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Cathal Brugha arrested for refusing to give name in English
Detail of a photograph of the O'Donovan Rossa Funeral Committee featuring Cathal Brugha in the centre Photo: National Library of Ireland, Ke 175

Cathal Brugha arrested for refusing to give name in English

Thurles, 4 January 1919 - Cathal Brugha, who was elected as the MP for Waterford County last month, was arrested at Thurles railway station for giving his name in Irish when questioned by a police officer.

Mr Brugha was about to board a train bound for Dublin when Constable S. Barrett asked for his name.

On hearing the name Cathal, the policeman asked if it was Irish. When Mr Brugha responded that it was indeed in Irish, the constable is reported to have said to him: ‘Unless you give me your name in plain English I must detain you.’

Brugha, who laughed in response, was subsequently arrested and taken to the local police barracks where he was searched. On his person was a receipt for a £150 election deposit.

Mr Brugha is the first Sinn Féin MP to be arrested since the election.

[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.]


Century Ireland

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