it has moved towards the ideals of Revolu- 
tionary Labour. The Countess Markievics, who 
is a member of Dail Eireann and of the Su- 
preme Grand Council, has openly declared for 
Soviet Government and the disfranchisement of 
all non- workers. Mr. Figgis, who is one of the 
Secretaries of the Grand Council of Sinn Fein, 
depicts a somewhat similar constitu|;ional evo- 
lution : 

"Just as in the old State each council held 
authority in its own concerns, leaving to the 
monarch the co-ordination of the whole, so the 
modern councils would each rule their own af- 
fairs, subject to the control of the Assembly of 
the Nation. There would thus be two kinds of 

*Mr. Cathal O 'Shannon, Irish Lalsour Congresa, Novemlber 
Ist, 1918. 


representations gathered together, the direct 
representation of the nation, <md there wovld he 
the special representation of the interests, the 
union and pattern of which create the national 
life. Both -would meet in the Government. ' ' * 

Here we see, and not dimly, the Soviet idea, 
the Soldiers' and Sailors' Conncils, and all the 
rest of the Bolshevist machinery, which, as has 
been recorded, were adumbrated by James Con- 
nolly a few years earlier. 

It is, therefore, abundantly clear that whether 
by conviction or compulsion, Sinn Fein and La- 
bour must be regarded as a single entity for 
the purpose of its revolutionary enterprise 
against Great Britain, Mr. Eoberf Smillie 
showed his grasp of realities when he called for 
a strong representation of Labour in Parlia- 
ment on the ground that there would then be 
some inducement for Sinn Fein to go to "that 
accurs'ed reactionary chamber." For then a 
bargain might be made on the basis of "Your 
fight is our fight, come over and help us." f 

That Mr. Smillie 's words did not receive more 
attention when they were spoken must be 
ascribed partly to the delirium of the recent vic- 
tory, partly to the preoccupation of the coming 

* The Gaelic State in the Past and Futwre. The italics are 
t At Glasgow, December 6tli, 1918. 


elections, and in larger degree to an inadequate 
appreciation of the realities Of the Irish situa- 
tion. For if they he considered coolly and with 
detachment they are full of significance. Let 
us review the facts of the position. 

In Ireland there is a dual alliance between a 
party seeking political independence by revolu- 
tionary methods and a party seeking national 
independence, not only for its own sake, but as 
the prelude to the establishment of a Workers' 
Eepublic on the Eussian model. 

"To win for the workers of Ireland, collec- 
tively, the ownership and control of the whole 
produce of their labour. 

"To secure the democratic management and 
control of all industries and services by the 
whole body of workers, manual and mental, en- 
gaged therein, in the interest of the nation and 
subject to the supreme authority of the national 
Government." * 

Between the revolutionary parties thus co- 
operating in Ireland and the Eussian Soviet 
Eepublic there is an understanding as close and 
intimate as there was with Germany, an under- 
standing thus described by the Countess Mar- 
kievics : 

* Objeets and methods of the Irish Labour Party and Trade 
Union Congress. See 2b and c. 


"We have a treaty witli Germany, the treaty 
Casement promoted. At the end of the war, if 
Germany is strong enough, she will make Ire- 
land a free and independent Eepublic ; and Case- 
ment gave an assurance that Ireland would be 
true to her deliverers." * 

All these formalities have been observed in 
the arrangement between the Irish revolution- 
ary parties and the Bolshevik Government. Dr. 
McCartan has plighted the faith of Sinn Fein. 
The delegates of the Labour Party have waited 
upon and exchanged fraternal greetings with 
Tchitcherin and Litvinoff, and have sealed the 
compact ia the foUowing passage of a state- 
ment on the international situation, unanimous- 
ly adopted by the Irish Labour Party and 
Trades Union Congress : 

"Finally, and true to its tradition for liberty, 
for internationalism, for the fraternity of the 
working-class of every land and for the Eepub- 
lic of the "Workers, Irish Labour utters its ve- 
hement protest against the capitalist outlawry 
of the Soviet Eepublic of Eussia, and calls upon 
the workers under the Governments sharing in 
this crime to compel the evacuation of the Ee- 
public, at the same time as it renews its welcome 
and congratulations to its Eussian comrades 

• Speech in East l^one, April 2nd, 1918. 


who for twelve months have exercised that po- 
litical, social, and economic freedom towards 
which Irish worhers in common ivith their fel- 
lows in other lands still strive and aspire." * 

The Soviet Grovernmeiit on its side, through 
Mr. Litvinoff, its ambassador to England, en- 
gaged to support Ireland's admission to the In- 
ternational as a nation. In making this prom- 
ise Mr. Litvinoff, who is said to have been well 
informed about Irish affairs, said that James 
Connolly's name was favourably known to the 
Eussian Eevolutionary Movement.f 

These allies have an understanding, or com- 
pact — ^the exact word is immaterial — ^with the 
revolutionary section of British Labour, the 
party of direct action. Mr. Smillie has pro- 
claimed that he is willing to see Ireland estab- 
lished as an iadependent Eepublic in return for 
the assistance of Sinn Fein in the promotion of 
his theories. ' ' Your fight is our fight, come over 
and help us." There is indeed an obstacle to 
this plan of campaign — ^the Sinn Fein vow of 
abstention from parliamentary action. But Mr. 
Smillie, conscious that this vow might be re- 
tracted were revolutionary Labour represented 

• November 1st, 1918. From Report published by the au- 
thority of the executive. The italics are ours. 

tBeport by D. E. Campbell and William O'Brien, Trades 
Union Congress, August 5th, 1918. 


in Parliament by two hundred and fifty men like 
Hmself or Mr. John Maclean or Mr. Eobert 
Williams, holds out the active co-operation of 
Sinn Pern as an inducement to the electorate 
to support him and his friends. 

Meanwhile, pending the electoral triumph for 
which he hopes and works, the work of the allies 
is being carried on in the extra-Parliamentary 
field. The British extremists threaten the stop- . 
page of British trade and industry in the inter- 
ests of Bolshevist Eussia, as witness the words 
of Mr. John Maclean in the Call of January, 
1910. Declaring that "Bolshevism is Socialism 
triumphant," he proclaims it to be the duty of 
British revolutionary Socialists to hamper any 
attempts to impede its progress "by develop- 
ing the revolution in Britain not later than this 

The Soviet Eepublie despatches its emissaries 
to England, sets its printing presses to work 
striking off forged notes to dislocate British 
currency; and Eussian roubles, not forged nor 
in the form of roubles, find their way to the 
revolutionary treasury. 

And Sinn Fein "does its bit" by keeping Ire- 
land in a ferment, and watches events in Great 
Britain in order to seize its opportunity. 



"With the signing of the armistice a wave of so- 
cial unrest and discontent swept over the coun- 
try. Such a phenomenon is one of the sequelae 
of all great wars, though perhaps seldom has it 
been so widespread and intense. Practically the 
whole industrial as well as the military strength 
of the nation had been mobilised, whence it came 
that there was no class of the workers left un- 
affected by uneasiness and uncertainty as to its 
future conditions. Add to this the prolonged 
tension of the war, the excessive strain of 
effort which it had demanded, and the disturb- 
ance of economic condition which it had caused, 
and it becomes easy to understand and condone 
a certain petulance and unreason among those 
whose work had come to a sudden end. 

There were, however, elements in society 
which resolved to play upon this temper for 
their own ends. The pacifist cranks, the folk 



who boasted that "they had no country" and 
during the war had proved it by siding with a 
foreign country against their own, people of a 
baser sort who had hired themselves to the ene- 
my, agitators who lived by disorder, aU saw a 
chance and proceeded to tate it. German agents 
also saw their chance and proceeded to take it. 
There were many things in the great war that 
astounded the minds of men and racked their 
nerves, but nothing was more astonishing or 
nerve-racking than the cobweb of intrigue, spun 
by a hidden hand, in which the nation was en- 
meshed, and in which it felt itself entangled at 
every crisis. Its most formidable and baffling 
manifestations occurred in connection with La- 
bour. We have already seen how Baron Von 
Horst was subscribing liberally to support a 
great strike in the years before the war, and in 
similar manner during the war enemy agents 
were at work fomenting disaffection and pro- 
moting trouble in the factories and shipyards. 
The rank and file did not know it, they were un- 
suspecting tools. There were men higher up 
who knew it, and who talked of the rights of the 
workers while they were thinking of the inter- 
ests of Germany. The process was not confined 
to Great Britain. In America Count Bemstorff 
was plotting sabotage with reliable agents; in 


Mexico the German Minister was stirring up 
trouble on the oilfields; while in Spain Prince 
Eatibor's efforts to promote strikes in the great 
mines evoked open denunciations in the Spanish 
Press. A careful study of the war will show a 
singular coincidence between industrial troubles 
in Allied or neutral countries and the contempo- 
raneous interests of Germany. 

