From The Irish Worker, October 3, 1914.
Redmond’s proselytising campaign was opened on Friday night last in this historical old city. The show was well stage; the claque well trained, and the opening chorus given with great éclat. When the strains of that noble and inspiring doggerel, God Save the King, led by that sweet-toned cajoler, ‘Erbert Enery Asquith ceased, a feeling of intense disquietude was removed from the mind of that miserable corrupt manikin, Lorcan G. Sherlock. At last he was assured of the presence of the unwelcome guest, the creature of many promises, Asquith.
What a background the stage showed. Every blood-sucker and enemy of Ireland that could be gathered within the confines of the platform was there; every Orange Lodge in Dublin and the country was represented; every Freemason Lodge had its grandmaster and tylers represented. Never since the days of hanging Norbury was there such an heterogenous conglomeration of political vultures gathered together. If their father, the Devil, had spread his net he would have found within it more of his children than ever he grabbed in one swoop.
And what had they come to see, these venomous carrion? They believed that the body and soul of the Irish Nation was to be offered up as a sacrifice; that the High Priest, Judas Redmond, would use the sacrificial knife and that the corpse would be thrown to these carrion vultures, to rend. But that which was arranged as a tragedy, was turned into a farce. The high and mighty Atom – the creature who has out-ananised Ananias and who will, we hope, emulate him in the method of his departure in the near future – arose in all his majesty, fortified by the knowledge that 1,800 police, many of them armed with carbines and shot, others with batons and revolvers; lancers held in reserve, not forgetting those sons of Belial, the process-servers, Nugent’s bodyguard of Insurance clerks with their German scrap-iron guns (who if they heard a few slap-bangs going off would dive down the nearest sewer). All the place-hunters, sweaters, drunkards, labourer, light-weight merchants, three card tricksters were amassed either in the inside or outside the den of infamy, the Mansion House, a building erected for the accommodation of one of the most lewd-mouthed, low-lived creatures that ever cursed a country. George of Hateful memory.
What a scene. What a victory. The Lord Mayor of this great city, the Premier, first commoner, the mouth-piece of the British Empire penned within a ring of steel, with a hired claque to cheer and sing. What a mountain of effort for a mouse of results. The great Lorcan G. Sherlock, L.L.D., Lord Mayor of Dublin; the great political sphinx; the great Liberal tribune, the great betrayer and his unworthy tool, Judas Redmond, surrounded by creeping, cowardly worms, slinking into a hall, the approaches to which were guarded mor carefully than the walls of Paris. Horse and foot to the right of them, the left, the front, and the rear of them, and it was screamingly funny to see them squirming and smirking for fear Larkin and his merry men were in the vicinity.
Every hole and corner guarded with a ‘ring of steel’ in the words of Lorcan. Around the place of assassination – the place arrayed for Judas to betray his country; and all these preparations, all this money spent, all these hired assassins and police hooligans and Ancient Order of Hibernians (Board of Erin) thugs marshalled to guard the man, who according to Judas Redmond, was the adored of Ireland, the only friend of Ireland, Enery Erbert Asquith, who, along with the Leader of the Irish Race at home and abroad, Judas, had come to sell, the other to buy a Nation’s honour, but thank God for the manhood of Ireland that crime was not consummated, that tragedy was not enacted but changed into a farce. Instead of a Nation’s name and tradition being sold; the dirty political schemer and trickster, Asquith, was sold; and now he knows what authority Judas had, or has, to speak for the manhood of Ireland. He can return to his boss, Kitchener, and tell him, Redmond cannot deliver the Goods and he must get his dupes somewhere else. For after all the platitudes and lying of Asquith; after all the strutting and mouthings of loyalty to England and disloyalty to Cathleen ni Houlihan of Judas Redmond; after the Manikin had spit out his venom about to hell with contracts; after all the play-actors, such as that bitter weed and venomous growth, Meath; after smug hypocritical Birrell had snivelled and strutted his figure on the stage, the curtain was dropped on the farce and Asquith returns home to realise that Ireland stands determined to-day as seven hundred years ago, for liberty.
That Ireland’s sons and daughters, though cursed with more than her share of traitors and knaves, are as determined to-day as those who went before them.
‘Who rose in dark and evil days
To right their native land,
They kindled here a living blaze
That nothing shall withstand.’
And true men, like those men, are plenty here to-day. Aye, far better the gaol and the scaffold than live as helots and slaves.
Our fathers died to raise your head and give hope unto your heart, and shall we be less worthy than they?
No, for the honour and credit of the men of Dublin, they answered the appealing whine of Asquith. They answered the lying Judas, Redmond, on Friday night last in this great old city. Though all Ireland desert you, we will be true and steadfast to her, Our Dark Haired Rosaleen. Dublin’s answer was to the traitors and defamers – Not one son of Ireland offered to don England’s badge of dishonour. Not a man joined. Not a solitary answer to the appeal of the traitor and seducer. Stand fast for Ireland, boys, until the end. Our hour approaches –
‘To break the chain and rend in twain,
And free our native land.’