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Sympathy for Captain Bowen-Colthurst
Captain Bowen-Colthurst as he left the court during the inquiry into the deaths of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Patrick McIntyre and Thomas Dickson Photo: National Museum of Ireland

Sympathy for Captain Bowen-Colthurst

Dublin, 5 October 1917 - The Irish Independent has reported on a letter that appeared in the Times of London yesterday, on the subject of Captain Bowen-Colthurst, the man responsible for the murders of Francis Sheehy Skeffington, Patrick McIntyre and Thomas Dickson.

The writer, who identifies themselves only as M.D. refers to the case as a ‘cruel injustice’, pointing to the physical and psychological damage inflicted on the captain at the front. His actions in Dublin were the ‘natural consequence’ of these injuries, combined with the increased stress of the Easter rebellion: ‘In his over-zeal to serve his country, he committed the illegal act of having three of the Dublin rebels shot without a trial.’

In point of fact, however, there is no evidence that any of the three men were involved in the violence of Easter week.

The letter concludes with what the writer seems to view as the height of the injustice, that despite the fact the the captain’s wits have long since returned, ‘he is kept in prison while the men who instigated the rebellion and murdered the loyal citizens and soldiers of Dublin are set free!’

[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.]

RTÉ

Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.