So too when Germany fell. Her intrigues 
had failed to save her from falling, but they 
might yet serve to mitigate the effects of the 
fall. The engine was put in motion once more. A 
certain section in Great Britain made lofty ap- 
peals for generosity to the conquered in public, 
while in private they fomented a disorder that 
would enforce their open teaching. Further 
to create embarrassment, they proceeded to stir 
up revolt in order to preserve the existence of 
the Eussian Soviet Government. It mattered 
nothing that that Government itself officially ad- 
mitted that its executions were numbered by 
thousands, and that its own laws condemned mil- 
lions to a slow death from inanition. "With- 
draw from Eussia" became the battle-cry of the 

Professing a pure democracy, these extreme 
democrats proceeded to abjure their own faith. 
"If the Coalition Government be returned," 
roared Mr. Smillie, "I will use my influence to 


make the position of the Grovernment unten- 
able." The London Workers' Committee, to 
whom tfee assurance was given, hailed it with 
rapture, and pointed out to Mr. Smillie that he 
could best effect his purpose by bringing about 
a general stoppage of the mining industry as a 
protest against "the violation of Eussia." * 

Mr. George Lansbury outlined a similar plan 
of campaign: "If the Coalition wins ... it 
will be the first duty of Labour ... to put a 
term to the life of this Parliament. . . , The 
Constitution provides no remedy. Very well, 
then; we must seek one outside the Constitution. 
If we cannot persuade the Government, we shaU 
have to coerce it. And we have the means. . . . 
We must use our industrial power to regain our 
political liberty." f 

It is noteworthy that this threat was made 
before ever the new Parliament was elected, and 
that Mr. Lansbury and his colleagues were 
prominent in their attempts to secure the most 
favourable terms for Germany. 

The principal efforts of the revolutionaries 
were directed towards promoting revolt among 
the workers against their authorised lea.ders. 

•Article in the Workers' Dreadnought, by W. F. Watson, 
President of the London Workers' Comnuttee. Quoted in the 
Morning Post, January 10th, 1919. 

t The Herald, Dec. 21st, 1918. 


Their policy and its results are thus described 
by Mr. Jack Jones, a Labour Member whose 
principles are of a robust type: 

"Some of the principal leaders of the unoffi- 
cial strikes now taking place were well-known 
anarchists, who were striving ui every way to 
discredit organised political action, and if the 
workers of this country were prepared to follow 
their teaching, there would be reproduced here 
the trials and tribulations of the Eussian and 
German peoples. ' ' * 

Such forebodings fell like sweet music on the 
ears of the Irish Eepublicans. Already they had 
begun to make ready to take the tide of social 
and industrial unrest at the flood. Early in 
November the Irish Labour Party had met ; as- 
serted the principle of national independence, 
and drawn up a constitution on the Soviet mod- 
el. In the same month in which Mr. Jones 
sounded his note of warning Mr. Cathal 'Shan- 
non and Mr. Thomas Johnson were pleading the 
cause of Ireland at the International Labour 
and Socialist Conference at Berne, urging her 
claim to be admitted to the International as a 
national unit, expressing "a fervent hope that 
the Bolshevik Eevolution would uphold the 
purity of its noble principles against all its ene- 

* Mornmff Post, February 7th, 1919. 


mies," and declaring "the people of Dublin to 
be at one with the people of Russia in accepting 
the programme of the Revolution." * 

"While Labour was thus consolidating the po- 
sition of the Irish Republic abroad, Sinn Fein 
was preparing for its establishment by force at 
home. It may seem curious that Sinn Fein 
should be planning another rising at the same 
time that it was proclaiming its confidence that 
the Peace Conference woutd give Ireland her 
independence. But in fact that confidence was 
largely assumed. In their hearts De Valera and 
his colleagues must have nursed uneasy doubts 
whether they could make good the promises 
wherewith they had swept the constituencies. 
Boldly as they might cite the cases of Poland, 
Czecho-Slovakia, and Jugo-Slavia, old and de- 
crepit organisms now emerging from Medea's 
cauldron in youthful vigour, on their own be- 
half, they must have known that the parallelism 
between them was defective. They must have 
known that they had not a friend at Paris — ^not 
America, whose hospitality Ireland had abused ; 
not Belgium, to whom Ireland had given a hos- 
pitality not distinguishable from hostility; not 
even Poland, nor Czecho-Slovakia, nor Serbia, 

• Official Eeport of Berne Conference. Published by the 
Irish Labour Party. 


on the side of whose mortal foes Ireland had 
ranged herself. Sinn Fein had obtained a 
pledge that Germany would represent its inter- 
ests at the Conference, but when it became ap- 
parent that Germany was to have no voice in 
the deliberations the pledge became valueless, 
and Ireland was left without a champion. 

In these dismal circumstances the labour 
troubles in Great Britain offered Sinn Fein an 
alternative road to success, and one moreover 
that, with good luck, might not be extraordina- 
rily difficult. The Eepublicans placed their 
faith in the Triple Labour Alliance of Great 
Britain. The attitude of the railwaymen, miu- 
ers, and transport workers was full of menace. 
If it should, as seemed not unlikely, develop 
into action, many of the obstacles to rebellion 
would be removed. 

Such a strike, by stopping locomotion, would 
paralyse the military forces, and would localise 
military operations to the great advantage of 
the insurgents. It was, indeed, by no means cer- 
tain that the unwitting aid of the "Big Three" 
would not be more valuable to the Eepublicans 
than the assistance which Germany had been 
willing to give. To encourage the restless work- 
ers in Great Britain a strike was precipitated 
in Belfast by the Labour section of the Eepubli- 


can party, while Sinn Fein witli f everisli energy 
resumed its preparations for a military cam- 

Immediately after the General Election Sinn 
Fein proceeded to exploit the mandate of the 
constituencies. On January 4th Dr. Patrick 
McCartan, under the style and title of Envoy 
of the Provisional Irish Government, notified 
all the Embassies and Legations at Washington 
that Ireland had severed political relations with 
Great Britain on December 28th.* Thereafter 
the Republicans proclaimed that a state of war 
existed between Great Britain and Ireland, de- 
scribing the military forces of the Crown as the 
Army of Occupation. Thus it is proclaimed in 
An Toglac, a newspaper printed and circulated 
secretly and widely through Ireland : 

"It is the wiU of Ireland, expressed by her 
responsible Government, that a state of war 
shall be perpetuated in this country until the 
foreign garrison have evacuated our country. It 
will be the duty of the Volunteers, acting in ac- 
cordance with the will of our Government and 
the wishes of the Irish people, to secure the 
continuance of that state of war by every means 
at our disposal, and in the most vigorous way 
practicable. Every Volunteer must be prepared 

•Wireless Press telegram from New York, January 4th: 
Mommg Post, January 6th, 1919. 


for more drastic action, more strenuous activi- 
ties, than ever before since Easter, 1916. As 
has several times been stated before, Volunteer 
officers must contemplate the possibilities of of- 
fensive as well as defensive action." * 

In the face of this declaration of war the bit- 
ter protests of the Eepublicans against the em- 
ployment of the military forces in Ireland ap- 
pear lacking both in logic and in that sense of 
humour with which the Irish race is generally 
credited. Whatever may be said against mili- 
tary intervention in civil troubles, there can be 
no question that soldiers are in their proper ele- 
ment in a state of war. 

