Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916


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

Liverpool Fire Tragedy;

Outbreak in a Hotel

[June 19]

A disastrous fire occurred early yesterday morning at the Imperial Hotel, Lime Street, Liverpool, one of the best-known commercial hotels in the centre of the city.

At the time of the outbreak there were twenty members of the staff and over a dozen visitors in the hotel.

The fire was discovered about half-past two o’clock. It apparently broke out in the lift shaft on the fifth floor, and was confined to the rear part of the premises overlooking St John’s Market, bedrooms on the fourth and fifth floors being involved. It burned fiercely for a considerable time; but the fire brigade succeeded in getting the outbreak under control in about an hour.

Three persons were killed – two by jumping from windows. Anne Quinn, the cook, who was asleep on the fifth floor, was burned to death; Jennie Parkinson, housemaid, jumped from a bedroom window on the fifth floor and sustained fatal injuries; and William McClure, of Upper Merrion Street, Dublin, a visitor, jumped from a bedroom on the fourth floor and was practically killed on the spot. These fatalities occurred before the fire brigade got to work.

Eleven persons were injured by burning or by endeavouring to escape from the building.

The King Visits the Fleet After Jutland Battle

[June 19]

The King, during his recent visit to the Grand Fleet, addressed representatives of the units on parade in the following terms:

“Sir John Jellicoe, Officers, and Men of the Grand Fleet –

“You have waited for nearly two years with the most exemplary patience for the opportunity of meeting and engaging the enemy’s fleet. I can well understand how trying has been this period, and how great must have been the relief when you knew on 31st May that the enemy had been sighted.

“Unfavourable weather conditions and the approaching darkness prevented that complete result which you all expected, but you did all that was possible in the circumstances. You drove the enemy into his harbours, and inflicted on him very severe losses, and you added another page to the glorious traditions of the British Navy. You could not do more, and for your splendid work I thank you.”

Trouble in Dublin

[June 19]

Amazing scenes were witnessed in Dublin on Sunday [June 18], when Sinn Feiners to the number of about 1,000 paraded the streets in disorderly array, carrying collecting boxes and flags. There had been a street collection on the previous day in aid of a fund for the families and dependants of dead or interned rebels.

Women and young girls were the most vigorous of the demonstrators. One young girl, respectably dressed, carried a pole on which were two flags, one green with a harp, the other green, white and yellow, the colours of the “Irish Republic”. As the processionists passed the Castle and other places where troops were on guard, there was boohing and cheering and shouting.

In the vicinity of Carlisle Bridge police seized the flags and endeavoured to break up the procession. An effort was made by the processionists to regain possession of the flags, with the result that a severe struggle took place and assaults were committed.

One constable had his ear split by a blow from one of the collecting tins, and several others were roughly treated. The constables succeeded in holding some of the flags, and made six or seven arrests.

Dublin Widow’s Claim

[June 20]

A claim for the loss of her husband who, it was alleged, was shot by the rebels during the Sinn Fein rising, was made before the Recorder of Dublin on Monday [June 19] by a woman named Murray.

The evidence showed that the deceased was a coachman employed by a livery stable company in Dublin. On Easter Monday he drove a brake to Fairyhouse races. On the way back, after leaving his passengers at their home, he was shot dead. Two rebels, wearing bandoliers and armed with revolvers, came up in response to the cries of another coachman who was driving a brake behind Murray’s vehicle. They appeared quite indifferent, and acted as if it were an everyday occurrence.

The Recorder adjourned the case, remarking that it was a very wicked and shocking crime. The poor man could not have been shot accidentally. He must have been shot deliberately.

‘Alexandra Day’ in London

[June 22]

Fine weather favoured Alexandra Day in London yesterday. Fifteen thousand ladies acted as vendors of the artificial roses, and reaped a rich harvest on behalf of the charities selected by Queen Alexandra.

In accordance with her usual custom, her Majesty in the afternoon drove out in an open carriage to visit some of the principal stations where the roses were being sold. Throughout the whole of the long route there were large gatherings of spectators, who gave her Majesty an enthusiastic reception.

Six-County Exclusion Plan

Irish Unionists Voice Their Opposition

[June 22]

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Irish Unionist Alliance held yesterday in Dublin, the following resolution was unanimously adopted: “That we renew our solemn protest against the proposed settlement of the Irish question for the following reasons, amongst others:

1) Because the policy of endeavouring to placate American opinion, real or exaggerated, by the sacrifice of her own loyal subjects is unworthy of the British Empire and foredoomed to failure.

2) Because the proposed settlement is a flagrant breach of the parliamentary truce.

3) Because it is a concession to the recent rebellion, and will be regarded by lawless men in every country as an encouragement to violence and crime.

4) Because it involves the partition of Ireland, a country in itself all too small as a political and economic unit.

5) Because no party in the country really desires it or welcomes its advent.

6) Because it entails the abandonment of Unionists by Unionists and Nationalists by Nationalists

7) Because, coming as it does between the recent rebellion and the Imperial Confernce promised by the Prime Minister at the end of the war, it has no possibility of success, while it will prove a stumbling block in the way of any great Federal scheme which might be contemplated at that conference.

8) Because, instead of being a settlement, it would prove an unsettlement in Ireland and a danger to the Empire.

In the opinion of this Alliance what is required at the present moment is the minimum, and not the maximum, of change necessary for the good government of the country.

Nationalists Back Proposals

Vote Taken At Belfast Meeting

[June 24]

Representative of the Nationalists of the cities of Belfast and Derry and of the Counties of Antrim, Down, Derry, Armagh, Fermanagh and Tyrone met in conference in St Mary’s Hall, Belfast, at noon yesterday, for the purpose of considering the proposals which have been made for the settlement of the Home Rule question on the basis of the exclusion of the cities and counties named.

The Nationalist opposition to exclusion is particularly prominent in the Counties of Fermanagh, Derry and Tyrone; and in the minds of the leaders of the party considerable anxiety was felt as to the outcome of the conference.

The voting, however, set all doubts at rest, for there was a majority of 210, on a total poll of 740, in favour of acceptance of Mr Lloyd George’s scheme as a basis for the continuance of negotiations. This decision was arrived at after earnest pleading on the part of the parliamentary leaders who were in attendance.

The taking of the poll did not conclude until nearly six o’clock, and when it became definitely known outside that a majority had been recorded for the acceptance of the proposals there was an outburst of cheering, mingled with boohs. A similar demonstration took place when Mr Richmond and Mr Devlin left the hall shortly afterwards.