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LEINSTER LEADER EDITORIAL 6 MAY 1916

NAAS, SATURDAY, MAY 6, 1916.

THE DUBLIN OUTBREAK

Consternation is perhaps, a rather mild term to apply to the feeling produced in the country by the receipt of the news from Dublin on Easter Monday that a serious outbreak had occurred, involving much bloodshed, and as time passed the seriousness of the position which it was hoped was not so bad as represented was found to be in no sense exaggerated. The first intimation that something unusual had occurred was the non-arrival of the afternoon trains from the city, and soon it was rumoured that this was due to the ripping up the line between Lucan and Clondalkin, and that the Irish Volunteers were up in arms and had seized the General Post Office and other public buildings. All kinds of alarming reports as to events in the city did not serve to allay the public uneasiness, but from the general crop of rumors it was possible to glean a few tangible details. These showed that the seizure of the General Post Office was followed by street fighting with the police and military, accompanied by much bloodshed, and that simultaneous attacks by the Volunteers had enabled them to occupy the City Hall, the railway premises at Kingsbridge, Broadstone, Amiens and Harcourt Street and other public buildings, but contradictory statements respecting the occupation of particular buildings deprived the accuracy of these of much of its value. Meanwhile the friends and relatives of those who had travelled to Fairyhouse Races were much disquieted as to their safe return owing to the non- running of the trains, and reports that the public roads at some points were being held by volunteers and patrolled by bodies of military. Tuesday brought meagre but more definite tidings confirming the seizure of the G.P.O and the occupation of the City Hall by the Volunteers, but that they were driven from the latter by machine gun fire from Dublin Castle. It was further ascertained that heavy fighting had occurred in different areas throughout the city, and that they were many casualties on both sides, and the seriousness with which the situation was regarded was not lessened by the further reports that the railways in other parts of the country had also been damaged. The absence of definite news respecting these events was of course, due to the cutting of the telegraph and telephone wires. During Monday evening and all that night troops were being rushed to Dublin by the military both by rail, road and sea, while motors continually passed through Naas to and from Dublin. People met in the streets of the towns and discussed the situation with all the seriousness which the position invited and alarm was prevailing feeling manifested. The outbreak was as sudden and unexpected in many parts of the country as it was alarming, but the initial success of the coup disclosed careful planning and preparation. On the other hand, if the outbreak came upon the people in some parts of the country suddenly and unexpectedly, it was not evidently altogether unknown to the authorities, for it has been stated by Lord Midleton in the House of Lords that warnings of some such trouble had been given to the Government. This Lord Lansdowne on behalf of the Government did not contradict. But no matter what the cause or who is at fault we have now had the awful fact of war in all its horrors brought home to us in this outbreak. The conflict on the Continent has its horrors to be deplored and to its sacrifices and sufferings Ireland was contributing her share, but now an actual state of war at home has increased the toll of human life sacrificed to the god of war. This is the awful fact which we are called upon to face by the turn of affairs in Dublin and the terrible incidents of last week. The newspapers of the city, with the exception of the “Irish Times” ceased publication as a consequence of the condition of things prevailing, while the suspension of post office and mails has left the provincial Press in several parts of the country without their usual week’s supply and these are but some of the many consequences of a dislocation of a business and destruction of the social of order things existing before the outbreak. Now that the rebellion has been crushed we may in common express the hope that we may soon revert to that state of order which peace, prosperity, and mutual goodwill can give.

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