The history of Ireland can at all periods be 
pretty accurately followed through its criminal 
records. Analyse the activities of the White 
Boys, the Eibbonmen, the Land League, and the 
cattle-drivers, and it is possible to gauge with 
considerable exactitude the economic problems 
of their respective eras. And so with the his- 
tory of the last year. The breaches of the law, 
and they were terribly numerous, proclaim the 
purpose of their authors with astonishing can- 
dour, and that purpose was civil war. Of the 
old agrarian outrage there is little ; instead, we 

•Lord Chancellor's speech, House of Lords, April 14th, 


read of raids for arms and explosives,' and of 
plans and methods for rebellion. Thus, Charles 
Hurley, who was tried by court-martial at Cork 
on December 17th, 1918, had in his possession 
plans for the destruction of the police-barracks 
and post office at Castletown, Berehaven, as well 
as of the pier at that place where the British- 
American stores were housed. He also had 
plans for the destruction of roads and bridges 
leading to that important centre by gelignite 
and sulphine bombs. Michael Hoey, tried by 
court-martial at Galway on March 25th, was in 
possession of doctiments describing the best 
method of destroying railways and telegraphs 
and of instructions for mining bridges and for 
attacking police-barracks. 

There were numerous cases of attacks on po- 
lice-barracks, houses, and individuals, all with 
the single object of capturing weapons and ex- 
plosives. In the middle of February a body of 
men boarded a ship at Cork, and searched it for 
arms, by authority of " a warrant from the Irish 
Eepublican Army." An aerodrome at Collins- 
town, Co. Dublin, was attacked in the night 
about March 20th and eighty service rifles were 
carried off. Explosives were especially in de- 
mand, it being naturally the first object of the 
Eepublican tacticians to destroy all ways of 


communication. One of these enterprises de- 
serves particular attention, both as being typical 
of the methods of Sinn Fein and because of its 

By a happy coincidence, just as Sinn Fein 
was urgently searching for explosives, the Tip- 
perary County Council requested the Govern- 
ment to provide it with a considerable quantity 
of gelignite for some blasting operations. The 
gelignite was sent from the store in Tipperary 
in the Council's carts, under convoy of two po- 
licemen, on January 20th. The Sinn Feiners 
were evidently apprised of the arrangements, 
for the convoy was attacked at Sologhead, a mile 
or two out of the town, by a party of men who 
promptly shot both constables dead and cap- 
tured the gelignite, leaving the Council's em- 
ployers unharmed to carry the news back to Tip- 
perary. The district was declared a military 
area, an act which has been denounced as bar- 
barous miltarism by the very men who glorify 
the murder of the constables as an act of war. 
The Eepublicans replied with a counter-procla- 
mation, which is given in full. Lest there should 
be any doubt, occasioned by its amazing charac- 
ter, of the oflScial origin of this document, it may 
be compared with a speech made by Mr. Eoger 
Sweetman, M.P. for North Wexford, at Gorey 
on January 5th: 


"Any one who did England's dirty work, let 
him he lord-lientenant, judge, or policeman, he 
would tell them that they would treat them as 
enemies «f the country thenceforward." * 

It may also he noted that thirty copies of 
this Proclamation were found in the possession' 
of Michael Duggan, a Sinn Feiner, belonging to 
County Tipperary. 

* ' Peociamation. 

"Whereas a foreign and tyrannical Govern- 
ment is preventing Irishmen exercising the civil 
right of buying and selling in their own mar- 
kets in their own country, and 

"Whereas almost every Irishman who has 
suffered the death penalty for Ireland was sen- 
tenced to death solely on the strength of the 
evidence and reports of policemen, who there- 
fore are dangerous spies, and 

"Whereas the thousands of Irishmen who 
have been deported and sentenced solely on the 
evidence of these same hirelings and assassins 
and traitorous spies, the police, and 

"Whereas the life, limb and living of no citi- 
zen of Ireland is safe while these paid spies are 
allowed to infest the country, and 

'Freeman's Jowmal, January 7th, 1919. 


"Whereas it has come to our knowledge that 
some men and boys have been arrested and 
drugged, and 

"Whereas there are few Irishmen, who have 
sunk to such depths of degradation, that they 
are prepared to give information about their 
neighbours and fellow countrymen to the police, 

"Whereas all these evils will continue just so 
long as the people permit: 

"We hereby proclaim the South Eiding of 
Tipperary a military area with the following 
regulations : 

" (a) A policeman found within the said area 

on and after the day of February, 1919, 

will be deemed to have forfeited his life. The 
more notorious police being dealt with as far as 
possible first. 

" (6) On and after the day of February, 

1919, every person in the pay of England (mag- 
istrates, jurors, etc.) who helps England to rule 
this country or who assists in any way the up- 
holders of the foreign Government of this South 
Eiding of Tipperary will be deemed to have for- 
feited his life. 

"(c) Civilians who give information to the 
police or soldiery, especially such information 
as is of a serious character, if convicted will be 
executed, i.e., shot or hanged. ^^^^ 


"(d) PoKce, doctors, prison officials wlio as- 
sist at or who countenance, or who are responsi- 
ble for, or who are in any way connected with 
the drugging of an Irish citizen for the purpose 
of obtaining information, will be deemed to have 
forfeited his life, and may be hanged or 
drowned, or shot at sight as a common outlaw. 
Offending parties will be executed should it 
take years to track them down. 

"(e) Every citizen must assist when required 
in enabling us to perform our duty. 

"By Order." 

This Proclamation merits particular attention 
as embodying the methods by which the Repub- 
lic of Ireland enforces its authority, the same 
methods of SchrecMichkeit on which German 
militarism relied for the administration of Bel- 
gium. It is not a dead letter, a mere hrutwm 
f'idmen, a thing of sound and fury signifying 
nothing. Its warnings have been fulfilled. A 
County Inspector of Constabulary has been 
murdered while altering the hands of his clock 
to summer time ; the Estate Commissioners in 
Clare have been threatened with death if they 
allot land to ex-soldiers ; a respectable man in 
County Galway has had his house fired into be- 
cause his children attended a school which was 


under the Eepublican ban ! * The Countess 
Markievics has preached the boycotting of po- 
licemen's children;, constables and soldiers are 
waylaid and attacked. In the South Eiding of 
Tipperary itself, since the proclamation has 
been issued, two constables were murdered in a 
train at Knocklong Station in the presence of 
the passengers and railway officials, and the 
prisoner in their custody was rescued. District- 
Inspector Hunt was shot dead in the crowded 
market place of Thurles, and his murderers 
walked quietly away unmolested. 

The agents of Sinn Fein always are unmo- 
lested. The people dare not speak nor jurors 
convict. The long arm of Sinn Fein reaches 
everywhere and its hand is laid upon the na- 
tion's lips. There is no great mystery about 
these deeds, their perpetrators are very fre- 
quently well known, but sympathy or fear keeps 
men silent. 

While Sinn Fein was thus preparing for 
armed rebellion in anticipation of a great labour 
upheaval in Great Britain, the left wing of the 
Eepublican party was busily engaged cement- 
ing the Bolshevik alliance at Berne, promotiag 
British industrial unrest through its agents in 

* These cases were mentioned by the Chief Secretary for 
Ireland in the House of Commons. 


England and Scotland, and promoting serious 
labour troubles in Belfast, both as an embar- 
rassment to the Irish Government and as an en- 
couragement to the revolutionaries on the other 
side of the Channel, Mr. Thomas Johnson has 
set forth the hopes and policy of the Eepubli- 
cans with commendable frankness. Explaining 
why the Limerick strike failed and was bound 
to fail, he yet approved it because "there were 
always the possibilities or probabilities that ag- 
gressive action in Ireland might prompt aggres- 
sive action on the other side." * 

Mr. Bernard Doyle has thus expounded the 
joint plan of campaign in Dublin : 

"The voice of the Irish people, as expressed 
at the polls, had given them authority to de- 
mand the release of the men and women un- 
justly held in English jails. The workers of Ire- 
land were behind them and, speaking as a trade 
unionist, he was glad to say that they were pre- 
pared to 'down tools' at any minute in this mat- 
ter at the command of the Irish Eepublic." f 

The opportunity presented itself some three 
months later. There was in Limerick prison a 
man named Byrne, who was serving a term of 

* Speech at Irish Trade Congress. Corh Examiner, August 
6th, 1919. 

t Irish liidependent, January 6th, 1919. 


hard labour. He went on hunger strike, and was 
removed on March 12th to the hospital of the 
workhouse, which is on the Clare side of the 
river Shannon. Here he remained for some 
weeks in charge of a prison warder and an 
armed body of Constabulary. Saturday is the 
visiting day at the hospital and visitors are ad- 
mitted freely between 1.30 and 3.30 p. m. On 
Saturday, April 6th, a party of twenty to thirty 
men rushed into the ward where Byrne was 
confined, guarded by the warder and five police- 
men. A fierce revolver duel followed. One po- 
liceman was killed, another dangerously wound- 
ed, as were all the other constables and the 
warder, though less seriously. The rescue party 
then departed, taking with them Byrne, who had 
himself been wounded in the fight, and whose 
dead body was found a few days later in a cot- 
tage a couple of miles distant. 

