Dora Montefiore Archive
Sources: Report on “The Religious factor in Dublin” in the Manchester Guardian, 23 October 1913, p.10;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
The following are all the reports in the Manchester Guardian on the Dublin events of 1913 and Dora Montefiore’s part in them. — Note by transcriber.
The well-meant proposal to house some or the children of the locked-out people in Dublin in the homes of sympathisers on this side during the industrial dispute has provoked a remarkable display of hostile feeling among the Roman Catholic clergy and some of the parents.
Following the publication of the Archbishops’ letter denouncing the proposal on religious grounds a fear has apparently risen that the “deportation” of children is for the purpose of proselytising. Yesterday there were extraordinary scenes enacted in which children who had been prepared for the journey by the organisation at Liberty Hall were followed to the steamer by a crowd headed by priests and persuaded to return, while those in charge of them were charged at the police court with kidnapping.
Later in the day a party of children were got away — several arrived in the London district earlier in the week, — so that apparently all the parents in Dublin are not of the opinion of Father Landers, the leader of yesterday’s demonstration, that this is a question of denying their faith.
(From the Press Association.)
The proposal to send workers’ children to English sympathisers’ homes during the dispute has caused fresh trouble. There is a fear in the minds of many parents — and it has become dominant since the Archbishop wrote denouncing the proposal on religious grounds — that the movement, is nothing but an attempt to proselytise children. A scene occurred this morning which showed the temper of the people, who regard the idea as one of “deportation,” to use their own language. Between 50 and 60 boys and girls were assembled at the Tara Street Baths to be washed before being sent from Westland Row Station to the Kingstown boat for England. Quite how they came to be there has not yet been made clear, but many of the children, when questioned, said they did not want to go away. The story is told by the Rev. Father Landers, who knows the district thoroughly. What was going on soon got abroad, and a large crowd assembled. It was pretty plain that they were not in sympathy with the project. Father Landers and Father Nevin proceeded to the baths, where they first chatted with the boys, and they say that almost without exception the little fellows asserted that they did not want to go to England. Father Landers next spoke to the girls. Some of the mothers were present, and he says that they, with one exception, protested against allowing the children to go.
Mrs. Montefiore, the London lady who initiated the movement, shortly afterwards came upon the scene, and Father Landers expressed to her his strong disapproval of her action, and said that what he had done was in the name of the Archbishop and the entire clergy of Ireland. Mrs. Montefiore said that she would give every security for the faith of the children and their bringing up, but Father Landers said he could not accept that undertaking. The result of the protest was that only one little girl, as far as could be ascertained, proceeded to Kingstown. Not long after this was rumoured that a boat was shortly leaving for England with some children on board Father Landers heard of it, and with a very large crowd following him crossed to the North Wall to renew his protest. The rumour, however, was false.
In spite of the warning of the priests fifteen children left Dublin to-night for England by the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company’s steamer. Several clergy were present and tried to induce the parents not to allow their children to leave, but without avail. This has caused the tension to be greater than ever.
To-night, Mr. Larkin and his lieutenant spoke from Liberty Hall, and urged the people to allow their children to go to comfortable homes in England, which owing to the industrial conditions could not be provided for them in Dublin.
Mr. Larkin returned to Ireland this morning in connection with his trial, and appeared at the windows of Liberty Hall. Some 400 or 500 men were standing about, and they gave him hearty cheer. Apparently he is not opposed to the idea of the children going away. He spoke for a minute or two for the purpose of showing the crowd the care taken of the little one before their departure. He lifted up a happy looking little chap dressed in a neat woollen jersey and knickers, and with ribbons of red and green pinned on his breast. His own parents would not have recognised him. Larkin told the men that the stories that the children were being taken to homes of a different faith were all untrue, and were only intended to injure the men’s cause. His remarks had a mixed reception.
