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 Sinn Feiners

[June 26]

A crowd numbering several hundreds, composed mostly of boys and young men, paraded some of the Dublin streets last night, carrying Republican flags and singing disloyal songs. The procession was not allowed to proceed far, and was stopped by the police in Westmoreland Street. Three arrests were made, and the accused will be charged in the police court today.

The Rebel Prisoners

[June 26]

An official communique issued yesterday by Lord Decies from the Headquarters of the Irish Command, Dublin, gives the following information regarding prisoners taken during the rebellion in Ireland:

Interned in England – Men, 1,614; women, 5.

Convicted under Defence of the Realm Regulations – Men, 169; women, 1.

Number released from Richmond Barracks, Dublin, and from England – Men, 1,100; women, 71.

Shooting Fatality At Moy

[June 27]

A serious shooting accident took place at Moy (Tyrone) on Saturday [June 24]. It appears that a lad named Leo Tomney, aged 16, the second son of Mr Owen Tomney, Hall’s Hotel, Moy, went out about 4 o’clock a.m. to shoot rabbits.

He was carrying a double-barrelled gun, and it is understood that he shot a rabbit, but as it was only wounded he struck it with the butt of the gun, when the second barrel went off and the contents lodged in the boy’s groin.

Dr Frederick Wright, Moy, was hurriedly summoned, and the services of Surgeon Marmion JP, Dungannon, were also requisitioned, but the unfortunate lad passed away on Saturday night. An inquest was not considered necessary.

Meeting of Nationalist MPs

[June 27]

A meeting of the Nationalist Parliamentary party was held yesterday in the Mansion House, Dublin. Mr Redmond presided, and there were fifty members present, while letters of apology for non-attendance were received from nine others.

The following resolution was adopted, Messrs P Doherty and P J O’Shaughnessy dissenting:

“That we have learned with the deepest gratitude the 
decision of the Ulster conference, and place upon record our warm appreciation of the magnificent spirit of patriotic self-sacrifice evinced by our Ulster fellow-countrymen in agreeing to the temporary exclusion of six counties from the Home Rule Act. This decision is in keeping with the unvarying record of Ulster Nationalists, and creates a new obligation on Ireland as a whole to work uninterruptedly for the early realisation of a united self-governed nation. That in our judgment Mr Lloyd George’s proposals under existing circumstances afford the best means of promoting that object, and should be accepted.”

The following further resolution was passed unanimously: “That we most emphatically protest against the conduct of the Government in not discharging from 
prison men who were in no way whatever connected with the recent trouble, and who have been represented over and over again to the authorities as having been perfectly innocent, and we respectfully request our leader to convey to the Prime Minister our demand for prompt and fair treatment for all now interned.”

Fate of Lord Crichton

[June 29]

After many anxious months it has now been definitely ascertained that Major Henry William, Viscount Crichton, DSO, MVO, Royal Horse Guards, was killed in Flanders in the early stages of the war.

The British Foreign Office has just received the following telegram from the German Foreign Office through the American Embassy at Berlin:

“Body of Major Viscount Crichton, MVO, Royal Horse Guards, found. Details taken from identification disc. Has been re-interred in cemetery at Werwick Nord.”

It may be recalled that on 7th November, 1914, it was publicly announced that news had been received by Katherine Duchess of Westminster and her daughter, Viscountess Crichton, at Combermere Abbey, that Lord Crichton and his brother-in-law, Captain Lord Hugh Grosvenor, 1st Life Guards, were both taken prisoners of war.

Exhaustive inquiries were instituted without delay, but no definite information could be obtained as to the fate of Lord Crichton.

In April 1915, the London correspondent of this newspaper wired that news had reached the Metropolis through the Geneva Red Cross Society that Viscount Crichton had not lived to succeed his father as Earl of Erne, but had been killed at the front, and was not, as was supposed, a prisoner in Germany. Information from this source, it was added, had been consistently correct since the beginning of the war, and the research work had been too thorough to admit of much doubt.

The Honourable John Henry George Crichton, only son of the late Viscount Crichton, who now succeeds his grandfather as the fifth Earl of Erne, of Crom Castle, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, was born on 22nd November, 1907, his sponsor being his Majesty the King. He has one sister, the Honourable Mary Kathleen Crichton, who was born in 1905.

Sir Roger Casement Guilty of High Treason

[June 30]

Sir Roger Casement was yesterday found guilty of high treason and sentenced to death. There was tense silence when each of the three Judges assumed a black cap, and one of the most collected persons in court was the prisoner himself.

It was nearly three o’clock when the jury retired. In a few moments they sent out for the original “code” and for a copy of the indictment. They were supplied to them, but the Lord Chief Justice refused to send them a copy of the evidence, which they also asked for.

At this time the court was crowded, barristers in wig and gown standing all over the floor of the court, the public, including many ladies in the smartest of summer attire, being packed into the galleries.

Casement had disappeared from the dock. Then followed a long wait of close upon an hour. The Judges left the bench, and subdued conversation was general.

At ten minutes to four the Judges returned. The jury soon followed, and Casement again entered the dock. The names of the jury having been called over, they were asked if they were agreed upon their verdict. The foreman said they found the prisoner guilty.

Casement was asked by the clerk if he had anything to say why sentence of death should not be passed upon him according to law.

All eyes were on the prisoner, but he remained perfectly calm, and read a long statement which he said he had been prepared twenty days ago, the main just of which was that he objected to the jurisdiction of the Court.

Speaking quietly but firmly in a voice which scarcely faltered, for nearly three-quarters of an hour, Casement said he had an indefeasible right to be tried in Ireland before an Irish court and by an Irish jury.

“It was to Ireland I came,” he said, “to Ireland I wanted to come, and the last place I desired to see was England.

“Place me before a jury of my own countrymen, be it Protestant or Catholic, Unionist or Nationalist, Sinn Feiners or Orangemen; and I shall accept the verdict.”

He left his judgment and sentence in the hands of the people of Ireland, whom alone he had sought to serve; and if the cause of Ireland was the cause he stood indicted for and convicted of sustaining, he stood in a goodly company and in a right noble succession.

He was then sentenced to death in the usual form, and after waiting a moment or two and smiling at friends in court, he went below.

Casement Degraded

[July 1]

The following official statement was issued last night:

Home Office, Whitehall, 30th June, 1916:

The King has been pleased to direct the issue of letters patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom degrading Sir Roger Casement CMG from the degree of Knight Bachelor.

Appeal Against Death Sentence

[July 1]

The appeal of Roger Casement against the sentence of death for high treason was lodged yesterday. Three points are raised in the appeal.

Casement after being removed from the High Courts of Justice at the conclusion of his trial was garbed in convict’s dress, and now occupies the condemned cell in Pentonville Prison.

Yesterday he was allowed to interview his counsel and solicitor and signed the papers necessary for the appeal.

He is stated to be very cheerful and optimistic regarding the appeal, but he resents having to wear convict’s clothing.