1917 – 1922

The Fargo forum and daily republican 24th October, 1917 p6
Secret Service Agents Hold Liam Mellows
(By Associated Press.) , New York, Oct. 24.—Liam Mellowes, one of the recognized leaders in the Sinn Fein rebellion in Ireland on Easter Monday, 1916, and an associate, Baron Max von Recklinghausen, a German subject, are under arrest, here, It was announced by William J. Flynn, chief of the United States secret service. The arrests were made on the eve of an announcement by Premier Lloyd George In the house of Commons that the British government had knowledge of another plot to land arms in Ireland. Mellowes is charged with obtaining false papers to enable him to leave the United States as an American seaman. Von Recklinghausen, styled by Flynn as a “patent engineer of no little ability”, has been turned over to federal authorities for internment during the war. He is declared to have been an intimate associate of Sinn Feiners. A statement issued by Flynn said papers found in von Recklinghausen’s rooms and on his person, show definitely that large sums of money had gone to Prance for ultimate German purposes. Mellowes was arrested Monday night in possession of a seaman’s passport made out in the name of “Patrick Donnelly”, and which it is declared he intended to use in returning to Ireland at the earliest opportunity. After failure of the Irish revolution last year, Mellowes came to the United States this year, shipping as a sailor, according to Flynn’s statement. Secret service agents had him under surveillance shortly after his arrival and learned of his association with Dr. Patrick McCartan, known to his Sinn Fein associates in this country as “First ambassador to the United States of the Irish republic”, the statement said. They plotted to return to Ireland and McCarton shipped on an American steamship leaving New York last Wednesday. On advices from New York, McCartan was arrested at Halifax. He is “being held there pending prosecution for complicity in the Dublin riots and his activities in this country since early last year, according to Flynn. Flynn declared that von Recklinghausen “has been mentioned as an envoy left here by Count von Bernstorff”.

The Irish Standard, Jan 11th, 1919 p.1
New York, Jan. 5.—A republic now exists in Ireland and every force of the Irish people will be used to uphold it, Dr. Patrick McCartan, known as the “envoy Of the provisional government of Ireland,” declared in an address at a meeting held here tonight to congratulate him, Diarmuid Lynch and “General” Liam Mellows, all prominent Sinn Feiners, upon their election to the British parliament. “You have seen the statement of the new English secretary for Ireland that the Irish question will be settled within the next six months either peaceably or bloodily,” said Dr. McCartan. “We in Ireland are not afraid of shedding blood in our righteous cause and if England attempts to interfere with the establishment of our republic, it will be a declaration of war on her part and the blood that will be spilled will be on her hands.”
Asked Vote of Separation.
Dr. McCartan declared that before the recent election the people of Ireland had been asked to vote for separation from England. This he said accounted for the sweeping victory of Sinn Fein. Ireland, he continued ‘tonight is a free nation,’ and likened that country’s position to that of Poland, but been recognised by any other nation. He asserted that the Irish here had raised a fund of $8,000,000 to carry out their program.

‘Self determination should be applied to the Irish people as coming within President Wilson’s meaning,’ declared Dr. McCartan. ‘I believe that President Wilson has the power to insist upon a republic in Ireland and that he can get the peoples of the world to recognize the republic without further bloodshed.’

Will remain in Ireland
“General” Mellows, who gained his title as one of-the leaders of the Easter rebellion in 1916 declared that 73 Sinn Feiners elected to the British parliament would not take their seats in the House of Commons, but “will remain in Ireland and try to shape the destinies of Ireland.” He asserted that the Sinn Feiners would convene a national assembly in Ireland from which the Irish question would be presented to the peace conference. “We in Ireland are prepared to make every sacrifice that can come now in upholding what we have won. There can be no turning back. Ireland stands for this in the face of England, if necessary in the face of the whole world. The invincible Irish nation has once more demonstrated to the world that it cannot be crushed.”

