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LEINSTER LEADER EDITORIAL 13 MAY 1916

NAAS, SATURDAY, MAY 13, 1916.

FIXING THE RESPONSIBILTY

It was only to be explained that following the first burst of horror and condemnation of the Dublin outbreak that the public mind would set itself to the task of fixing the responsibility for what had occurred. It was also inevitable that various causes and persons should have been held responsible for the bloodshed. Of course the leaders of the Rebellion themselves were the direct and immediate persons responsible for the strife which has so to speak, plucked the heart out of the capital, they have paid the penalty for their acts and over their graves we are silent, it will be for some historian of the future, removed from the passions and the prejudices of our day to inquire into the motives and estimate the culpability at its true worth of these men. Meanwhile we are entitled to the fullest and most searching inquiry into the whole cause and the circumstances which led up to this bloody deed. Anybody who has followed the remarkable modern political history of Ireland must realize that there are men and forces and happenings which cannot be disconnected with the Rebellion. Their share in what has occurred must be duly apportioned. The announcement in the House of Commons this week by the Prime Minister that there would be an investigation into the circumstances of the Insurrection is satisfactory if the scope of that inquiry is broad and deep enough. If the search lights are to be turned on we hope they will be powerful enough to sweep the whole modern political field of Ireland. That such an inquiry is necessary has been pretty well proved within the past week, for we have had a very orgy of accusation and abuse as to who was really responsible and as to what really led up to the Dublin revolt. This orgy of abuse and accusation might go on for ever without adding anything either to the knowledge or the dignity of the nation. A properly and impartially conducted inquiry will help to focus attention on the fundamental acts and help to sustain some measure of intelligence on the subject. Our desire at the moment is to see to it that the forthcoming inquiry is a properly constituted inquiry and one with ability and freedom enough to investigate the responsibility of all political persons, whether they be in obscure corners or whether they occupy the foremost positions in the machinery of the state. An inquiry pretending to investigate the circumstances of the insurrection must certainly go back to the date when the Home Rule Controversy was violently plucked from Constitutional Methods and made the sport of an amazing physical force campaign. That event marked the beginning of a series of threats and abuses which were without, precedent in any country with a sane government. Since Sir Edward Carson threw over Constitutional methods in political controversy the situation in Ireland has been intolerable and impossible. It has led up to the horrors which have sickened the minds and the hearts of the people within the past few weeks. We need not be taken as saying that Sir Edward Carson is responsible for the Dublin Rebellion, but we do say that his teachings and his preachings, and his practice have their fundamental place in the calamity and must be taken into account in any adequate survey of the situation. It is quite obvious, too, that there must be some safeguard for the future and that whatever political controversy we may have as to the future Government of Ireland that it will not lie in the hands of any politician or set of politicians to wield the threat of physical force not alone over his opponents but over the whole country. To allow such a state of things to exist after what has occurred in Dublin would be to continue an intolerable situation. We have been warned often enough of the horrors of a civil war. We can picture to ourselves what it would be like from what has occurred in Dublin. Nobody wants to hear of anything of the kind ever again happening in Ireland and it would be a real relief to the community at large to hear that an argument as to disarmament of the remaining Volunteers forces had been agreed upon.

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2017-03-22T04:25:38+00:00