Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916


Here are some of the stories making the news 100 years ago:

Irish Cup Final

Glentoran v Linfield

[April 3]

The replayed tie in the final of the Irish Cup took place on Saturday [April 1] at Grosvenor Park before an attendance of between 10,000 and 11,000 spectators, the gate receipts amounting to £517.

The weather was in great contrast to that of the previous Saturday, in fact, it would have been more in keeping with cricket than football.

At the expiration of 15 minutes of the second moiety McEwan for Linfield drove across goal, and Nixon headed past Steele for what turned out to be the only goal of the match, thus giving Linfield their eleventh success in the Irish Cup competition.

Glentoran are deserving of the sympathy of all true sportsmen but Linfield played a hard, bustling game and deserved their win.

Disturbances Near Portadown

[April 3]

Further particulars are now to hand regarding the action of the armed party who demolished the new Hibernian Hall in course of erection in the townland of Tartaraghan, some miles from Portadown, on Thursday night [March 30].

It appears that the party were accompanied by a pick and shovel brigade, who, having ordered the small force of police on duty at the place to stand to one side, proceeded to knock down the masonwork.

Tartaraghan is an exclusively Protestant district. It is stated that there are only six Roman Catholic families in the neighbourhood, and that two of these are opposed to the erection of the hall.

The site of the new building is in close proximity to Tartaraghan Masonic Hall, and not far distant from Cloncore Orange Hall, and the Protestant population look upon the proposal to erect a Hibernian Hall in the locality as a piece of calculated aggravation, designed in the hope of bringing them into conflict with the police.

This is the third attempt that has been made to erect the hall, and on each occasion it has been levelled to the ground.

Big Strike In Dublin

[April 3]

Hardly had Dublin received the welcome intelligence that the strike at the port, which was in existence for over four months, had been settled than the announcement was made that another – and 
larger – industrial dispute was in progress.

This is a strike of the bricklayers, carpenters, and plasterers, who have left work in consequence of the refusal by the employers to grant a general demand for increased wages. It is estimated that the numbers out are: carpenters, 1,100; bricklayers, 400; plasterers, 250; labourers, about 1,000.

Two More Zeppelin Raids

[April 3]

Two more Zeppelin raids are reported this morning – one on the North-Eastern Coast of England on Saturday night [April 1] and the other on the Scotch coast and Northern and South-Eastern counties of England last night.

Sixteen persons were killed and about 100 injured in the former raid, while details are not yet available regarding last night’s attack.

Toll was taken of the Zeppelins which visited the Eastern counties of England on Friday night [March 31], one of the raiders being so seriously damaged that she was compelled to come down off the Thames Estuary, where she subsequently sank. Her crew were taken prisoners. The casualties reported in connection with this raid are 28 killed and 44 injured.

Lucky Escape for Belfast

[April 4]

The German Government admits that the aviators who dropped bombs on a Swiss village on 31st March were German aviators who had lost their bearings and believed themselves to be over Belfast. The Government expresses regret. The aviators will be punished and removed.

Chaplain’s Tribute To Irish Soldiers

[April 4]

Rev J Gilbert Paton, while on a few days’ leave from France, was greeted by a densely-crowded congregation at the evening service on Sunday [April 2] in his own church, Terrace Row, Coleraine. He gave some details of his experiences with the Ulster Division since 1st December.

Wherever one went, over a large area, the welcome sound of the Ulster accent was to be heard; hence, one did not feel lonely, and it just seemed as if a bit of Belfast or Derry or Coleraine or Limavady had been lifted bodily and transferred to France.

Mr Paton said the men marched away to duty with smiling faces, perfectly happy, and perfectly confident that the great and wonderful work, the magnitude of which they hardly realised, was going to succeed.

Practically every man who took his turn in the trenches ought to be hailed as a hero worthy of the VC.

All the men seem to be in excellent health and condition – “in the pink” as they themselves expressed it – and they were covering with glory themselves and their native country. This applied to the soldiers of all the Irish regiments without exception.

Soldier’s Leap From Bridge

Tragic Inquest Story

[April 6]

An inquest was held in Belfast yesterday into the death of Private George McGouran, a driver in the Army Service Corps, who, whilst under the influence of drink, jumped over the parapet of the Queen’s Bridge on Monday night [April 3] in an attempt to evade arrest at the hands of the police and was drowned. The deceased lived at 6 Young’s Row, Newtownards Road.

Mrs McGouran, widow of the deceased, said her husband was 30 years of age and had been in the army for about ten weeks. He had a pass from the 22nd to the 28th March and had overstayed his leave. On Monday last he came home and wrecked the place by throwing delf through the windows. The man was mad with drink and witness sent for the police.

Constable John J Small, Mountpottinger Barrack, stated that at 10pm he received a message that a fight was going on at the house. He went there and found the windows smashed. George McGouran was inside in a fighting attitude, and his wife said he was an absentee. Witness thereupon took him to the barrack, but when he was about to enter the man bolted. Witness followed in pursuit, and was just in the act of catching him at the Queen’s Bridge when the deceased put his hands on the parapet and vaulted over. Witness clutched him by the coat and held him for about three minutes, but the buttons of the coat came out of the holes. Deceased worked himself out of his jacket, and fell into the water, a distance of twenty or thirty feet. The coat was left in the witness’s hand.

Dr Thomson said death was due to drowning, and the jury found a verdict accordingly, adding that the constable was in no way to blame for the man’s death.

Annual Meeting of USPCA

[April 7]

The eightieth annual meeting of the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was held in the YMCA Minor Hall, Wellington Place, Belfast, at noon yesterday.

Robert Boag, honorary secretary, read the report, which stated that during the past year the number of cases of alleged cruelty to various animals investigated by the officers of the society reached 575. In 274 of the most glaring of these cases prosecuations were ordered and convictions obtained. Cautions were administered in the remaining 301 cases, with good effect.

But of course the influence of the society did not end with the number of its prosecutions. The very fact of the society’s uniformed officers patrolling the various streets and roads had a most deterrent effect on those likely to commit acts of cruelty.

The society also laid much stress on interesting the young in the cause by encouraging them to write essays. The committee again offered 200 prizes, including two valuable gold medals, for the best essays on (Senior Division) “The Use of Animals in War” and (Junior Division) “How Animals Repay Kindness Shown Them”.

In reply to advertisement, 2,278 essays were received, many of them of excellent quality.