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Jim Larkin arrested in the United States
Jim Larkin Photo: Illustrated London News [London, England], 22 Nov 1913

Jim Larkin arrested in the United States

New York, 17 June 1918 - Posing as the president of the ‘New Irish Republic’, Jim Larkin, the former Irish labour leader, was arrested in the United States on the charge of circulating seditious literature.

Arrested alongside him was Cornelius Lehane, who was reportedly appointed Ambassador to the United States by Larkin. The men were detained, neither being able to make bail which had been fixed at £5,000.

Larkin recently expressed himself ‘bitterly disappointed’ with America. His disillusionment is undoubtedly related to the some of the critical commentary in the US papers about the anti-conscription stance of the major Irish nationalist and labour parties.

A cartoon that appeared in the St Louis Post-Dispatch with the caption 'Ireland: it's not my affair', seemingly critical of the extent to which Ireland has contributed to the war effort (Image: Irish Life, 7 June 1918. Full collection of Irish Life available at the National Library of Ireland)

The New York Times, for instance, asked whether Ireland had forgotten the ‘foul wrongs done by Germany to civilisation, the wrongs of Belgium, Serbia, Armenia, the German parodies of sacred catholic ceremonies, the slaying of priests’ and more.

The newspaper added: ‘To their kinsmen here, to their old friends in America, the abstention of so many Irishmen of Ireland from the war, their dallying with Germany, is unintelligible, monstrous.’

[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.