19/4/1916 Dublin: a planned British crackdown revealed

At a meeting of Dublin Corporation, Alderman Thomas Kelly reveals that he has acquired through clandestine means a British document planning an imminent crackdown on Irish nationalist organisations. He reads the document into the record, revealing that the British are planning mass arrests and the suppression of such organisations as the Gaelic League (an Irish language organisation), the Irish Volunteers and Sinn Féin (a nationalist party of which Alderman Kelly is a member). The revelation of these secret plans causes a sensation.

Later in the evening the leaders of the Irish Volunteers meet. Eoin MacNeill is shocked to learn from his lieutenants that they have been secretly planning a rebellion against the British and are arranging for a shipment of German arms to arrive later in the week. However he reluctantly agrees to back their plans; he feels that Thomas Kelly’s document means that the Volunteers would be acting in self defence by taking up arms against the British. The rebellion will begin on Easter Sunday, the 23rd of April, with the Volunteers using the routine general mobilisation planned for that day as cover for their plans.

image source (Irish Examiner)

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