Great Falls Daily Tribune November 3rd, 1919 p.8
Butte, Nov 2.
To arrange for the second visit in Butte of Eamon De Valera, provisional president of the Irish repbulic, who will be in Butte on November 7, Liam Mellows, advance agent and Charles Sweeney, press agent are in Butte tonight. Accompanying the Irish president to Butte on his second visit will be the Rev. James Grattan Mythen, paster of All Souls Episcopal church in Norfolk, Va., and a descendent of Henry Grattan, father of the Irish parliament in 1872. It also is expected Frank. P. Walsh, chairman of a labor board in Washington, will be De Valera in Butte.

The Arizona Republican, December 5th, 1919 p.3 Section 2
Shot on Sight if he returns to Ireland, Irishman is in city.
Sentenced to be shot on sight bv the British military authorities if he ever returns to Ireland, Liam Mellows, rep resenting East Galway and North Meath districts in the Irish “Dail Eireann,” or national parliament, arrived in Phoenix yesterday morning for a two days’ visit.

Mr. Mellows is a member of the De Valera party which has been touring the United States, and responsible for the itinerary followed by the Irish president on his trip. De Valera will come to Phoenix in the spring if he follows the advice ot Mr. Mellows, the latter indicated last night at the- Hotel Adams. De Valera and Mellows separated in Los Angeles a week ago Monday.

Pleading for recognition of the government he represents Mr. Mellows spoke freely last night of Ireland’s fight for political independence and the right of self determination by peoples.

Asks Question of Wilson
“Mr. Wilson has said that no peace can last or ought to last which does not recognize or accept the principle that all governments derive all their just powers from the consent of the governed,” he said. “If that doesn’t apply to Ireland, what does it apply to? “We ask America to disavow rule by might and to put into effect in Ireland, a purely American principle. All we want of the American people is recognition. When America was fighting for her independence. Ireland was one of the few countries which accorded her sympathy. Benjamin Franklin, jeered throughout England, was given a seat of honor in the then existing Irish parliament. The Irish at that time were called traitors, and many were tried for treason, because they sympathized with the struggling American republic. We ask a return of that sympathy now.”

“I was a member of the provisional committee of Irish volunteers in 1913 and first general secretary of the movement. Later I became general organizer, and I suppose I organized a little too much, for in July of 1915 the British military authorities gave me six days to get out of Ireland and move to any one of five localities in England which they designated.

Refused to Obey
“We deny the right of an English man to put an Irishman out of his own country, so I refused to obey the order. I spent four months in jail for that. When my time was up they notified me that the order to leave the country had not been revoked, and that its enforcement depended on my future conduct. Times were pressing in Ireland Just then, however, and I kept on with what I was doing. In March, 1916. I was rearrested in the west of Ireland and taken to Dublin under a heavy escort. I was locked up in Misery Jail (a military prison) for two weeks and then sneaked out at 4 o’clock one morning for fear of a rescue. The people were all inflamed. I was put in an ambulance with a red cross on it and taken by boat to England. They took me to Staffordshire in the center of England, locked me up, and told me I was to be kept there till the war was over.

“I didn’t like the looks of the place, so I left it in three days, replaced by a man who resembled me and who was sent from Ireland expressly for the purpose. A week later he was gone, too, and everyone thought it was I. Ten days later we had the Easter rising we always call it the Revolution, and I held the rank of commandant in the Irish republican army.

British Underestimated
“We had a week’s fighting. The only thing that saved us from annihilation was the ignorance of the British of our lack of strength. Every time we moved near them they cleared. For five days it was free country. They brought warships into Galway bay and shelled the shore, killing several old men in the fields, and some cows, and thinking they were wreaking terrible havoc. A reward of 1500 pounds, or $7500, was issued for my arrest. Then it was ordered that I be shot on sight.”

Describing conditions in Ireland at the present, Mr. Mellows said: “Ireland is in a terrible condition. Martial law prevails. A citizen can’t go out after 9 o’clock without a permit, nor can he own a motorcycle or motorcar except by permission’ of England. Free speech has gone by the board. Newspapers are suppressed, the Irish language is under a ban, the Germanization of Poland, in short, against which such a protest was raised, is going on right this minute in Ireland!”

