Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916


Here are some of the stories reported in the News Letter 100 years ago:

Dublin Rebellion

[May 8]

Up to the present the following is an official list of the results of the trials of insurgent leaders:

Convicted and shot – Thomas J Clarke, P H Pearse, Thomas McDonagh, Joseph Plunkett, Edward Daly, Michael O’Hanrahan, William Pearse, John McBride.

Sentenced to Life Imprisonment – Constance Georgina Markievicz, Thomas Hunter, William Cosgrave, and Henry O’Hanrahan. These prisoners were sentenced to death, but sentence was commuted.

Relief for Distressed Families

[May 8]

Sackville Street and the adjoining thoroughfares, which have suffered so grievously by the rebellion, were crowded with sightseers yesterday.

Thousands of visitors from all parts of the country were in the city, many of them being here for business reasons and others having been attracted by a spirit of curiosity.

The distress caused by the cutting off of supplies in the earlier stages of the rebellion is being dealt with in an energetic manner.

The very poor were the greatest sufferers, owing to the fact that the stores of food they had in their homes when the trouble broke out were only sufficient for their immediate requirements, and afterwards the danger accruing from the rifle fire which went on in the streets prevented them from going outside their own doors to replenish their supplies.

On Friday, 28th April, a Government Committee was appointed to deal with the situation arising out of the distress which was then very prevalent.

Food depots were established in various centres, and in the interval relief has been provided for nearly one hundred thousand people.

Outside Sackville Street and the surrounding neighbourhood the city is now beginning to assume it normal aspect, but the rebellion is, of course, the outstanding topic of conversation, and the loss of life and damage to property are deplored by everyone who has the interests of the community at heart.

Four More Leaders Executed

[May 9]

The following official statement was issued yesterday:

The following are further results of trials by Field General Court-martial;

Sentenced to death, and sentence carried out this morning –

Cornelius Colbert

Edmund Kent

Michael Mallin

J J Heuston

All these four men took a very prominent part in the rebellion.

Enemy’s Plight at Verdun

[May 9]

Writing to his family from the trenches of Verdun, a German officer says that though he has gone through a great deal in the war he has never seen anything so indescribably terrible as the fighting there.

“Our losses in officers are pretty considerable,” he writes. “Night and day we are exposed to terrible fire.

“The French are offering an extraordinarily desperate resistance. After a continuous bombardment of twelve hours we attacked the French, but their machine guns worked so effectively that as soon as our first line of infantry left the trenches they were cut down.

“We are now lying in advanced trenches 120 metres from the French.

“The weather is wretched – cold and continuous rains, boots, cloak, trousers covered in an inch thick of mud.

“All the ways are exposed to French artillery so that we cannot bury our dead. It is pitiable to see poor fellows lying there in the mud.

“Dead and wounded we have every day, and only with the greatest danger to life can we bring the wounded to

safety. Our food we have to fetch from the food kitchens two miles in the rear, but this is

also full of peril. Many of those sent to fetch it are killed or wounded, so that men would rather suffer hunger than go for food.

“Nearly the whole company are already sick.

“Raining the whole day, wet through, sleeping on the muddy earth, and continuously under fearful fire for eight days and nights – they destroy the nerves completely.

“In good health I certainly am not. Soaked through, feet cold, I am literally frozen to the knees. Happily I may have the fortune to come out alive. I hope so indeed for one cannot be decently buried here.”

The Shortage Of Paper

[May 10]

In view of still further restrictions with regard to the supply of paper, we regret that it has been necessary to reduce the size of the “Belfast News-Letter” in order to conserve our stock of paper and to meet the increased demands of our circulation.

We are glad to state that notwithstanding these demands we have been enabled to execute all orders. We trust our subscribers and advertisers will recognise that we are endeavouring to assist the Government in meeting a most critical situation.

Premier and the Executions

[May 11]

In the House of Commons yesterday, the Prime Minister, replying to Mr Dillon, said he could not give an undertaking that no more military executions would take place in Ireland (Cheers). The trials by court-martial of those who took an active part in the rising in Dublin were practically finished, and beyond the sentences already confirmed he hoped and and believed there would be no further necessity to proceed with the extreme penalty.

Death of County Inspector Gray

[May 11]

The sad intelligence reached Belfast yesterday of the death of County Inspector Alexander Gray, of the Royal Irish Constabulary, who succumbed in Meath County Infirmary to wounds received in the affray with Sinn Feiners at Ashbourne on 28th April, when a party of fifty police, under the command of the county-inspector, was ambushed by a body of four hundred rebels, and a fight took place lasting over four-and-a-half hours ensued.

The rebels, closing in from all directions, sent a message to the county-inspector demanding the surrender of all his men. County-Inspector Gray courageously declined, and gave directions to his men to return fire.

Although handicapped by their exposed position, the police pluckily held their ground until they had expended their last cartridge when, seeing that further resistance was useless, they surrendered.

In the course of the fighting, County-Inspector Gray was wounded in both hands and in the thigh.

District-Inspector Smythe was killed, while two sergeants and four constables were shot dead, and seventeen wounded. Three civilian chauffeurs were also injured, and one of them has since died.

The late Mr Gray, who was a native of County Antrim, was about sixty years of age.

Tyrone Court Crier Killed

[May 11]

Mr W Murphy, the court crier of his Honour Judge Linehan, was one of the victims of the rebels. It appears that on Easter Tuesday he was passing through St Stephen’s Green and when opposite the Union Club waved his hand to an acquaintance at a window.

A rebel sniper at once fired and killed him.

Sinn Fein Plot And Sir Edward Carson

[May 12]

The parliamentary correspondent of the “Daily Telegraph” states that evidence has reached the House of Commons of a Sinn Fein plot to kidnap Sir Edward Carson from Mr Ronald McNeill’s place at Cushendall, Co Antrim, on Easter Monday.

Sir Edward had intended to pass the Easter recess there, but the plot miscarried because the shortness of the Easter recess prevented him from crossing to Ireland.

Two More Dublin Rising Leaders Shot

[May 13]

The trial of two prominent leaders in the rebellion whose names appeared in the proclamation issued by the so-called “Provisional Government”, namely James Connolly and John MacDermott, took place on the 9th May.

Sentence of death was awarded in each case.

These sentences were carried out yesterday morning.