Later in the day it was found that 17 boys had been taken as far as Kingstown, but all were intercepted by the Roman Catholic clergy and the parents at the wharf, where they were taken off the boat, and not a single child was allowed to go away to England. Father Landers in a speech, said that the Irish people knew what poverty was for a long time, but they were never reduced to the extremity of denying the faith, no matter what the sacrifice entailed. The Irish people, he said, would rather see their children perish than that they should be exposed to the risk of being perverted in their religion. The sentiment was enthusiastically approved.
The “Daily Mail” in a noteworthy leader on “The Class War in Dublin,” says:- We take it as an encouraging sign that some of the Dublin employers of labour are becoming a little restive under the criticisms which have been made by English observers of the dispute now unhappily raging in the Irish capital. It can do them nothing but good to know that in English eyes they have not been remarkably magnanimous in their recent treatment of their workers. They have shown an antipathy to trade unionism which is out of date. They have in some cases paid very low wages, and it is admitted by all that the housing conditions of the city leave a great deal to be desired... Archbishop Walsh has just condemned a proposal by the Transport Workers’ Union to send 300 children of the Dublin unemployed to be maintained free of cost in English homes during the strike. It is a pity that the scope of this proposal cannot be enlarged so as to arrange for a visit of some of the Dublin employers to England, where they might learn many useful and practical lessons in the art of fair dealing between employer and employed.
Source: Report on “Dublin ‘Kidnapping'” in the Manchester Guardian, 24 October 1913, p.9;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
There was further excitement in Dublin yesterday over the attempts of sympathisers in England to bring the children of locked-out workers to homes in this country. Led by Roman Catholic clergy, large crowds watched the departure of the evening steamers, and no more children were taken away. The police intervened when the procession, on its way to North Wall, got into touch with Larkin meeting outside Liberty Hall.
A young American lady who was in charge of a party of children on Wednesday was charged yesterday with abduction, and the father of one boy saying that he had not given his consent the magistrate remanded the case. He further suggested to Mrs Montefiore, who initiated the scheme, that the whole business had better be dropped. Later Mrs. Montefiore herself was arrested on the abduction charge.
In the Kingstown Police Court yesterday Mrs. Lucille Rand, aged 21, who gave an address at 81 St. George’s Square, London, was charged with taking away George Burke from the custody of his father the previous day and with receiving the boy knowing him to have been taken from the care of his father.
The father gave evidence, and said he did not know about the matter until the police told him.
Mr. Campbell, who defended, said that the lady was interested purely and simply in a work of charity. The charge was one of felony and he did not think there was a scrap of evidence to justify that charge against the lady The charge was that she took the custody of the boy without the permission of the father but there was not a single particle of evidence that she had done so herself.
Mr. Mahony: I think there is very strong evidence against her on that point. In any case I shall send her for trial.
Mr. Campbell: This lady objects to cruelty she was subjected to in Dublin. Then is a thinly veiled suggestion here that the children were being taken away for the purpose of proselytism, and she wishes to repudiate that suggestion in the strongest possible manner. She had no interest in the matter beyond a work of pure charity, and was acting on behalf of English workers in assisting, the children of hungry Irish workers.
Mrs. Monteftore, of 70, Longridge Road Earl’s Court, London, was then called for the defence. She stated that Mrs. Rand’s father had been a Governor of the State of California, and she was a lady of the highest respectability. Though quite young, the lady had taken a deep interest in the welfare of the working classes. She was touched with the story of the poverty and trouble in Dublin, and came there to render the workers whatever assistance lay in her power. Her interest in the work was proved by the fact that she left her own little girl, two years old behind in order to help the children of Dublin.
Replying to the magistrate, the witness agreed that it would make some difference to get the sanction of the parents.
Mr. Mahony: A great storm has arisen over deporting children from Dublin, and don’t you think it would be a most wise course to adopt to drop the whole business?
Mrs. Montefiore: Has that anything to do with the case?
Mr. Mahony: I don’t know that it has, but it has a great deal to do with the peace and quietness of Dublin.