The Government met this "act of war" by 
proclaiming Limerick a military area. Under 
these regulations permits were required to en- 
ter or leave the city, and it therefore became 
necessary for workers who lived across the 
river to obtain passes in order to go to their 
work. Such permits were readily obtainable, 
and many employers obtained them for their 
men. But this did not suit the workers, who 


saw a chance of striking a blow in support of 
Sinn Fein. A general strike was proclaimed. 
The Roman Catholic Bishop and clergy pub- 
lished a statement that "the proclaiming of 
Limerick under existing circumstances was 
, quite unwarrantable." 

The National Labour Executive took the mat- 
ter up. Mr. Cathal 'Shannon * urged on the 
Irish Socialist Party the advisability of estab- 
lishing Soviet Government in Ireland. Mr. 
Johnson, his colleague at Berne, hastened to 
Limerick to try the experiment there, while Mr. 
'Shannon went to England to enlist the aid of 
the Socialist extremists, whom he met at Shef- 

He told his sympathetic audience, the Confer- 
ence of the British Socialist Party, the moving 
tale of how the "Limerick Soviet" had struck 
against ' ' a military occupation. ' ' He called for 
"a combination of all the elements of the Left 
in South Wales, Ireland, England, and Scotland 
to bring about by their united efforts an alliance 
of revolutionary Socialists, and thus end the 
white terror now prevailing." The Conference 
sent a message of greeting to their fellow-work- 
ers in Limerick "struggling for civil liberty 
against the military authorities in Ireland." 

That they did nothing more must have been 

* Vreenum.'s JowmaX, April 14th, 1919. 


disappointing to the Limerick Soviet, which 
was already printing notes, varying from one to 
ten shillings, in anticipation of the Great Day, 
an act which was approved with great enthusi- 
asm by the Congress of the Independent Labour 
Party at Huddersfield. 

Mr. Thomas Johnson has revealed how great 
a disappointment it was to the Eepublican lead- 
ers. A national strike, he says, would have re- 
sulted in armed revolt. The National Execu- 
tive actually proposed that Limerick should be 
evacuated by all its inhabitants, "leaving an 
empty shell in the hands of the military."* 
The local Soviet, however, rejected the pro- 
posal, and the Limerick strike fizzled out, be- 
cause, as Mr. Johnson put it in the speech just 
quoted, "there was no probability of a respon- 
sive movement in England and Scotland." 

Here ends our survey of the Irish revolution- 
ary movement. But the movement itself has not 
reached its appointed end. In Ireland its desul- 
tory warfare still goes on; in Great Britain it 
still works to obtain that "responsive move- 
ment" which Mr. Johnson holds is essential to 
its success. 

* Speech at Irish Iiabour and Trade Union Party CongiesB. 
'Daily News, August 6th, 1919. 


The overt action of Sinn Fein in London is 
carried on under the aegis of the Self-Deter- 
minationHieagne, but its real activities are on a 
lower and darker plane. Time was when it 
found its allies in the Fellowship of Eeconcilia- 
tion. The Sinn Fein badge and colours, white, 
green, and yellow, were to be seen at the 
Friends' Meeting-house in Bishopsgate, where 
the Fellows of Eeeonciliation denounced self- 
defence because "human life is a sacred thing 
and war abhorrent in the sight of God," while 
they would go to Ireland, inspect Madame Mar- 
kievics' Sinn Fein scouts — ^the British Boy 
Scout movement was condemned as "tending to 
foster militarism" — and extol "the armed 
guards of honour which they saw parading to 
do honour to the leaders of Easter, 1916." 

Among the members of the Fellowship were 
a large number of Irishmen holding appoint- 
ments in a certain public office. In England 
they held classes to create conscientious objec- 
tors, and mock trials to instruct them in the art 
of defence should they be made to suffer for 
conscience sake. In Ireland they adopted ster- 
ner methods. Large numbers applied for leave 
in the spring of 1916. Some never came back; 
it is alleged that many of those who did return 
bore traces, and stiU bear them, of having left 


their conscientious objections to militancy be- 
hind them at Holyhead. 

At present the principal societies in London 
■with which Sinn Fein works are the London 
Workers' Committee, of which Mr, W. F. "Wat- 
son is the head, and the Workers ' Socialist Fed- 
eration, over which Miss Sylvia Pankhurst pre- 

This latter organisation is very cosmopolitan 
in character. Miss Pankhurst is a very ardent 
and outspoken champion of Bolshevism, and all 
who aim at the overthrow of society find a meet- 
ing-place in Old Ford Eoad. There shall we 
find the female Sinn Fein orator, whose ora- 
torical excesses have earned for her a martyr's 
crown of eleven days' imprisonment; the lady 
who calls herself Belgian, but who has nephews 
in the Bolshevik army, who contributes to the 
Dreadnought, the organ of the Federation, par- 
agraphs from the most advanced Communist 
journals of Europe, such as Avanti and La 
Vague, and who occupies her scanty leisure in 
working for the Eussian Information Bureau; 
and on occasion Mrs. Sheehy Skeffington. There 
too might be found one James McGrath, a rail- 
way clerk in the Camden Town goods office, until 
his activities were cut short in February last, 
when he was sentenced to six months' imprison- 
ment for attempting to send pistols to Ireland. 


Thither also come at intervals mysterious 
Eussians, bringing advice and comfort and what 
is euphemistically described as "assistance." 
One such attended the meeting of the Federa- 
tion last "Whitsuntide, grateful for the skill with 
which he had been smuggled in and concealed, 
and imparting much interesting information 
about the Third International and the methods 
of Eussian Bolshevism in return. In reply Miss 
Pankhurst spoke of the honour done the Feder- 
ation in having a delegate sent to its Annual 
Congress direct from the Soviet Government 
of Eussia. 

The "Workers' Socialist Federation, indeed, 
has always owed much to distinguished foreign- 
ers. In its early days it secured the patronage 
and pecuniary assistance of an old friend. Baron 
Von Horst. "When he was detected in the distri- 
bution of seditious literature in Ireland and in- 
terned, his friend, Miss Lillian Troy, following 
the direction of his sympathies, gave Miss Pank- 
hurst the use of the Orpheum Cinema Theatre 
at Croydon. This place at once became a cen- 
tre of revolutionary propaganda. Mrs. Sheehy 
Skeffington spoke, under the Sinn Fein flag, to 
an audience largely composed of Eussian Jews. 
In the same hall David Eamsay made a speech 
for which he got six months' imprisonment. 


The London Workers' Committee is the Lon- 
don counterpart of the Clyde Workers' Com- 
mittee. Its programme is the destruction of 
parliamentary government, and therefore it is 
not surprising that the Sinn Fein badge is 
largely in evidence at its meetings. This or- 
ganisation claims the authorship of many 
strikes during the war, notably the engineering 
strike in May, 1917, which stopped work at 
Erith, Woolwich, and other munition centres at 
a highly critical period. At the Holborn Em- 
pire on December 1st, 1918, Mr. Watson boasted 
that he had formed the nucleus of two hundred 
Soviets, that he had corrupted many Irish sol- 
diers, and that the London Sinn Feiners could 
supply him with several hundred men trained in 
the use of arms. 

