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Is Sinn Féin a mere craze?
A cartoon promoting de Valera in East Clare, where he was elected in July 1917 Photo: National Library of Ireland

Is Sinn Féin a mere craze?

Blackrock, 19 July 1917 - Sinn Féin is a craze and will die a natural death.

That is the verdict put forward by Mr. J.P. McCabe who, in presiding over a meeting of the Blackrock Urban Council last night, proposed a motion wishing success to the Irish Convention in the hope that it would evolve ‘such a plan as would destroy the aims of those whose purpose is to plunge Ireland into another insane rebellion’.

Report on the damage caused to the courthouse in Cork City during the recent riots for which the Sinn Féiners are being held resposible. Click to enlarge. (Images: National Library of Ireland, CSO RP 1917, 15831)

Mr McCabe also argued that had the people of East Clare endured last year’s rebellion they would not be in favour of another.

Another councillor, Mr O’Hara, objected to the wording of the motion and Mr McCabe eventually bowed to pressure to replace the reference to ‘another insane rebellion’ with the words ‘continue an era of dissension and strife in Ireland’.

How closely the views of J.P. McCabe and his Blackrock colleagues accord with the national mood will again be tested when the vacant parliamentary seat for Kilkenny City comes up for contest next month.

[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.