Mrs. Montefiore: I am prepared to take advice from your Worship.
Mr. Mahony: I am not prepared to give you, advice, but you might consider the matter.
Mr. Campbell: We had no intention of taking away the child without the consent of the parents.
Mr. Mahony: I don’t think you are doing any good, Mrs. Montefiore, by this sort of business. There is a terribly strong feeling in this country over it. Your motives may be the very best ii the world, but this business will lead to nothing but ill-feeling and probable disturbance, and if ill-feeling is created it will take some time to extinguish — (Hear, hear.)
Mrs. Montefiore: Would it be possible to transfer the charge from Mrs. Rand to me? I am solely responsible. Mrs. Rand was only acting for me.
Mr. Mahony: I have nothing to say to that.
Mr. Tobias: Did you hear Burke’s father swear he did not give his consent to any person to take his child away?
Mrs. Montefiore: I did.
Do you believe his evidence? — I do not believe it. — (Laughter.)
Mr. Mahony: That may be against you, Mrs Montefiore, but it may be perfectly right From what I know of this class of man they will say one thing to-day and come here to-morrow and say a different thing.
Mrs. Sand was remanded on her own bail to Dublin on Wednesday.
Crowds Watch Departing Steamers.
Our Dublin correspondent telegraphing last night says:- There were scenes of great excitement in Dublin to-night due to the expected deportation of more children by the outgoing steamers. A large crowd of people gathered at the North Wall previous to the hour of departure of the steamers. In the vicinity of Liberty Hall the “Larkinite” forces assembled in considerable numbers, and there was much tension. The Laird line steamer for Glasgow was the first clue to depart, and a large number of people, headed by several priests, were keeping a look-out. Feeling was clearly strong in this group against the deportation. But it was soon seen that no children were being taken over by this boat. The crowd next visited the Burns steamer Tiger, but there was no sign of children among the passengers, and the departure of the vessel without any youngsters on board was signalised by an outburst of cheering from the priest-led crowd. The hymn “Faith of our fathers” was sung, and in a vigorous speech a member of the party denounced the conduct of the Larkinites in assailing the clergy.
Next the crowd proceeded towards North Wall for the departure of the London and North-Western boat to Holyhead. When approaching Liberty Hall the procession was menaced by a large crowd of Larkinites, and the progress of the procession was delayed for some time. After remonstrances by two clergymen the police forced a passage to enable the procession to pass. It then passed down to the North Wall, cheering for Archbishop Walsh and the priests and singing a hymn. Before going to the London and North-Western steamer the people halted at the boat of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, which was just starting, but here again they were able to satisfy themselves that no children were on board.
During the evening Mrs. Montefiore was arrested on a charge similar to that preferred against Mrs. Rand at Kingstown. She was formally charged and remanded.
Source: Report on “Clergy versus Larkin” in the Manchester Guardian, 25 October 1913, p.9;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
(From a Correspondent.)
Dublin Friday Night
An amazing scene occurred this evening at Amiens Street Station, the terminus of the railway to Belfast. Eight children, accompanied by their parents, were brought to the station to be entrained for Belfast, where they were to be received in Catholic homes. A mob of Hibernians, headed by several priests, surrounded the children and their escort and prevented them front reaching the carriage. The police, who were present in force, acted with the Hibernians and the priests, and instead of clearing the way to the train for the passengers who held tickets, co-operated in holding them back until the train had started. Not a single child was allowed to enter the train. Miss Larkin and Miss Grace Neal, who accompanied the children and their parents, were taken to the police station, but not detained. It was a clear case of mob law preventing people from doing what they had a legal right to do, but mob law assisted by the police. It further throws an interesting light on the alleged fears of proselytism, as all these children were going to Catholic homes, and Belfast Catholics are the most devout in Ireland.