Seven-Century Fight
“Ireland has been called pro-German because she has maintained a seven-century fight against England. But America was called pro-French from 1775-1781. In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when Spain was fighting England, Ireland was called pro-Spanish, and in the eighteenth century, when France was fighting her, she was called pro-French. Now we are called pro-German, and tomorrow if by any chance America should go to war with England we would be called pro-American.

“I wonder if you recall that 175.000 Irishmen volunteered in the British army, and then were made to fight under the British flag, for the British crown, and in British uniforms? But 175,000! That, in proportion to our population, represents 6,000,000 soldiers in the United States. “It was when England passed conscription, however, early in 1918, that Ireland rose! North, south, east and west! Catholic and Protestant! The act was never enforced, because Ireland’s sons preferred to die on their own fields and homesteads to being sent to certain death in the front line trenches of Flanders, where Irishmen always were sent; to Mesopotamia, or to do England’s dirty work in India!”

Pueblo Chieftain 6th Jan. 1922 p.1

Photo: EO’D

Correspondent of London Times Is Kidnapped By Supposed Republican Army opponents of Proposed Anglo-Irish Agreement Dublin, Jan. 5(By The Associated Press)

The Dail Eireann which met this morning with disruption threatened adjourned tonight in the hope that a basis of agreement might be reached between treaty supporters and opponents. The peace committee which is trying valiantly to patch up an accommodation between the two factions met again tonight and will report at a private session of the Dail tomorrow. Announcement of the existence of a peace committee was the chief feature of the day and a thrill was given to the general situation by the revelation that armed men assumed to be Irish Republican army opponents of the treaty had kidnapped the correspondent of the London Times and carried him to Cork.

Word has been received however that the correspondent was rescued by agents of Michael Collins and is returning here. No member of the cabinet is included in the peace committee which is made up almost exclusively of able members of the rank and file of the Dail who have spoken for and against the treaty. The most notable of these are Owen O’Duffy, liason officer of Ulster who is a supporter of the treaty and Liam Mellows, an uncompromising Republican who will have nothing to do either with the treaty or De Valera’s alternative proposals. An Influential member who Joined the committee at its request is John T. O’Kelly. Sinn Fein representative in Paris in whom Mr. Do Valera and his colleagues opposing the treaty have great confidence.

The Watchman and Southron May 3rd, 1922 

Session of Dail Eireann characterized by bitter debate but was free from violence
Dublin, April 28 (By the Associated Press)
Today’s session of the Dail Eireann was unexpectedly quiet. There was evident a desire not to pursue yesterday’s personal conflict and when Arthur Griffith, president of the Dail Eireann, urged the necessity, owing to the grave state of the country, of the Dail remaining in session from Week to week, there was unanimous approval. Later it was decided to adjourn the sessions to next Wednesday, the motion for adjournment being agreed to without division.

Eamon De Valera, in a calm manner, followed Mr. Griffith with a plea for avoidance of dissension. Dr. Patrick McCarten then brought up the proposal of Michael Collins for a joint committee of public safety. Mr. Collins and Mr. Griffith did not comment and Mr. De Valera confined his reply to an expression of hope that perhaps by proposals of a third party, the peace conference might lead to some agreement. The report of Richard Mulcahy, minister of defense, provoked a long, keen debate. It condemned disturbances and raids, due to the dissident section of the army. Mrs. O’Gallaghan, of Limerick moved rejection of the report on the ground that Mulcahy had not kept his promise to maintain the army as a Republican body. Seconding this motion, Liam Mellows, secretary of the dissident, army army council, not only defended his men, but delivered an unsparing attack on the headquarters staff. Non-support of the treaty in the Dail, he said, made the breach inevitable.

In support of the irreconcilables Mellows declared that owning to their allegiance to the republic soldiers would never consent to enter the British Empire against which they fought. He frankly expressed the distrust which the dissident section of the army had for the Dail, which voted subversion of the republic. He ridiculed the idea that the soldiers should keep their mouths shut and face such intrigues. Raids on goods, he explained, were part of the work of the Belfast boycott and would continue until they were no longer necessary.