This gentleman's revolutionary career suf- 
fered a temporary check in consequence of an 
indiscreet speech at the Albert Hall on Febru- 
ary 8th. On that occasion the platform was dec- 
orated with the Sinn Fein tricolour and the Red 
Flag, and among the speakers were John Mao- 
lean, the Bolshevik Consul at Glasgow; Mr. 
Israel Zangwill, who has since endeavoured 
with very indifferent success to explain away 
his presence and his speech, and Mrs. Sheehy 
Skeffington, who said that the two nations who 


had done best in the war were Russia and Ire- 
land — Russia because she had ceased to fight 
and Ireland because she had resisted conscrip- 

The offices of the London Workers' Conunit- 
tee are shared by the Soldiers', Sailors' and 
Airmen's Union, a frankly seditious organisa- 
tion, run by a man who got up a meeting at 
Folkestone last January, when the Colours of 
the Guards had to be brought back to London, 
and who, in consequence of the exploit, gained 
the favour of the Daily Herald. Later the Union 
started a movement to induce the Derby re- 
cruits to desert on the ground that their term of 
service had expired, and was in consequence 
turned out of its offices in Whitefriars Street as 
an undesirable tenant. This organisation, like 
Mr. Lansbury, had a great deal to do with the 
attempted police strike of the present simimer, 
and is a favourite rallying point for Bolsheviks, 
discontented soldiers, conscientious objectors, 
and Sinn Feiners. 



Pebvious writers have called attention to the 
persistence and continuity of the Irish revo- 
lutionary movement. It has been the purpose 
of this book to show that the Irish Eepublican- 
ism of to-day, though in lineal descent from the 
insurgents of the past, aiming at the same goal, 
and sharing with them certain attributes com- 
mon to all insurrectionary organisations, yet 
differs from them in many particulars of the 
highest and most urgent importance in their 
bearing upon the Irish problem and its solution. 
The present movement represents, indeed, in 
great measure a revolt against its predecessors. 
It is inspired by the conviction of their futility, 
which it holds was due to the fact that the old 
revolutionists, though they knew what they 
wanted, did not really know why they wanted it 
or how it could be gained. They had an aim, 



but it was not a conscious aim, and therefore 
all their efforts became of no effect. They 
hated Britieh rule, but because they never clear- 
ly grasped the reason for hating it, their hatred 
never carried them far. And, what in the eyes 
of the modem Republicans is worse, a purpose 
based on hatred tends to become blurred and 
dim as memory grows dull. 

To meet this grave defect the Gaelic League 
and Sinn Fein sought to revive a positive prin- 
ciple — nationality — through the medium of the 
Irish language. For the language itself, out- 
side a few enthusiasts or sentimentalists, they 
may have had but small regard ; their devotion 
to it has been mainly due to the belief — possi- 
bly well founded — that the National Idea which 
it would generate would do more to keep alive 
the spirit of revolt than the negative principle 
of hatred which had inspired the insurrection- 
ary movements of the past. 

While men like Dr. Hyde and Professor Mae- 
NeiU thus sought to inspire the National Move- 
ment with an intellectual soul, the more prac- 
tical Mr. Arthur Grriffith set himself to develop 
a spirit of national commercialism, not only as 
an object good in itself, but as a most effective 
weapon against British domination. Irish Na- 
tionalism was to have its own banks, its own 


Law Courts * and schools, its own consular 
service, mainly because thus would be asserted 
the principle of a separate nationality. 

In like manner did James ConnoUy strive to 
advance the interests of the proletariat. In- 
dustrial freedom, he taught, was indissolubly 
linked up with national independence. In a free 
Ireland only could the Irish workers be free; 
freedom for the workers of Ireland would be 
incomplete unless their country also were re- 
lieved of its shackles. 

The introduction of this positive assertion of 
nationality marks a great advance, and differ- 
entiates the new movement from the old in a 
surprising degree. In the first place it pro- 
motes persistency of effort. Nothing is more 
noticeable in the old rebellions than their spas- 
modic manifestations. The risings of 1798, 
1848, and 1867 were short-Uved. With their de- 
feat the movement died away, not to reappear 
for a cycle of years. During the intervening 
periods men who had been conspirators became 
constitutional reformers, some abandoned revo- 
lution altogether, others became valued serv- 
ants of the Crown against which they had con- 

* The Cork Examiner of September 16th contains a report qf 
a Sinn Fein Arbitration Court which adjudicated on a ques- 
tion of the sale of an estate. 


spired. The spirit which moved them to vio- 
lence appeared to be rather the effervescence of 
hot-blooded youth than a solemn and deliberate 

Movements so inspired could be crushed with- 
out difficulty when they broke ground ; there was 
always the hope on one side and the fear on the 
other that by the reform of abuses, by repara- 
tion for old wrongs, by generous legislation, the 
underlying hostility might be weakened. And, 
as a fact, these hopes and fears were to a great 
extent justified by events. Compared with the 
rebellion of 1798, the risings of Smith O 'Brien 
and James Stephens were little more than riots. 
The revolutionary fever seemed to be burning 
itself out ; the idea of national independence ap- 
peared to be moving towards the academic stage 
and to be becoming a tradition rather than a 

The new Nationalism has changed all that. 
It takes no account of the history of British 
rule, it takes account only of the fact of British 
rule. It is as little revengeful for past wrongs 
— and there have been wrongs — as it is grate- 
ful for benefits — and they are neither small nor 

"Our Nationalism is not founded upon griev- 
ances. We are opposed not to English mis- 


government, but to English government in Ire- 

Here, then, we are face to face with an abid- 
ing principle of insurgency. Evil memories 
may be transient, withered by time or effaced 
by gratitude, but hatred of a fact persists so 
long as the fact continues. 

To perceive the operation of this spirit it 
needs only to read Irish history since Easter, 
1916. Such a defeat as was inflicted on the 
rebels in that year would have crushed previous 
revolutionary movements for half a century. 
It did not check the new Nationalism for a 
month. With their leaders dead or in prison, 
the Eepublicans were planning a new rebellion 
for the following year. When that effort failed, 
they set themselves to foil every attempt at con- 
ciliation, and succeeded. 

In former times the irreconcilable conspira- 
tors, when their plans went awry, withdrew into 
obscurity to prepare new conspiracies. The 
new Nationalists, on the contrary, have come 
out more boldly into the light of day, establish- 
ing a National Parliament and issuing the pros- 
pectus of a National Loan, the interest of which 
shall become payable on the international rec- 
ognition of the Irish Republic. 

•See p. 194. 


They have proclaimed a state of war, and 
are carrying on a guerilla warfare of a peculiar- 
ly barharpus character. There have been peri- 
ods of barbarous crime in Ireland's troubled 
history. But in the worst of those periods there 
was some ostensible motive for the barbarity. A 
landlord might be suspected of severity, a 
farmer might be held in abhorrence for taking 
an evicted farm, a man might be regarded as 
an informer or traitor, there might be some 
personal or family feud — there were many mo- 
tives which could never excuse the crime, but 
which might, at least, explain it. 

There is no such explanation, no such excuse 
as "the wild justice of revenge," for the crimes 
of to-day. They are not wanton, they are cold 
and calculated ; they are not the outcome of per- 
sonal passion, they are "the diabolical work of 
an organisation." * Recalling the terms of the 
Proclamation issued by Sinn Fein and quoted 
in a previous chapter, the organisation which 
directs such deeds can readily be identified. 
And so in Ireland to-day no man is safe, what- 
ever be his character or innocency of life, if he 

• Key. Thomas MacBrien, C.C. Letter written in reference to 
the murder of Sergeant Brady, and published in the Dublin 
VaXbg Express, September 17tb, 1919. Mr. MacBrien is a 
^man Catholic priest. 


stands in the "way of the new Nationalism by- 
reason of his attachment to British rule, or by 
his willingness to discharge the ordinary duties 
of a citizen. 

There is no weakness or wavering in the 
ranks of the Irish Eepublicans. They speak, 
not as defeated rebels, but as men dictating 
terms to a conquered enemy. They do not even 
deign to parley with Great Britain, or to offer 
her Ireland's friendship in return for Ireland's 
freedom. Such language was held by the revo- 
lutionists of the past : those of the present are 
more inexorable. To them Great Britain is not 
only a country from whose rule they desire to 
escape, but a country which must be brought 
down in headlong ruin. In India, in Egypt, in 
South Africa, wherever England has a vulner- 
able spot or disaffected subjects, these are the 
places and the people for which Sinn Fein has 
the most special regard and to which it is most 
profuse in its promises of help. 