There is no truth in the assertions that struggle over the children has weakened Mr. Larkin’s position. There is absolutely no wavering in the ranks of his union. His meeting last night was as large and enthusiastic as any that has been held since the dispute began. The emigration scheme will have an immediate effect as well on the actual dispute. The more children are away the more resolutely the workers persist it sending them, the more anxious the higher clergy will be to bring the dispute to an end and therefore to bring the employers into the conference which they have four times rejected. Already the Roman Catholic Archbishop has issued two appeals to the employers to waive their objection to a conference and a public meeting of citizens is to be held on Monday to endorse his appeal.
(From the Press Association)
An extraordinary change has come over the city. A few days ago everyone was talking about the awful destitution prevailing here, the piles of merchandise waiting to be removed from the quays, the crowd of hungry men standing sullenly about Liberty Hall, and the food ships from across the water. All these things have sunk into insignificance. The the subject now occupying their minds is the fierce battle going on between the Roman Catholic clergy and the Socialists and trade union sympathisers over the sending of children to English homes to be cared for while the industrial trouble lasts. The clergy have entered into the struggle with an energy which is quite remarkable, and they are being supported by the vast majority of the people, who, in this matter, have quite broken from their allegiance to Mr. Larkin. A day or so ago they could do nothing but cheer whenever their leader put in an appearance, and they were ready to follow him through fire and water. All that has been altered. They see in him now not one who is, to quote their own language, to save them from the crushing bed of the employer, but one whose sinister motive is to defy their Church, break up their homes, and slander the priesthood and the well-to-do citizens for not backing up the cause of the toilers earlier.
Mr. Larkin certainly does not seem to mind all this in the least. He is as dogged in this as in other matters, and he hurls back defiance, sparing none. Neither is he alone, for he has a large following who cannot imagine what all the fuss is about, and who still see in him a champion of the poor children who are the victims of a state of affairs which is causing them suffering, and one whose only desire is to secure them the temporal comforts which they certainly lack in their native land. He denies, and they believe him, that the question of religion enters into his scheme. A large section of the people who do not take definite sides in the matter see much that is good in his intentions, but they lean to the other side so far as to suggest that he is wanting in the first essential of generalship by the manner in which he has faced the problem. There are those among them who declare that what he has done will bring about his own downfall and the failure of his plans in regard to the labour troubles. Mr. Larkin cares nothing for half-hearted fighters. He has made up his mind that the children are to go, and nothing deters him from making new plans, perhaps because he knows they will meet with opposition. As to his threatened downfall. Mr. Larkin declares that what he is doing will win his cause, as he has compelled the clergy to do for the working people what he maintains they never made any effort to do before. To sum up the situation there is a widespread feeling that the climax is about to be reached, and that all parties, the Church, the municipal authorities, the employers; and the employed will come together to find a way out of the present deadlock.
Until that takes place the opponents of Larkin’s plans have adopted very drastic measures by securing the arrest of Mrs. Rand and now of Mrs. Montefiore for the part they have played as prominent supporters of the “abduction” scheme, as it is being called. Mrs. Monfefiore was before the magistrate, Mr. Macinerney, KC., at the Northern Police Court to-day charged with taking a child from its home without the consent of the parents. It is admitted that one or two children ought not to have been with the others, and it is urged that they are such little wanderers that mistakes happen. The magistrate took early evidence of identification and refused the police demand for bail, saying he would take the course adopted in the case of Mrs. Rand by Mr. Mahony, the Kingstown magistrate, and bind Mrs Montefiore over in her own recognisance to appear at the Dublin Court next Wednesday. In reply to the magistrate, the police inspector said he was not afraid that Mrs. Montefiore would ran away, and magistrate caused laughter in court by saying “Perhaps you would be glad if she did.”
Mr. Larkin’s trial has been fixed for Monday next. Judge Madden heard several cases to-day of rioting and disorder, and imposed varying sentences of hard labour.