Mellows characterized the Dail chameleon-like, one day using the green, white and orange of the republic, the next day the red, white and blue of the Britsih Empire. The dissident soldiers were called mutineers because they were loyal to the republic. It was true they were irregular, in the sense that they lacked funds, but irregulars always were like that and it was no disgrace. The speech was loudly applauded by the De Valera adherents, some of whom in speeches urged unity on the basis of repudiation of the treaty, saying that if was with England followed it would be preferable to civil war. It was the general argument that obedience of the army to the Dail should be conditional on the Dail adherence to the republic. The members of the treaty party were silent for the most part, leaving the debate to the opposition speakers. As the time for adjustment was appearing, Charles Burgess, who is against the treaty, said he intended to speak, but preferred to postpone his remarks until Wednesday in the hope that the army meanwhile could come under unity of command. This was considered the most hopeful incident of the day, though nothing in the course of the debate encouraged any expectation of a compromise.

Evening Star May 6th, 1922 p.20
By the Associated Press. |
Dublin, May 6..The Dail Eireann peace committee after a session of two and a half hours today announced that two of its members had been requested to arrange with the respective army headquarters a prolongation of the ‘temporary truce recently agreed upon between the rival republican army factions. The men asked to make the arrangements were Commandant John J. McKeown, on the Free State side, and Liam Mellows, representing the dissident section of the Irish Republican Army.

The Maui News. May 23rd, 1922 p. 6
Irish Situation is Summarized on Eve Of First Election
DUBLIN, April 28 (Associated Press Mail) It is the present intention of the provisional government of Ireland to hold the election for the Free State Parliament early in June. The electors will be asked to vote not merely, as was originally contemplated, for or against the treaty, but for or against the detailed constitution prepared for the Free State This plan, forced upon the Free Staters by De Valera, is unwelcome to the Labor Party which formed a large part of the Sin Fein strength and which is mostly favorable to the treaty. The Labor Party leaders fear that the constitution may be too conservative in form for them, and would prefer that the issue were confined solely to the treaty. Old Register Challenged
The immediate trouble is the voters register which has been challenged as obsolete and unfair by Mr. De Valera. It is charged that it not only disfranchises 300,000 voters in the northern area but omits in the south classes on whose support De Valera can count. To prepare a new register would take several weeks Mr. Griffith says months and as a speedy election is desired by the government the present decision of Mr. Griffith is to adhere to the existing register This may lead to the refusal of the Republicans to stand as candidates for any of the seats and in that event the section of the army opposed to the treaty might think itself justified in preventing the elections by force.
Composition of Party
The Free State party is composed of three sections. It has all the Sinn Feiners who regard the treaty as a victory, and as furnishing to Ireland, if not absolute freedom, the means of eventually attaining all its demands. The Free Staters are also supported by all the mass of voters formerly identified with the constitutional agitation for home rule and by many men who were formerly Unionists but who now gladly accept the treaty as the way to peace.
The third section of the Free State party is composed of extreme Republicans who will be satisfied with nothing short of an absolute isolated republic. They say the quickest way to an eventual Irish republic is to make use of the powers of the treaty to enforce it. They are understood to be in association with the Irish party in American which differed with Mr. De Valera when he was in the United States. Though the anti-treaty party is more homogeneous than the treaty party, it too, is not quite uniform in opinion. A determination to resist the treaty by all legitimate means is common to the whole party. Some of it would include armed force among the legitimate means. But the whole party is not committed to the plan of De Valera for a republic externally associated with the British Empire. That plan was an attempt to make the London negotiations fruitful without sacrificing the Republican principle. But the main force of the anti-treaty party is in its assertion of undiluted and unqualified Republicism. The most conspicuous figure among the undiluted Republicans is Liam Mellowes.

Though the De Valera Party long remained undecided whether to consent to contest the elections, or even whether the election will be permitted, it prepared sheaf’s of election leaflets.

