THE execution of six young Irishmen in Dublin on Monday has moved even the most complacent English newspaper reader to take notice. Here were six men in their early twenties condemned to death by a secret tribunal, and going to their death with heads held high, whilst thousands of their countrymen knelt around the place of execution in prayer. Whatever the facts may be regarding the complicity of these particular men in crimes of violence, there can be no question that to deal with them in this manner contributes not one whit to the restoration of law and order, but serves only to strengthen national feeling in Ireland and to add to the number of acclaimed heroes who have died for her. The bare record of events in Ireland during the last few weeks and months makes, without any partizan stressing, a story of horror that before the war would have seemed incredible. The result of it must inevitably be an even greater solidarity among the Irish people than ever before. We have long held that moderate men in Ireland were numerous enough to have made Sir Horace Plunkett’s scheme for Dominion Home Rule a workable solution of the Irish difficulty. Every day that passes makes not only that solution, but any solution, more hopeless of attainment. Moderate men are forced by violence out of their moderation, and the Government has only itself to thank, if the grounds upon which a constitutional settlement could have been built have crumbled.
The Church Times digital archive is available free to subscribers