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June

June

Riot in Crumlin Road Prison

Prisoners in Crumlin Road perceived that there was a deterioration in the quality of the food provided. At this time the authorities began to fix shutters to windows which faced onto Crumlin Road to prevent prisoners from shouting out at passers by. Prisoners removed some of these shutters and some prisoners were sent to basement cells. There a number broke furniture and barricaded themselves into cells. On the disturbances Kevin O’Higgins wrote,’ Altogether the din was considerable. Activated by rage and disgust at the treatment I had received, I was determined to do as much damage as possible. Fifty policemen were drafted into the prison and prisoners were handcuffed and dragged down stairs.’

2nd June

Message Prepared by the Prime Ministers of Great Britain, France and Italy

‘We desire to express our warmest thanks to President Wilson for the remarkable promptness with which American aid, in excess of what at one time seemed practicable, has been rendered to the Allies during the past month to meet a great emergency. The crisis, however, still continues. General Foch has presented to us a statement of the utmost gravity, which points out that the numerical superiority of the enemy in France, where 162 Allied divisions now oppose 200 German divisions, is very heavy, and that, there is no possibility of the British and French increasing the number of their divisions, here is a great danger of the war being lost unless the numerical inferiority of the Allies can be remedied as rapidly as possible by the advent of American troops’.

3rd June

Allies Publish Post-War Plan for the Balkans and Eastern Europe

The British, French and Italian governments jointly published a declaration in which there was support for the aspirations of the Poles, Czecho-Slovaks and Yugo-Slavs.

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Robert Gallagher served as private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

5th June

Tzar’s Prison in Urals, Extra Security Measures

At the property in the Urals where the Russian Royal Family were being held, the family was periodically allowed out into the garden. For amusement the tzar would often use a swing in the garden. When it became known to the guards that his legs could be seen when he was on the swing, the fence around the garden was raised.

6th June

Royal Naval Attack on Ostend

In the early hours of the morning twenty-five Royal Naval ships attacked this harbour. The aim was to destroy this strategic German submarine base.

8th June

City Hosiery Workers End Strike

This had begun on 3rd June and had directly involved over forty workers.

9th June

German Advance at Marne, Codename ‘Gneisenau.’

This was the fourth German offensive on the Western Front, launched between Noyan and Montdidier. It however failed to break through French lines.

Women’s Day, La na m Ban

A pledge was agreed that all women across Ireland were encouraged to sign. As part of the nationwide anti-conscription campaign, Cumann na m Ban held meetings, distributed leaflets, painted walls and outside Roman Catholic churches encouraged people to sign anti-conscription petitions. Flag days were organised at this time to raise money for the campaign with the slogan ‘Women Won’t Blackleg.’

Anti-Conscription Pledges Signed in Dublin

Thousands of women and many trade union members marched to the City Hall in Dublin. This was the feast day of St. Columba and it was recommended that after having signed that women should proceed to some ‘place of veneration or pilgrimage.’ In the coming weeks almost three thousand signatures were collected in County Donegal.

County Longford Anti-conscription Rally

In the small town of Granard a march was held and one hundred and twenty signatures were collected.

10th June

Derry Trades Council on Conscription

At a meeting of this organisation Councillor William Logue who was the organiser’s president and who was employed as a typographer in the Derry Journal, persuaded Unionist members that the whole issue over conscription was in fact one to do with labour. Two of the members in attendance were from the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers and thirty-three members of the council voted in favour of the motion and one member voted against.

A Local Man Lost in the Great War

James Brown served as a private in the Royal Defence Corps.

11th June

Influenza in Belfast

The Belfast Telegraph reported on influenza in the city and claimed that the outbreak could be traced to the military barracks. It also noted that in Belfast influenza was spreading quickly to munitions works and mills across the city.

12th June

Newsletter on Influenza

The Newsletter again reported that influenza was spreading across Belfast.

Derry Carpenters and Joiners End Strike

The men had gone on strike on 7th June and their action had directly involved over eighty men.

15th June

Defeat for Austria-Hungary

The Second Battle of Piave River opened with a massive offensive by the Austro-Hungarian army. Italian and British troops first held the line and subsequently pushed back the attackers. Despite heavy losses, the Allies destroyed the Austria-Hungarian army, precipitating the collapse of the Empire. Hearing of the Allied victory, Erich Ludendorff is reported to have said, ‘I have the sensation of defeat for the first time.’

Anti-Conscription rallies in Carrick on Suir

The Kilkenny People carried news on Women’s Day in the town. ‘A very large number of women and girls signed the Women’s Anti-Conscription Pledge at the town hall, Carrick on Suir on Sunday. The arrangements were in the hands of the local branch of Cumann na mBan which now has a large membership. The signing of the pledge was proceeded by a procession of the members of Cumann nma Ban through the streets.’

Roman Catholic Newspaper on Influenza

The Irish Catholic made a reference to the influenza outbreak in Ireland, noting that ‘the complaint attacks all sorts and conditions of men.’

First Cases of Influenza Reported in Limerick

Newspapers in the city began to carry reports of the outbreak of influenza in the city.

Action by Agricultural Workers in Rural Areas near City, R.I.C. Report

The police reported into the local activities of the National Amalgamated Union of Labour. This organistion had been founded in Tyneside in 1888 and by the turn of the century was the fourth largest union in the country.

The R.I.C report noted that in the previous year there had been strikes in places in County Donegal such as Ballindrait, Castlefin, Clady, Raphoe and St. Johnston and that it had been active in Newtowncunningham for a couple of years. The report stated,’ NAUL is expanding in Buncrana, Convoy, Letterkenny and Raphoe. The membership is tending to increase and their attitude is to be more organised and aggressive. There have been a number of strikes which generally have been rapidly settled by concessions from employers. Their demands do not appear really excessive in view of the higher cost of living to non-producers.’