Threats are General
Probably this was the first time when electors have been threatened with war by both sides. The Free Staters argument was that the alternative to the Treaty was was with England and their opponents retorted by saying that if Griffith and Collins won the elections civil war would destroy the country.
Great material for the De Valera leaflets is furnished by the speeches of British ministers on the Treaty and Lord Birkenhead’s speech in the House of Lords on March 16 has been reprinted and widely distributed as an evidence that the British government is using Griffith and Collins to ‘put down the turbulent population of the south of Ireland.’
A fundamental difference between the opposing sections is in their attitude toward Ulster. The Free Staters favor methods of conciliation and removed the boycott on Belfast goods. Their opponents reimposed the boycott and daily destroyed goods from Belfast and northern towns.

New British Herald June, 20th, 1922 p. 2

Prominent Irish Lose in Election – Amomg Them Are Countess Markieviez and Liam Mellowes
Dublin, June 20. (By Associated Press – Results of Friday’s parliamentary elections with Dublin county uncompleted thus far show that In the contested elections the successful candidates are 20 pro-treaty members of the Sinn Fein panel, four Independents favoring the treaty, six and five anti-treaty panel designates. Of the 18 labor candidates, six have already been returned. Dublin city voted heavily against the treaty opponents. Before the elections, its 12 seats in the Dail Eireann were held by seven treaty advocates and five by antis. The results leave the seven treatyites but transfer four of the opposition seats to independent candidates, all of whom favor the treaty and one of whom is a laborite. The only adherent of Eamon De Valera to come through safely is Sean O’Ceallaigh (John O’Kelly,) former Sinn Fein representative in Paris who, although low on the list of first preferences, got in after repeated distributions.

Countess Markieviez Loses
The defeat of Mrs. Tom Clark and Countess Markievicz caused surprise. Joseph McGraw, who was at the bottom of the poll in the first preferences in profited by transfers and just managed to defeat his Independent laborites opponent for the last seat. In the provinces, similar results were recorded.

Liam Mellowes Defeated
Most important is the defeat of Liam Mellowes, participant in the Easter week fighting who escaped to America and later became the leader of the uncompromising republicans In the Dail Eireann. In Dublin county, Darrell Figgis heads the poll by a big majority and Tom Johnson, the laborite also is a certain winner.


The Richmond palladium and sun-telegram July 10th, 1922. p.

Liam Mellowes, idol of the Irish republicans and Rory O’Connor, are being held in Mountjoy jail following their capture when Free State forces took possession of the Four Courts building in Dublin. Mellowes is credited with being the brains of the republican defense.

Evening journal November 28th, 1922 p.1
This Is Irish Free State’s Answer to Belligerent “President”
Many of Rebel Cabinet Jailed
Dublin Nov. 28 (United Press)
Eamon de Valera today from his hiding place defied the Free State demanding a new Irish republican government of his own.

The ‘rebel cabinet,’ most of whose members are in jail, includes: President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, De Valera; Minister of Finance and Home Secretary, J.P. Rutledge; Minister of Defence, Liam Mellows; Minister of Local Government, Sean O’Kelly and Minister of Economics, Robert Barton.

With the announcement of the cabinet presaging in opinion from some quarters a rebel offensive, the Free State troops renewed their drastic efforts to ‘get DeValera.’ The Irish Republican ‘president,’ may be executed if captured. This was indicated in an interview by President Cosgrove of the Dail.
‘Executions will not cease until the rebels have surrendered their arms,’ was Cosgrove’s ultimatum. ‘There can be no exceptions made in inflicting the death penalty for carrying arms.

Photo: EO’D

The Watchman and Southron December 13th, 1922 p.1
Free State Government Executes Four Rebel Leaders in Reprisal for assassination of Representative Hales.
Dublin. Dec 8 – Rory O’Connor, Liam Mellows, Joseph McKelvry and Richard Barrett, all prominent Irish Republicans, were executed in Mount Joy prison today, says an official announcement. The official army report states that the executions were in reprisal for the assassination of Sean Hales, Free State deputy yesterday and as a solemn warning to those associated with them ‘in a conspiracy of assassination against representatives of the Irish people.’
Roderick (Rory) O’Connor and Liam Mellows were leaders of Irish insurgents who held the four courts building in Dublin against Free State troops last June. Both were taken prisoner when the building was captured after a three day siege.