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John Dillon calls for release of Frongoch prisoners
A sketch of one of the dormitories in Frongoch drawn by a prisoner Photo: W.J. Brennan Whitmore, 'With the Irish in Frongoch'. Available at the National Library of Ireland

John Dillon calls for release of Frongoch prisoners

Westminster, 27 November 1916 - John Dillon, the Irish Parliamentary Party MP, has called for all the prisoners at Frongoch Internment Camp to be released immediately.

Hundreds of men have been held at Frongoch in Wales since their arrest in the immediate aftermath of the rebellion at Easter.

The call for the men to be released came as 15 'hut leaders' in the camp who were elected by the prisoners themselves as their representatives are being court-martialled for refusing to answer the roll-call. Prisoners who refused were sent to the South camp ‘as punishment’. Mr. Dillon has asked why no reporters were allowed to be present at any of these hearings.

The news of the courts-martial came as John Dillon sought to have a date agreed for the motion he is putting before the House of Commons in respect of the release of political prisoners.

The motion has been postponed five times and there is no agreement as to when it will finally be discussed.

A letter from Matthew Kelly, an Irish prisoner in Frongoch requesting his release. His release is denied. (Image: National Archives of Ireland, CSO RP 1916 21925)

[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.