Tricolours and scuffles as executed rebel leaders remembered
Dublin, 13 May 1917 - The Dublin Metropolitan Police have made no arrests after they were involved in scuffles with a group of Sinn Féin supporters, men and women, at Rathmines today.
The incident occurred in the leafy environs of Mountpleasant Square where the 40 strong group, returning from Tallaght where they had attended a High Mass for the souls of three of the executed leaders of last year’s rebellion – James Connolly, Michael Mallin and Sean Heuston – were met by police.
The Sinn Féin supporters, some of whom were carrying tricolour flags and others wielding hurleys, had been marching in processional order in defiance of a military proclamation forbidding such public demonstrations.
Violence erupted when the police intervened to seize the republican flags and stop the procession; Superintendent Kiernan was struck on the head with a hurley stick, while his colleague, Inspector McCaig was knocked to the ground, cutting his hands.
In Dublin yesterday, at Liberty Hall, there was little trouble when Sinn Féin colours of green, white and yellow were hung from the building and the scaffolding enveloping it. However, police did intervene when a number of young women nailed onto the front of the building a white linen banner bearing the inscription, ‘James Connolly, 12th May, 1916’.
Acting on military instruction, the police asked for the linen scroll to be removed and when this request was refused, they proceeded to do it for themselves, their actions met by boos and jeers from the onlooking crowd that had gathered.
That was not the end of the matter, however. No sooner had the police removed the linen banner than another one, bearing a similar inscription, was unfurled by a number of girls who climbed to the top of Liberty Hall. This too was removed by police.
[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.]