Reported in the News Letter during this week in 1916


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

Gallant Rescue By

Portrush Lifeboat

[April 10]

At about 11 o’clock yesterday morning the SS Corsewell, of Glasgow, went ashore at the entrance to the Bann.

Her position was noticed by the coastguards at the bar mouth and by people at Portstewart, and the lifeboat authorities at Portrush were immediately communicated with.

Mr Tom Patton, the new lifeboat coxswain, summoned a crew and within 10 minutes the boat was launched amidst the cheers of a large crowd which had assembled.

A very rough sea was running, and the wind and tide were dead against the lifeboat, which was not able to reach the vicinity of the stranded vessel until two o’clock.

Immense waves were breaking over the Corsewell and the surf was too rough to permit the lifeboat getting alongside.

The lifeboatmen tried to get a line to the wreck with a view to getting alongside when the surf moderated, but this was only accomplished at the end of five hours. At 6.55 the lifeboat was able to take off the entire crew of the vessel, and they landed at Castlerock.

Great credit must be given to the new coxswain of the lifeboat for the prompt manner in which the boat was launched, and to the members of the crew for the manner in which they turned out.

Grocery Store Gutted

In Newry Blaze

[April 10]

As the result of a fire which occurred shortly before nine o’clock last night the grocery establishment of Mr Paul McNulty, situated in the centre of a block of buildings in the Mall between O’Hagan Street and Mill Street, Newry, was extensively damaged.

The outbreak was first observed by some boys who were playing in the vicinity and they immediately informed constable Henry, who was on plain clothes duty. The brigade was summoned and responded with commendable promptitude. On arriving they found that the flames had secured a firm hold of the building, and that the adjoining property – the licensed premises of Mr Thos Cunningham and the grocery and spirit warehouse of Mr William Crilly – were in danger of becoming ignited.

After a short time it was noticed that the efforts of the firemen were beginning to have the desired effect, and that the outbreak was under control. At about 10 o’clock the flames were finally extinguished. The two upper storeys of the building were completely gutted. Nothing definite as to the origin of the fire can be ascertained.

Peace Meeting

Broken Up

[April 10]

Remarkable scenes were witnessed in Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon when a peace meeting arranged under the auspices of certain East End organisations and supported by members of the no-conscription fellowship was unceremoniously broken up.

Nothing untoward happened until the leaders had mounted the platform. Then bags of red and yellow ochre and bags of flour were volleyed at them. Soon the crowd took matters into their own hands and the plinth was carried by storm. The original meeting was not held, but an impromptu meeting passed a resolution that no peace should prevail until the enemy had been crushed.

John Redmond’s

Generous Gift

[April 10]

Mr John Redmond MP has presented a full band of Irish war pipes to the Irish Guards.

He has received the following acknowledgment of his gift from the Earl of Kerry.

“Dear Mr Redmond, I am writing to thank you most sincerely on behalf of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men for your most generous gift.

“We have always wanted to have pipes, and they will be very much appreciated, more especially as coming from you.

“We have found four or five men in the reserve battalion who have played pipes before, and have obtained the temporary services of an instructor from the London Irish, so I hope in a month or two we may have a respectable corps of pipes with our drums.

“We shall all be very pleased if you could run down later on and pay us another visit to see your pipes in action. Believe me, yours sincerely, Kerry.”

Clinging To The

Back of Tramcars

[April 13]

In the Belfast Children’s Court yesterday – before Mr Garrett Nagle RM and Mr Michael Carr – a boy was charged at the instance of the City Corporation with riding on the back of a tramcar on the Crumlin Road on 31st ult.

Mr T H Cairns, who represented the Corporation, referred to the gravity of the alleged offence, and said the practice of hanging on to the back of tramcars was becoming too common.

The conductor of the car stated that when near Tennent Street the defendant ran off from the footpath and clung to the back of the tram. Witness added that such occurrences were very frequent.

In imposing a fine of 1s and 12s 6d costs, Mr Nagle said in future heavy penalties would have to be imposed if a stop were to be put to such a dangerous practice.

Soldier Killed In Tragic Accident

[April 13]

Sergeant Wm Magill, Royal Irish Rifles, eldest son of Mr James Magill, Hillsborough, has been accidentally killed at the front.

Sergeant Magill, who served his apprenticeship with Messrs Thos McMullan & Co, wholesale chemists and druggists, Victoria Street, Belfast, was 27 years of age, and was a partner in his father’s business.

He was one of the leaders of the UVF in his native town.

On arrival overseas he was appointed an instructor in a brigade grenade school.

Last Saturday week he was testing a rifle grenade, which exploded prematurely, killing him and wounding three others. The funeral took place with full military honours, the commanding officer and all the men of his regiment who could attend being present.

Sergeant Magill’s death is all the sadder by reason of the fact that only days before he was in divisional orders for an act of great courage. The order is as follows:

“The General Officer Commanding wishes to express his appreciation of the following act of courage on the part of No 18423, Sergeant William Magill, Royal Irish Rifles.

“At a bombing school a live bomb failed to explode after throwing. When the grenade was afterwards moved it began to fuse and was dropped. Sergeant Magill, observing the danger, picked it up and hurled it into a trench twenty yards away, thus averting a very serious accident.”

SF Volunteers Sent To Jail

[April 14]

The sequel to the recent seizure of arms by the police in College Green, Dublin, took place yesterday, when the two young men who were in the motor car in which the arms were found were both sentenced to three months’ imprisonment.

Their names are Joseph Kenny, a chauffeur, of Castlelard, Ferns, Co Wexford, and Patrick Doyle, labourer, Ferns, and they were charged with having at College Green, on the 9th inst, transferred eight new single-barrel breech-loading shotguns, four revolvers, ten rounds of magazine rifle ammunition in clips, ten home-forged bayonets, and six rounds of revolver ammunition without a permit for that purpose, contrary to the Defence of the Realm Act.

Mr Robertson (for the prosecution) – Are they members of any organisation?

Sergeant Torney, RIC – In my opinion they are absolutely disloyal.

Are they members of any organisation?

They are members of the Sinn Fein organisation, that is, the Irish Volunteers.

The Magistrate (Mr Macinerney, KC) said that the case was not only proved but admitted. He didn’t think the prisoners were in high authority in this organisation. He thought that they were simply messengers on this occasion, but they knew what they were doing, and they were liable.

Of course, as military equipment those shotguns were simply farcical, but they were very dangerous to have. They would be likely to lead to riots in the streets of Wexford.

However, he was not treating them as members of the organisation at all, but as persons who acted in contravention of the military order. The smallest penalty he could impose would be three months’ imprisonment.