A walk on the wild side by Donal Kennedy

Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 09.12.52

A whole month elapsed between the 26 June 1914 murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie in Sarajevo and the next shots fired in anger in Europe. Then, on 26 July 1914 Britain’s King’s Own Scottish Borderers shot down unarmed civilians on Dublin’s Bachelor’s Walk, killing four and wounding many more. Nine days later Britain was at war,  allied to the Serbian state whose agents armed and inspired the murderers at Sarajevo.

On the evening of 11 November 1914, to celebrate the Armistice signed that morning in France, a mob smashed into Sinn Fein’s  Dublin Headquarters and assaulted an unarmed man who died as a result three days later. He was an acclaimed author and had been Ireland’s youngest editor when with THE SOUTHERN STAR. His name was Seumas O’Kelly.

It seems to me that a narrative of the Great War, in the West, might be book-ended by remembrance of those incidents. But between those book-ends the story might be told of the three unarmed Dublin journalists, including Ireland’s most prominent pacifist, shot on the orders of a Captain of the Royal Irish Regiment, on 25 April 1916 in Rathmines.

Considering that two of the  murdered journalists were supporters of the Union with Britain, it’s remarkable that they can be forgotten today. Perhaps their names should live for ever more on the Rolls of Honour of some publications today?



6 Responses to A walk on the wild side by Donal Kennedy

  1. Jim Neeson November 4, 2015 at 10:06 am #


  2. Iolar November 4, 2015 at 11:15 am #

    It is evident that some Irish newspapers were critical of the British forces of occupation in Ireland. Newspapers at the time regularly reported “Carsonite volunteers shooting Catholics, burning dwellings and forcing thousands from their employment and it did not stop in 1921. A Feminist Review (No. 6, 2000) raised questions about the the number of women assaulted in militarized areas of the country by drunken Black and Tans. Perhaps it is time that a Roll of Honour should address the bravery of the men and women who lived in a small nation, decimated by a An Gorta Mór, in the midst of intimidation and violence generated by a British government with soldiers, artillery, guns and a complete contempt for human rights.

  3. Pointis November 4, 2015 at 12:19 pm #

    Well done that is fascinating stuff Donal. Can those incidents be read about in a book somewhere?

    • Donal Kennedy November 4, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

      The Armistice was, of course, on 11 NOVEMBER 1918 (NOT 1914). All the incidents happened. But so did millions more.

      I just highlighted these incidents to stimulate thought on those times and to
      challenge THE SYCOPHANTIC RHYTHM BOYS who lick John Bull’s Jackboots.

      It would be nice if someone wrote a lyric to the tune “THE GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP”

      but entitled “THE BULLSHIT POPPYCOCK”for the seaon that is in it.

  4. Donal Kennedy November 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm #

    Into the 1960s THE IRISH TIMES included in its ROLL OF HONOUR
    District Inspector Swanzy of the Royal Irish Constabulary. A Cork
    Inquest in 1920 implicated him in an incident. The British then suppressed
    Inquests and replaced them with Military Inquiries.

    Check with the Tara Street Walkers

    • Iolar November 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

      The RTÉ series, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ recently featured Brendan O’Carroll’s search for facts about the shooting of his grandfather in Dublin in 1920. He did in fact discover evidence which implicated the security forces and the man who ‘assassinated’ his grandfather during the Irish War of Independence nearly 100 years ago.

      O’Carroll, had until now believed that Peter O’Carroll was shot by drunken members of the infamous Black and Tans. Evidence has been produced that Mr O’Carroll was in fact executed by an ‘intelligence’ officer.