It is not, however, on its intellectual and 
political side that the new movement is most 
sharply differentiated from the old. Infinitely 
more novel and more menacing are its economic 
developments, not only by reason of their in- 
trinsic nature, but in their effect upon any pos- 
sible proposals for a settlement of the Irish 


question. Those proposals range from the grant 
of complete independence, favoured by Mr. 
Childers, to some such form of self-government 
as is contained in the Home Eule Act. To dis- 
cuss the merits of any of them is outside the 
purview of this volume, but it would have been 
written in vain were the facts which it describes 
not taken into account in the consideration of 

The precise relations between Sinn Fein and 
Labour are not easy to calculate, but there are 
certain phenomena which suggest that they are 
intimate, more intimate perhaps than is sus- 
pected by those who talk glibly of settling the 
Irish question by constitutional concession. 

Although Sinn Fein means self-reliance, it is 
the settled policy of the Sinn Feiners to attain 
their main object through foreign aid. Ger- 
many has failed them; America is alternately 
threatened and cajoled, but in their inmost 
hearts the Irish Eepublicans are doubtful of 
success in that direction. Failing America, 
there remains not a single nation that can help; 
but there does remain a revolutionary system, 
an Ishmael of humanity, whose only hope of ex- 
istence lies in the fomentation of revolt against 
established order. The Eussian Soviet Eepub- 
lic, seeking to break down surrounding capital- 
istic institutions, and even Socialist institutions 


if they connote stability or conformity to estab- 
lished doctrines of government, is itself seeking 
for allies in every direction, and so to Moscow 
Ireland turns her eyes and addresses her ap- 

Naturally the Irish Labour Party is the chief 
instrument of such negotiations. But Sinn Fein 
itself, whatever be its secret views of Bolshe- 
vik doctrine, has also yielded to the pressure of 
necessity. The conversations and correspon- 
dence of Dr. MacCartan and Mr. Liam Mel- 
lowes with Mr. L. Martens * cannot be disre- 
garded in this connection. 

That there is an understanding between the 
Irish Eepublioans and the Bolshevik revolu- 
tionists is beyond question. We have seen how 
their emissaries are always in close touch with 
the British extremists.! And it has been shown 
how periods of Labour unrest in Great Britain 
have synchronised with outbursts of crime and 
outrage in Ireland. The coincidences are too 
marked to be accidental. Nor is it possible to 
resist the conclusion that the Irish Republicans 
are in receipt of monetary assistance from Rus- 
sia. The operations of Sinn Fein are costly. 
Seven years ago it was penniless ; to-day it 
wields a huge organisation, runs newspapers, 

* See Chap. XIII. 
tSee Cihap. XIV. 


purchases arms and muntions of war, keeps its 
representatives abroad, and maintains an army 
of officials at home. Even its hired assassins are 
supplied with motor-cars. It gets money some- 
where, and the Soviet Republic is known to be 
spending large sums in foreign propaganda. 
The fact is not concealed. Bela Kun is not the 
only alien revolutionary who has received 
grants from the Soviet Treasury. It is known 
that money has reached this country, but Miss 
Pankhurst only accounts for a small part of it. 
And it is not to be overlooked that, in the revela- 
tions lately made by the police authorities, the 
name of Mr. L. Martens occurs as one of those 
who are prominently concerned in this Bolshe- 
vik propaganda — Mr. Martens, with whom Mac- 
Cartan and Mellowes are in intimate relation. 

The inference will, of course, be stoutly de- 
nied. But so were the financial transactions be- 
tween Sinn Fein and Bemstorff denied ia Dub- 
lin — and admitted in Berlin. 

It is possible, it is even probable, that among 
the members of Sinn Fein there are many who 
view these economic tendencies with aversion 
and apprehension. But, much as they fear the 
movement, they are powerless to stop it, as 
throughout history the moderates have always 
been captured by the extremists. Eevolutions, 


it has been said, devour their children; Mira- 
beau always gives way to Marat. 

It results from this that schemes of settle- 
ment, designed to placate the moderates of Sinn 
Fein, are foredoomed to failure for the reason 
that the moderates no longer count. One may 
go even further, and say that schemes of settle- 
ment which might attract the more stalwart ad- 
herents of Sinn Fein have very little chance of 
success. There was, as we have seen, a time 
when Mr. Griffith might have accepted the Con- 
stitution of 1782 in satisfaction of his demands,* 
though it might not have satisfied the majority 
of his colleagues. That time, as Mr. 'Hegarty 
says, has gone ; but even had it not gone,' such a 
proposal would be rejected by the Labour wing 
of the Eepublican Party, and by those — ^not a 
few — of the Sinn Feiners who stand with them. 

In formulating his economic policy and con- 
structing his party of revolutionary Labour, 
Connolly appealed to sentiment and self-inter- 
est. In the former — the reference to the Old 
Celtic communal system — ^he sought the inspira- 
tion of his movement, in the latter its driving 
force. That force lies in the belief, which he so 
strenuously inculcated, that all the old Irish pa- 
triotic movements had broken down because 

•See Chap. III. 


they took no account of the interests of the 
workers. Especially had the constitutional pa- 
triots betrayed the interests of the proletariat, 
keeping afive and exploiting their wrongs for 
their own selfish political purpose. While the 
revolutionary movements had not been guilty 
of such black treachery, and had even in some 
cases caught glimpses of the truth, they too had 
failed because their direction had fallen into the 
hands of the capitalists and the bourgeoisie. If 
Labour, then, is to' reap any reward for its Na- 
tionalism and any security for itself, it must 
look, in the words of Wolfe Tone, "to that re- 
spectable class — ^the men of no property." 

The proletarian wing of the Republican Move- 
ment is, therefore, unalterably pledged to op- 
pose any settlement on constitutional lines. 
Even were it not so pledged, its adhesion to 
Bolshevism would make the acceptance of con- 
stitutional conditions impossible. Already there 
are signs that Labour is somewhat distrustful 
of the more moderate Republicans and is deter- 
mined to impose its will upon the movement. 

The growth and influence of Irish Bolshev- 
ism must be taken into serious account in aiiy 
review of the Irish problem and in any remedial 
measures for its solution. A Bolshevist Ireland 
would be a constant menace to the social and 


industrial peace of Great Britain. For of all 
modem creeds Bolshevism is necessarily the 
most aggressive. There is no place in a com- 
munity of States based on social order for a 
State founded upon anarchy. Static conditions 
are fatal to its existence ; it must proselytise or 

Such is the position of Ireland to-day, and 
all because five years ago, when the path of con- 
stitutional self-government within the British 
Empire lay broad and smooth before her, she 
took the wrong turning. The road she then 
chose has led her iuto wastes whereof no man 
can see the end. To all who would help to guide 
her back to the point from which she went 
astray she turns blind eyes and deaf ears. To 
all who approach her with offers of conciliation 
she replies with Jehu, ""What hast thou to do 
with peace? Turn thee behind me." On one 
point only is there agreement between the war- 
ring factions — that there can be no agreement. 
"There is no half-way house between Union 
and Separation," says Sir Edward Carson at 
Belfast. And across the Atlantic, like an echo, 
comes De Valera's response, "There is no half- 
way house between Union and Separation." 