A telegram has been received in Dublin from the Rev. James Leech. S.J. of Holy Cross, Liverpool stating that he had been wrongly reported as to the homes in Liverpool to which Dublin children had been taken. “Had the priests and people of Dublin known the atmosphere — anything but Catholic — to which the children had been taken, and in which I was forced to leave them because the parents had tied the hands of the priests here, their opposition would have been even more strenuous. I blush as a priest and a Dublin man to think of what I saw yesterday morning. That Irish parents could forget their sacred duty as parents of these children have done — where is the old spirit of the famine days? While the children are here I will watch over them as far as it lies in my power.”
There was an exciting scene at Amiens Street Station this evening, when an attempt was made to deport another batch of children. Information reached the central office of the Ancient Order of Hibernians at Mountjoy Square that some children were about to be sent away to Belfast en route for England or Scotland. A number of motor-ears were at once provided and members of the Order, accompanied by Mr. J.D. Nugent, general secretary, proceeded to the railway station, where a large crowd of people and many clergymen were assembled. There was excitement in the station, and it was ascertained that the children were present in charge of three ladies, one of whom was Miss Delia Larkin. All arrangements had been made for entraining the children, tickets had been purchased, and already the women were endeavouring to get them into the carriages. It was at this stage that the attempt to deport the children was defeated. The clergymen present and a number of young men representing the A.O.H. and the Irish National Foresters rushed forward and demanded of the lady escort their authority for taking the children away. While they were thus interrogating the women the excitement increased, and the crowd displayed signs of anger and resentment. When one of the women declared that the children belonged to the country of Ireland there were loud cries of “No.” The woman then said that if they were Catholics the Catholics of Dublin never did anything for them. Father Flavin and Father O'Reilly again demanded the authority for taking the children and Miss Delia Larkin came forward and intimated that the parents of the children were at Liberty Hall.
Meanwhile, there was intense excitement and the crowd determinedly kept between the children and the railway carriage. The women made repeated efforts to force their way with the children to the compartments but the crowd kept them back. Superintendent Quinn and an inspector were present with a strong force of police, and they also interrogated the women escorts as to their authority for taking the children. The crowd cried, “Why sell your children? This is not trade unionism: it is Socialism.” The children ware then marched back to Liberty Hall, one woman declaring that they would be sent away in spite of the clergy, or anyone else.
There were many exciting scenes at North Wall late to-night. Several priests and a large crowd of people went along the quays and waited until the City of Dublin boat and the London and North-Western boat left. When it was found that them were no children leaving the crowd cheered heartily, and were then addressed by the priests. They then marched back to the city singing hymns. There were many police present. When the procession passed Liberty Hall it seemed as if there would be a collision with a crowd of some 2,000 people who were gathered outside that building. There was much booing and singing of “God Save Ireland,” intermingled with hymns, but luckily there was no further trouble. During the late evening several processions passed through the city and booed the tramway-men.
Source: Report on “Mob Law in Dublin” in the Manchester Guardian, 27 October 1913, p.10;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
There were several turbulent scenes at railway stations and on the quays on Saturday arising from the interference of crowds, led by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, with people taking children away. Persons not connected with Mrs. Montefiore’s scheme for housing children in English homes were molested, whilst in one incident several people were assaulted and injured. Mr. Sheehy Skeffington, a well-known sympathiser with the workers’ cause, describes in a message given below the high-handed action of the crowd in an incident in which he was roughly treated.
(From the Press Association.)
An attempt to deport four children via Kingsbridge and the Rosslare service was frustrated last night amidst scenes of great excitement at the Kingsbridge terminus. A body of about 100 people, including several clergymen, were awaiting the attempted deportation, word of which had got abroad during the day. Just at four o'clock Mr. Sheehy Skeffington and a lady took charge of a boy aged about eight and conducted him to the booking office. This movement was at once noticed, and the whole body of the people on the platform thronged out to the booking office. There were loud shouts of “He won’t be let go” and “We'll put an end to this sort of thing,” and so on. The excitement gathered force momentarily, and the crowd, interposed themselves between the window of the booking office and the little group that had gathered around the little boy.
