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Remarkable scenes as interned prisoners return to Dublin
‘Sinn Féin’ prisoners being visited by friends and family at Richmond Barracks in Dublin where they were interned prior to deportation to prisons in England and Wales. Photo: National Museum of Ireland

Remarkable scenes as interned prisoners return to Dublin

Dublin, 21 June 1916 - The daily return of prisoners interned in Britain after the Easter Rebellion has brought remarkable scenes to the quayside in Dublin.

Small batches of prisoners – varying in number from 12 to 25 – have been arriving at the North Wall by various cross-channel routes.

In one instance, the arrival of a steamer from Holyhead attracted 150 onlookers to the quayside where they gathered around the sheds of the London and North-Western Railway Company at North Wall.

The crowd were mainly young, respectably dressed girls, several small boys, and a 'sprinkling' of elderly people. Most of them had relatives who had been deported.

When the steamer arrived, cheers rang out and many of the girls waved green handkerchiefs, joining in the singing the Thomas Davis song, 'A Nation Once Again'. 

The tricolor was everywhere in evidence and when the returned prisoners alighted from the steamer they were heartily greeted with handshakes and back-slaps. Also on board the steamer were many men who were returning from the Western Front. For the most part, these men passed through the crowd unheeded.


North Wall quay where the discharged prisoners of the recent rebellion docked after crossing the channel from prisons in England and Wales. (Image:National Library of Ireland, L ROY 11590)

Treatment of prisoners
The conditions which the remaining Irish prisoners in Britain are being kept in was raised in the House of Commons by the Irish Parliamentary Party MP, T.M. Healy.

Mr Healy raised the issue of such prisoners being placed in solitary confinement and remarked that the wife of one prisoner feared for her husband’s sanity as a consequence of his mistreatment.

Further questions were raised by another MP Laurence Ginnell, who raised the issue of the number of women who were deported and their treatment.

[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.