America, alliance with Ger- 
many and Ireland, 145; 
Casement and an Anglo- 
Saxon alliance, 145 

Armistice, The, Lahouf atti- 
tude, 229 

Aud, The, attempt to land 
officers and arms in Ire- 
land, 177 

Berne Conference, Irish dele- 
gates' claim at, 233 

Bernhardi, General von, Irish 
allies, 131 

Bernstorff, Count, appoint- 
ment of Bishop of Cork, 
185; financial aid for Sinn 
Fein, 162; German help for 
rebellion, 176; German in- 
trigue in America, 154, 171 

Blacam, Aodh de, Bolshevism 
in Ireland, 108; Labour, 
power of, 221 

Bolshevism, Blacam, Aodh de, 
108 ; exceptional treatment 
for Irish, 216; negotiations 
between Dr. MacCartan and 
Russian Soviet RepubUe, 
213-215; Sinn Fein al- 
liance, 208-228 

British Army's cowardice, 
Warburton, Lt.-Col. J. T., 

British Socialist party, Iiimer- 
ick strike, 246 

Buckingham Palace confer- 
ence, failure ef, 1 

Byrne, R. J., rescued from 
hospital, 245 

Casement, Sir Roger, 122; 
accepts British knighthood, 
124; alliance of Germany, 
America and Ireland, 145; 
Anglo-Saxon alliance, 126, 
145; Belgium and England, 
124; Germany and Ireland, 
126, 128-130, 157-159; Ger- 
man sabotage agents in 
America, 154; German rela- 
tions, 124; Great Britain 
and subject nationalities, 
143; freedom of the seas, 
126, 128, 149, 155; Irish 
Brigade, 123, 160; Irish- 
men to arm, 147; lands in 
Ireland and is arrested, 
177; war anticipated, 141, 

Catholic Emancipation Act 
and agrarian troubles, 84; 
ConnoUy, James, criticises, 

Chatterton-Hill, Dr., Sinn 
Fein movement, 205 

Citizen army, 117; alliance 
with Irish volunteers, 173 

Clan-na-Gael, assists Gaelic 
League, 19; GaeUe League 
and politics, 16 

Coalition Government, Labour 
opposition to, 231 

Cohalan, Dr. Daniel, appoint- 
ed Bishop of Cork, German 
influence, 185 

Cohalan, Judge D. J., German 
help for Irish rebellion, 176 

Congo, Casement, Sir Roger, 




Connolly, James, 8, 43-54; 
British admlnistTation dur- 
ing famine of 1846, 90; 
Catholic Emancipation Act, 
85 ; GrattanJs Parliament, 
62-68; Industrial Workers 
of the World, 103, 104; 
Irish Socialist Bepublican 
Party, 45; Labour and Pol- 
itics, 104, 116; Labour in. 
Irish history, 44; Land 
Purchase Act, 23; opposi- 
tion to Eoyal celebrations, 
102; penal laws, 56; Poy- 
nings Law, 58, 59; Sars- 
field and the siege of Lim- 
erick, 53; seven years in 
America, 103 ; Socialism, 
104-108 ; strike campaign, 
114, 115; United Irishmen, 
69-71, 75; Young Ireland- 
ers, 91, 92 

Convention, The Irish, Sinn 
Fein attitude, 201, 206 

Croke, Archbishop, Gaelic 
Athletic Association anti- 
English movement, 17 

Comann na nGraedheal, 20- 

Cunard Steamship Company, 
ceases to call at Queens- 
town, 134 

Datjghtees of Erin Societies, 

Devoy, Cypher code, 171 
Doyle, Bernard, release of 

Sinn Fein prisoners, 244 
Dublin strike of 1913, 117 
Dublin Trades Council, 115 
Dungannon Clubs, 20 

Education, Griffith, Arthur, 
criticised Irish system, 32; 
teaching rebellion in schools; 

Emmett conspiracy, 76, 77 

Factokt laws, O 'Connell, 
Daniel, opposition to, 81 

Famine of 1846, 89, 90; Con- 
nolly on British adminis- 
tration, 90 

Fellowship of Eeconciliation, 
Sinn Fein alliance, 248 

Fenian rising, 98 

Figgis, Darrell, Soviet gov- 
ernment, 223 

Flood, Henry, 60 

Free Trade, Griffith, Arthur, 

Freedom of the seas. Case- 
ment, Sir Roger, 126, 128, 
149, 155 

Friends of Irish Freedom, So- 
ciety of, 196 

Gaelic Athletic Association, 
17-19 ; Croke, Archbishop, 

Gaelic League, 11-17, 21; fi- 
nancial aid from America, 
19; Hyde, Dr. Douglas, 16; 
poUtics and, 14-16 

General election, 1910, Sinn 
Fein set-back, 40 

George, Et. Hon. D. Lloyd, 
schemes for Irish settle- 
ment, 180-184, 191 

Germany, alliance with Amer- 
ica, and Ireland, 145; at- 
tempt to land arms in Ire- 
land, 177, 205; Casement 
on German friendship, 157- 
159; Casement's Irish Bri- 
gade, 123, 160; intrigue in 
America, 171; invasion of 
Ireland, Irishmen to assist 
German troops, 170; Irish 
negotiations resumed, 1918, 
203 ; St. Patrick's Day ban- 
quet, Berlin, 1918, 203; 



sabotage agents in Ameri- 
ca, 154; world power, 151 

German Irish Society in Ber- 
lin, value of Iriali friend- 
ship, 196-199 

Ginnell, Laurence, M.P., criti- 
cises United Irish lieague, 

Grattan, Henry, 60 

Grattan's Parliament, 62-68 

Great Britain, Sinn Fein sev- 
ers political relations, 236 

Griffith, Arthur, 7; Austro- 
Hungarian relations, 25; 
British administration, Sinn 
Fein opposition, 35; Cu- 
mann na nGaedheal, 20; 
editor United Irishman, 21; 
education in ' Ireland, 32; 
Free Trade, 81; Home Rule 
BiU, 120; Ireland not at 
war with Germany, 156 

Hambueg-A m e b I c a Line, 
Queenstown a port of call, 

Hibernians, Ancient Order 
(American), assists Gaelic 
League, 19 

Home Eule, Griffith, Arthur, 
120; settlement by parti- 
tion, 180, 181, 183, 191; 
Sinn Fein attitude, 5 

Horst, Baron Von, 132, 134; 
arrest of, 170; Workers' 
Socialist Federation, 250 

Hungary, resurrection of, 
Griffith, Arthur, 25 

Hyde, Dr. Douglas, 7; Gaelic 
League, 11, 14-16 

Imperial Parliament, absence 
of Irish members, 24, 199 

Industrial Workers of the 
World, 103, 104 

Irish Brigade, Casement fails 
to raise, 161 

Ireland, strategic importance 
of, 126, 128, 149, 150, 155 

Irish Council Bill, 1907, Sinn 
Fein's opportunity, 88 

Irish Felon, 95 

Irish Freedom, pro-German 
articles in, 132; war antici- 
pated, 141 

Irish Labour Party, 116, 117, 
218; constitution on Soviet 
model, 288; Larkin's "Call 
to Arms," 115; Sinn Fein 
alliance, 174, 202; support 
for Eussian Soviets, 226 

Irish Beview, "Ireland, Ger- 
many and the Next War," 

Irish Socialist Federation in 
America, formation of, 108 

Irish Socialist Republican 
Party, 105; formation of, 
44, 45 

Irish Trade Union Congress 
(see also Irish Labour Par- 

ty), 45 

Irish Transport and General 
Workers' Union, formation 
of, 111 

Irish Volunteers, 135-140, 
173, 189, 199; alliance with 
Citizen Army, 173; person- 
nel of Committee, 138; 
Eedmond's nominees repu- 
diated, 166 

Irish Worker, 115 

Irish Tear Book, Sinn Fein 
publication, 27 

Irishman, The, politics and 
athletics, 18 

Johnson, Thomas, Limerick 

strike, 244, 247 
Jones, Jack, strike leaders and 



organised political action, 

Kbaling, John P., German 
sabotage agent in America, 

liABOTJB (see also Irish Labour 
Party), Connolly hostile to, 
79-81; power of, 221-225 

Labour and the Union, 56-68 

Labour organisations in Ire- 
land, 44 

Lacy, L. de, 169 

Lalor, Pintan, no rent cam- 
paign, 96; repeal and the 
land question, 94-97 

Land League, established 
1879, 99 

Land Purchase Act, 23 

Land question, no rent cam- 
paign, 96; repeal of the 
Union, 94-97 

Lansbury, George, Coalition 
Government, 232 ■ 

Larkin, James, 8, 110; La- 
bour "Gall to Arms," 115 

Leslie, John, 48 

Limerick, Bishop of, praisea 
rebels, 179 

Limerick strike, 245-247 

List, Frederick, 31 

Logue, Cardinal, condemns 
revolutionary agitation, 201 

London Workers' Committee, 
Sinn Fein alliance, 249, 251 

iMsitania atrocity, effect on 
Irish-Americans, 172 

McCaetan, Br. Patrick, ar- 
rested at Halifax, 211; 
Irish Ambassador in Amer- 
ica, 194; Irish political re- 
lations with Great Britain 
severed, 236; negotiations 

with Eussian Soviet Bepub- 
lio, 213-215 

McGarrity, Joseph, German 
sabotage agent in America, 

Maclean, John, 251; Bolshe- 
vist Socialism triumphant, 

MacHanus, Seamus, teaching 
rebellion in schools, 32 

MacNeill, Prof. John, 146; 
appeals to Joseph McGar- 
rity for arms, 156; cancels 
marches and parades, 177 

