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Protests at display of ‘Sinn Féin flags’ in Melbourne
Melbourne Town Hall, where a protest was held yesterday against the display of Sinn Féin flags in the city Photo: State Library of Victoria

Protests at display of ‘Sinn Féin flags’ in Melbourne

Melbourne, 26 March 1918 - A crowded meeting of protest was held yesterday at Melbourne Town Hall following the display of Sinn Féin flags and ‘disloyal’ emblems in the course of a St Patrick’s Day procession.

The Lord Mayor, who had sanctioned the procession, remarked that he never dreamed that such materials would be exhibited. A resolution was passed urging Prime Minister Billy Hughes to use to War Precautions Act to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.

Meanwhile, the Irish born Archbishop of Melbourne, Daniel Mannix, addressing a crowd of 8,000 stated that he was not aware of any Sinn Féin organisation in the city. Nevertheless he urged the crowd that no matter where threats came from they were to be true to the principles of right and justice, and faithful to Ireland and to Australia.

[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.