Mr. Sheehy Skeffington, a well-known Dublin writer, apparently was determined to get through to the office. His persistency roused the anger of the crowd, who ultimately rushed at him and forcibly ejected him from the station premises. He came in for a rather rough time, and the efforts of a couple of policemen were futile to prevent his ejection. The crowd pursued him some distance along the road leading to the station. Just then three more children, two little girls and a little boy, were being led towards the station entrance. A suspicion that these children were also going to be deported seized the crowd, and they rushed at the individual who had the younger child in his arms. He resisted as long as he could, but in the end the child was wrested from him and he had to seek safety by running away. The two elder children also fled screaming wildly and calling for their father. A woman had by this time taken possession of the boy who was first brought to the station. They were both got into a ear and driven home. Before leaving however, a man came up, apparently to claim the child, but the crowd made a rush at him, and he narrowly escaped after being chased for a distance of several hundred yards. Later or the father of the other three children came along. There was fresh commotion, but ultimately the children went away with him.
Later some hundreds of people and priests went to the North Wall to prevent children from travelling by the night boats to England. After a long wait five or six children came with their guardians and were stopped, but it was soon found that they had no connection with the deportation scheme. When the boats left, the crowds cheered, and were addressed by the clergy. They then marched back to the city singing hymns, and were boohed as they passed Liberty Hall.
Mr. H. Sheehy Skeffington telegraphed last night from Dublin as follows:-
Yesterday afternoon a Man named Corbally, locked out for the past two weeks, made arrangements to take his two sons, aged seven and twelve, to Hazelhatch, co. Kildare, a few miles from Dublin. and to leave them there in charge of a Catholic agricultural labourer named Colgan, employed by Lord Cloncurry. The arrangement was made through Liberty Hall, where Corbally was receiving strike pay, and through Miss Mary Lawless, daughter of Lord Cloncurry. Corbally and a friend of his named O'Neill were to accompany Miss Lawless and the two children to Hazelhatch, the two men to return by the next train after seeing the children safely housed. Corbally, O'Neill, and the two children reached the Kingsbridge station at four o'clock and proceeded to take their tickets. The booking office was immediately surrounded by a crowd of 100 Hibernians, who had been waiting on the platform. Mr. John D. Nugent, general secretary of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, was present, together with several prominent leaders of the Order, as well as several priests.
A priest asked Corbally where the children were going. He replied “Hazlehatch.” A shout was raised, “They won’t go.” I went into the crowd to urge the single policeman then present to exert himself in assisting people who had taken their tickets to make their way to the train. I was immediately attacked with clenched fists and sticks, dragged and buffeted out of the station, and considerably bruised. Corbally and O'Neill were both knocked down, the former inside the station, the latter outside under the feet of horses, and his face was badly cut. A woman who was acting with the crowd seized the smaller boy and ran off with him, the lad crying piteously at being snatched from his father. Miss Lawless, who came up at this stage and remonstrated with the police for their failure to check the crowd, was hustled and threatened. Corbally, O'Neill, Miss Lawless, and myself made our way out of the crowd with some difficulty. Corbally had lost both his children. The bigger boy had run away in terror and ultimately made his way to Liberty Hall. The younger child was recovered at a police station some hours afterwards. He had lost part of his clothing and a parcel which he carried.
After leaving the railway station with the others I went back again alone to fetch a bicycle I had left there. The same crowd surrounded me, struck and kicked me, attempted to trip me up, and damaged the bicycle. I had considerable difficulty in getting away with the bicycle. Priests who were present made not the slightest effort to restrain the crowd from violence. In the earlier scuffle Miss Lawless asked one of them to stop the assaults. He smiled and said it was a very excited crowd, and it would be hard to hold them back. Anyhow, he did not attempt it. I state these facts, witnessed by myself, without comment.