MarkieYies, Countess, Soviet 
government, 223 ; treaty 
with Germany, 225 

Martens, L., Soviet govern- 
ment ambassador, 214 

Mellowes, Liam, arrested in 
New York, 211; Bolshevik 
sympathies, 213 

Meyer, Prof. Edouard, Ireland 
Germany's ally, 172 

Meyer, Kuno, 142, 148 

Mitchell, John, social revolu- 
tion, 93 

Moore, Col. Maurice, Irish 
Volunteers, 138 

Morel, E. D., 123, 127 

Nationalist Party, Irish 
Council Bill 1907, 38; Sinn 
Fein hostile to, 3, 5, 37, 
119, 164-167, 192 

O'Brien, Smith, rebellion of, 

1848, 92 
O'Brien, William, M.P., Sinn 

Fein scheme to capture his 

party, 39 
O 'Connell, Daniel, Emmett 

conspiracy, 77; hostile to 

Labour movement, 79-81 ; 

opposed to Irish language, 




O'Connor, Teargus, disagrees 
with O 'ConneU over Labour 
question, 81 

O'Hegarty, P. 8., Sinn Fein 
policy, 30, 41, 120 

O 'Leary, Jeremiah, German 
sabotage agent in America, 
154; indicted for treason, 

O 'Shannon, Cathal, capitalist 
opposition to self-determi- 
nation, 233; grateful to 
Soviet Eepublic, 216; Soviet 
government, 246 

Owen, Robert, establishes So- 
cialist colony, 99 

Pankhuest, Miss Sylvia, 
Workers' Socialist Federa- 
tion, 249, 250 

Parnell, Charles Stewart, 
"Last link" speech, 100 

Peace Conference, Sinn Fein 
and, 30, 234 

Penal Laws, Connolly, James, 
56; economic result, 74 

Poynings' law, 58 

QuEENSTOWN, Hamburg- 
America Line and Cunard 
Company, 134 

Eebellion of 1848, 91-93 

Eebellion of 1916, 178-180; 
release of prisoners, 193 

Eebellion of 1918, prepara- 
tions for, 235-238 

Eedmond, J., M.P., policy 
wrecked by Sinn Fein, 6; 
rejects Home Eule by par- 
tition, 191; traitor to Ire- 
land, 168; volunteer spUt, 

Repeal of the Union, land 
question and, 94-97 

Eepublican movement {see al- 
so Sinn Fein), 189 
Eevolutionary movements, 3, 

4, 5, 69-83 

Eibbon Society, 85-88; oath 

of membership, 87 
Eooney, William, 21 

Sakspield, Patrick, James, 

Connolly, on, 53 
Self-determination League, 248 
Sinn Fein, 7, 27-42; alliance 
with Labour, 174, 202, 218; 
attitude towards Irish Con- 
vention, 201, 206; Bolshe- 
vik alliance, 208-228; Brit- 
ish administration, 34; Brit- 
ish labour trouble and suc- 
cess of rebellion, 235; con- 
stitution and aims, 27-29; 
criminal outrages, 200; fi- 
nanced by Germany, 158, 
161-163; O'Hegarty, P. S., 
30 ; Home Eule Act, 5 ; hos- 
tile to Nationalist party, 3, 

5, 37, 164-167, 119, 192; 
Irish Council Bill, 1907, 38; 
Land Purchase Act and, 23 ; 
London organisations, 248, 
249; members refuse to at- 
tend Westminster, 24, 199; 
political relations with Great 
Britain severed, 236; prep- 
aration for second rebellion, 
235, 238; proclamation 
against British rule, 241; 
revolutionary movement, 3, 
5; Unionist attitude, 37 

Skeffington, Mrs. Sheehy, 249, 
250, 251 

Smillie, Eobert, Coalition 
Government, 231 ; bargain 
with Sinn Fein, 224, 227 

Socialism, Connolly's scheme, 
105-108; Irish Socialist Ee- 
publican party, 44, 45 



Soldiers', Sailors', and lAir- 
men'a Union, 252 

Steele, Thomas, denounces 
Bibbonmen, 88 

Sweetman, Boger, M.P., de- 
nounces judges, policemen, 
etc., 240 

Thompson, William, distribu- 
tion of wealth, 99 

Tone, Wolfe, United Irish- 
men, 72, 75 

Trade Unions, alliance with 
Bepeal of the Union move- 
ment, 80; development of, 
in 1824, 78; O'Connell's 
hostility, 81; political ac- 
tivity, 116; Eibbon Society 
and, 86-88; in Ireland, 44 

Troy, Miss Lillian, Queens- 
town and Ireland's trade, 

United Irish League, Ginnell, 

Laurence, M.P., 112 
United Irishman, The, 21 
United Irishmen, 69-75; Con- 
nolly, James, 69-71; demo- 
cratic ideals, 73 ; revolu- 
tionary movement, 72-73 ; 
Wolfe Tone on aims of, 72 

Valkea, E. de, 179 
Volunteer movement, see Irish 

Walsh, J. J., MJ*., anti- 
British speech, 221 

War, anticipated by Case- 
ment, 141, 147; Ireland's 
chance, 2; Ireland at the 
outbreak, 1 

Warburton, Lt.-CoL J. T., 
British Army's cowardice, 

Welsh, Thomas, arrested car- 
rying Sinn Fein despatch, 

Westarp, Count, speech on St. 
Patrick's Day, 1918, 204 

Worker's BepuoUc, 102 

Workers' Eepublican party, 

Workers ' Socialist Federa- 
tion, Sinn Fein and Bus- 
siau Bolshevism, 249 

Young Irelanders, objects of, 
20; Connolly, James, 91, 
92; reject Lalor's Counsels, 

Ireland an Enemy 
OF THE Allies? 




An illuminating work on the meaning of Irish 
propaganda and Sinn Fein agitation. 

M. Escouflaire is a Frenchman who for years had 
taken the Irish anti-British propaganda as genuine. 
When in consequence of the war he became personally 
acquainted with the British, he was unable to reconcile 
their behavior and their ideals with what he had heard 
about them through the Irish. He therefore made an 
independent study of the Irish question, entering upon 
it with a perfectly unprejudiced mind, and the result 
of his discoveries is that he feels himself able to pro- 
nounce the Irish question "an international imposture." 
The reasons which led him to this verdict are to be 
found in this book. 

The Spectator says of it: 

" M. Escouflaire is one of the few foreigners who 
have taken the trouble to study the Irish question, 
instead of accepting at their face-value the 
theatrical assertions of Nationalists and Sinn 
Feiners. . . . His well-informed little book de- 
serves to be widely read." 

68 1 Fifth Avenue New York 



Avthor of "The First Seven Divisions" "The Sold 
of Ulster," etc. 


A serious and well-considered historical study of one 
of the most turbulent periods of all the turbulent history 
of Ireland. 

Beginning with the renunciation of royal pretensions 
by Con Bacagh O'Neil at the time of his investiture 
with the Earldom of Tyrone by King Henry VIII, 
the author carries his narrative up to and just beyond 
the crucial battle of Kinsale, in the year before Queen 
Elizabeth's death. 

It is a remarkable and extraordinarily interesting 
story, the treachery and almost incredible savagery of 
the Irish chieftains being fairly matched by the venality 
and incompetence of Elizabeth's commanders. 

At a time when the real history of Ireland is in 
demand as distinguished from the fantastic legends 
which are generally circulated as such, this study, 
based exclusively on documents of the period, by a 
scholar who has had the additional advantage of being 
an Ulster M. P. for several years, is particularly val- 

68 1 Fifth Avenxje New York 


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