Dublin civil servants victimised after Rising
Dublin, 16 October 1917 - There were many victims of last year’s Easter Rising.
They include the dead and the injured and their families and dependants. They include the property owners and business people whose premises were destroyed or damaged amidst the fighting.
Less obviously, they also include a number of civil servants in various departments who were either dismissed or otherwise punished on the grounds that they were complicit in the outbreak of the Rising.
However, the evidence on which these charges of collusion were levelled is not known. The civil servants concerned have been penalised on the basis of secret reportage, which may have been motivated by malice or vindictiveness.
An editorial in the Irish Independent has questioned the process, which, it says, sets aside the ‘broad principle that everybody is assumed to be innocent until he is proved guilty’.
Moreover, it was ‘highly discreditable to the departments and officials who have, on purely ex parte statements, victimised public servants’.
The newspaper’s editorial follows a discussion yesterday at Dublin Corporation where, on the motion of Ald. Byrne MP, it was demanded that the evidence should be produced in all cases where there have been wrongful dismissals.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]