Our Dublin correspondent describes a similar incident at the same station as follows:-
A lady and gentleman with a child drove up at the station in a taxicab and got out. The crowd pressed round them and insisted on a police sergeant who was present interrogating them. They stated that the child was their daughter, and that they were travelling to their farm in co. Kilkenny. While this was going on the train left, and the three intending passengers were left behind. Even then they were not allowed to re-enter the taxicab without further questioning, and when they did depart a policeman and a clergyman went with them to make the position clear. The departure was signalised by cheers from the crowd.
Source: Report on “Mr. Shaw on the Priests” in the Observer, 2 November 1913, p.12;
Transcribed: by Ted Crawford.
Mr. G. Bernard Shaw was amongst the speakers at a demonstration held in the Royal Albert Hall last night under the auspices of the “Daily Herald” League, on behalf of the Dublin strikers, to demand the immediate release of Mr. James Larkin.
Practically every seat in the vast auditorium was occupied. Mr. George Lansbury presided and amongst those on the platform were Mr. F.W. Pethick Lawrence, Mr. James Connolly. Mr. Ben Tillett, Miss Delia Larkin, Mr. George Russell and Miss Sylvia Pankhurst.
Mr. Lansbury said the fight in Dublin was one which was taken up because they believed that there was no difference between the struggle on the other side of the Irish Channel and the struggle on this side. (Cheers.)
Mr. Ben Tillett said they had to make up their minds that life should be more sacred than property. On his referring to “Boss” Murphy there were cries of “Kill him” and “Pray for him.” “We do not want to kill him” Mr. Tillet replied, “but to kill the power he possesses.”
Mrs. Montefiore remarked that notwithstanding Mr. Murphy, they had succeeded in placing some of the Dublin children into decent English homes.
During the evening the Chairman announced the receipt of the following telegram from Mr. Larkin: —
“Jim Larkin sends greetings. With you in spirit, though body in Mountjoy Prison” (Cheers.)
Mr. Bernard Shaw, who introduced himself as an old Dublin Home Ruler like Sir Edward Carson, said that, being an intelligent Irishman, he left Ireland at the age of twenty. “I have not lived there since,” he went on “and I do not intend to live there again but I am very glad to hear from Mr. Connolly, who, knows Dublin, that those twenty thousand families of whom he speaks have a room at least to live in. In my time there was no such luxury. You very often had two families in one room and both of the families took in lodgers. I am not quite sure that you would not find occasionally in Dublin at the present time a room which contained more than one family.”
He referred to the desire to take the children away from Dublin, and said he was there as a Dublin man to apologise for the priests of Dublin. The honest truth about it was that those men, although they were poor and were doing some good work were very ignorant and simple men in the affairs of the country and especially in industrial affairs. If there were any means of those words reaching them, he hoped they would be obliged to him for the apology he was making for them.
If those words reached them, he hoped these further words would reach them also: There was something even more terrible than the horror of their individual action, and that was the terror of the great Church to which they belonged being made the catspaw of a gentleman like Mr. Murphy.
It had been the practice continued Mr. Shaw, to let loose the police in connection with the working classes without any order or supervision, telling them to do their worst to the people and in no city that he knew had that principle been applied more gloriously than it had always been in Dublin.
“If you put a policeman on the footing of a mad dog,” said Mr. Shaw, “it can only end in one way and that is that all respectable men will have to arm themselves. (Cheers.) I suggest you should arm yourselves with something which should put a decisive stop to the proceedings of the police. I hope that observation of mine will be carefully reported. I should rather like to be prosecuted for sedition and have an opportunity of explaining publicly what exactly I mean by it.” (Laughter.) Mr. Pethick Lawrence, Mr. J. Connolly, Mrs. Despard and Miss Sylvia Pankhurst were amongst the later speakers.
It was announced that the collection, with promises, amounted in over four hundred pounds.
A resolution demanding Mr. Larkin’s release was carried amidst cheers.