June 19, 1919

 

 

Condition of the Irish People and the Demands of Ireland.

IF I DID not know that Ex-Gov Edward F. Dunne of Illinois and Frank P. Walsh were reputable men, I should unhesitatingly denounce the subjoined report on the condition of affairs in Ireland as base slander of the English Government. But these men are not capable of telling a deliberate lie about this matter. They are telling the truth -- the hard cruel unanswerable truth. Read this report, Mississippians and then congratulate yourselves on the vote of your great and good senior senator against the resolution of sympathy for these outrageously persecuted and oppressed people.
   There is nothing in the annals of government more reprehensible than England's treatment of Ireland except possibly Williams vote:
After a general review of conditions prevailing, the report makes the following specific charges:
   "First -- Within the past few months at least ten citizens have been killed by soldiers and constables under circumstances which, in a majority of the cases the coroner's juries found to be willful murder under the laws of England. the last man having been murdered less than a month ago, In all these cases the perpetrator of the crimes have gone unpunished.
   Second - Hundreds of men and women have been confined for months in the vilest prisons without any charges being preferred against them.
   Third - At least five men have died as a result of atrocities perpetrated against them while in prison. Post mortem examinations in some cases disclosed marks of violence upon the bodies.
   Fourth - Prisoners were confined in narrow cells with their hands handcuffed behind them day and night. In this condition they are fed by jail attendants They are permitted no opportunity for answering calls of nature and are compelled to lie in their clothing befouled for days at a time.
   Fifth - Many persons are confined cells which are not large enough for one man. They are not provided with beds or bunks of any kind but are compelled to sleep on hare floors. There are no toilet facilities, and men are compelled to sleep in filth night after night.
   Sixth - The food is insufficient and unwholesome. The prisoners, both men and women, are compelled to live days upon water and poorly baked, sour, stale bread.
   Seventh - Hundreds of men and women have been discharged from jail with impaired constitutions, in many cases incur able invalids. as a result of their treatment.
   Eighth - During part of the winter and spring streams of ice-cold water were poured over the men confined in the jails

 


and they were compelled to lie all night on cold floors in unheated cells in their wet clothing. Many of them were afterwards removed to outside hospitals suffering from pneumonia.
   Ninth - Policemen and soldiers habitually are permitted to enter cells where political prisoners are confined and beat them with their clubs.
   Tenth - Solitary confinement in its most. horrible form has generally been practiced. Numbers of prisoners have been taken directly from jails to insane asylums, rendered maniacs by their treatment.
   Eleventh - Large bodies of political prisoners in certain jails have been kept without any food whatever for days at it time.
   Twelfth - The right of privacy no longer exists in Ireland. Homes constantly are being invaded by armed men and the occupants, including delicate women and young children, are cruelly beaten and otherwise maltreated.
   Thirteenth - Children of suspected republicans, many of them of tender years. are kidnapped and their parents kept in ignorance of their whereabouts for weeks.
   Fourteenth - Women and children of refinement and respectability are arrested with warrants, and in company with rough, brutal soldiers arc. transported to distant parts of Ireland and England, where they are confined in jail with the lowest prostitutes.
   Fifteenth - The right to own private property no longer exists in Ireland The places of business of republicans are invaded by soldiers and constables the fixtures destroyed and the, property confiscated without compensation. In many cases the owners of such business property have been utterly ruined.
   Sixteenth - The heads of hundreds of families have been jailed or deported, leaving their dependent women and children without means of subsistence These dependents are being rendered objects of public charity.
   Seventeen - Men and women on the mere suspicion of being republican sympathizers, are being taken from their homes or arrested in the streets or highways and deported to England or else they are confined in gaols in places remote from their homes, while their families some. times are kept in ignorance of their whereabout for many months.
The recommendations were summarized as follows:
   First - An impartial committee should be named by the peace conference and authorized to sit in London and Dublin to take testimony concerning the alleged facts herein set forth. None of the members of such committee should be residents or citizens of Great Britain, or Ireland, or of any country under the domination of Great Britain or over which Britain claims a protectorate or control.
   Second - That the committee be composed of seven members and he selected immediately in the following manner:
   The premier of England to select three members and the elected representatives of Ireland, including-the Unionists, Nationalists and Republicans. shall by a majority vote select three members and the six members thus select shall agree upon a chairman who shall be a resident and citizen of the United  States, France or Japan. In case of the inability or failure to agree upon a chairman, the selection shall be made by the United States Supreme Court; that the government of Great Britain and the elected members from Ireland shall each have a right to select counsel to conduct the examination of witnesses and to assist in the investigation, the only restriction being that the counsel so selected shall be a reputable member of the legal profession in good standing in the country of which he is a citizen.

 

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