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?