Skip to Content

Easter 1916

The few days previous to going to press have been full of moving incidents, none of which can be given the attention they merit owing to the little time and space available - and other things. A grave armed revolt in Dublin against English rule is raging at the time of writing. It is a revolt doomed from the outset, both because of the futility of its narrow nationalist aims, and the utter hopelessness of such a revolt against the mighty organised force of the political State. It is, apart from the fact that Socialism alone is worth fighting for, yet another illustration (if such were needed) that the organised Socialist conquest of the political power of the State is the only way, and that mere mob violence plays into the hands of the oppressor and strengthens the gyves that fetter us.

Such a revolt, however, is the natural result of centuries of alien oppression, which has forced the ideas of Irishmen into nationalist channels and blinded them to its futility. And it is at the same time a fitting commentary on the perfervid declarations of the British champions of “honour” and “righteousness” that “they” are fighting, above all, for the “rights of small nationalities”!

(May 1916)

We have heard much in times past on the subject of German atrocities, but the revelations vouchsafed to us in connection with the Dublin revolution leaves the question a very debatable one as to whether the ruling class here are any better than elsewhere. The shooting of Sheehy Skeffington and two other journalists affords an illustration of the point. The details are rather significant, particularly the second shooting of Skeffington, when it is borne in mind that the officer who gave the order is declared insane. The reports of the court-martial to be found in the columns of the Daily Chronicle for June 7th and 8th are highly interesting.

(July 1916)