19th June

Heater Boys End Strike

In ship construction the quality of riveting was of crucial importance for the reputation of a shipyard. A hand squad in a riveting party was made up of a number of men with specific jobs. A ‘catch boy ‘s task was to insert the rivet. A right and left had riveter alternatively hammered the rivet. A ‘holder on ‘was placed behind the plate to hold the heated rivet in place with a tool called a ‘hobey.’ A ‘heater boy’ was important as he had to arrange his fire in such a fashion that he had an adequate supply of different types of rivet likely to be required and properly heated and ready for use. ‘Heater boys ‘could be fifty or sixty years old.

The ‘heater boys’ strike began in the city on 17th June and directly involved over seventy workers.

20th June

Major Electoral Success for Sinn Fein

In a by-election in Cavan East, Sinn Fein had a major success at the polls. The seat was won by Arthur Griffith who at the time was imprisoned in Gloucester. In the electoral campaign, one poster declared,’ Put Him in To Get Him Out. Vote for Griffith. The Man in Jail for Ireland.’ This was a bitter contest and Griffith was victorious despite support for the Irish Party from the Roman Catholic Bishop Finnegan.

21st June

A Local Man Loses His Life in the Great War

Thomas Murphy served as a private in the Royal Scots.

22nd June

Influenza in County Galway

The Western News in Ballinasloe referred to illness in the town with’ people struck with complete collapse and swooning.’ A few days later the newspaper reported that a number of soldiers at the military camp at nearby Garbally had succumbed to influenza.

Letter in Freeman’s Journal

A school teacher called Thomas Hayes expressed concern that ‘citizens are dying in scores from a mysterious malady.’

23rd June

19th Century Sailing Ship Sunk Off Rathlin

The 700 ton sailing ship Mountain Laurel was built in 1865. It was sailing from Barrow to Tvedestrand in Norway with a cargo of coal when it was attacked and sunk twenty-five miles off Rathlin. Eleven of the crew were lost.

The UB-73 took part in six patrols and sank eight merchant ships, 18,806 tons. The U-boat surrendered in France in November 1918.

Anti-conscription Meetings Held Across Ireland

One such meeting was advertised, in the south of Ireland. This event would include choral recitals, Irish songs, dances and recitations. There would also be a sports programme which would include tug-of-war, high jumps and an old age pensioners race. The main speaker was advertised as being the Countess Plunkett.

Influenza Outbreak, Public Health Committee’s Recommendations

This information was place on posters and leaflets about this time.

Keep away from crowded assemblies.

Do not spit on the floor or tramcar, or on the streets. Expectorated matter may be full of objectionable microbes. In sneezing keep a handkerchief on your face. Keep a little pad containing eucalyptus and smell it often, especially when in contact with other people.

Allow plenty of air into your dwelling. Avoid crowded rooms.

Vermin and dirt contain contagion. The strictest cleanliness should be observed.

Do not over exert yourself or give way to panic.

If you feel a pain in the head, or feverish, go to bed and send for a doctor.

In recovering from influenza only see the people you are obliged to see, so as to avoid infecting others.

The drivers of public conveyances must obtain permission from the Public Health Department to convey patients to hospital, and the vehicles must be subsequently disinfected. The corporation ambulances convey infectious cases to hospital.

Do not attend wakes.

Connacht Doctors Face Medical Challenges

Reported in the Connacht Tribune, the regional newspaper for County Galway, reported that in the county doctors were facing ‘haemorrhages and pneumonia and other inflammatory and alarming complications’

Relaxation of Restrictions on the Russian Royal Family

In a slight relaxation of the rules, the tzar’s bedroom window was unsealed to allow daylight to there the room. However, he was warned not to look out or he was in danger of being shot. However, the Royal family were now refused access to daily newspapers and were not permitted to attend religious services.

24th June

UB-73 Strikes Again, Royal Navy Submarine Sunk

HMS D6 was a D class submarine and was attacked and sunk twelve miles off Inistrahull by UB-73. Twenty-four of the crew were lost and two were taken as prisoners of war.

Report from France on The Connection Between Soldiers and Influenza

Dr. Legroux of the Pasteur Institute said that in his opinion influenza began at the Front in early May. He also wrote,’ Areas of heaviest infection are the base ports, the depot divisions and such training areas as had received recent reinforcements from home, including men who had been exposed to the infection that had revailed on the transports and in the crowded troop trains.’

Dublin Paper on Influenza

Freeman’s Journal in an article referred to influenza as ‘the Flanders ‘flu ‘and ‘the war plague.’

Derry Journal and Local Illnesses and also Returning Soldiers

The Journal came up with as theory as to why there was so much illness in the city, declaring ‘malnutrition and the general weakening of nerve power known as war weariness is providing the necessary conditions for the epidemic. ‘

An article in the paper also claimed that there was a link between the war and influenza. ‘In some parts of Ireland influenza has followed soon upon the return of soldiers discharged from the seat of war and this lends an air of probability to this supposition.’

25th June

Newspaper Advertisement Recommends Snuff

An advertisement in the Belfast Newsletter by Gallagher’s Tobacconists recommended the use of their ‘High Toast Snuff, to prevent influenza or colds in the head.’

26th June

Derry Journal, the ‘Malady’ and the War

The newspaper again turned its attention to what it described as ‘this mysterious illness’ and posed the question.’ Is the malady directly due to the war?’ It continued with declaring that ‘this question has not been settled by any definite reply from those in position to speak with authority, but by many the swiftly-gripping ailment is set down as a form of trench fever.’

Two Local Men Lose Their Lives in Great War

Chester H. Irvine served as a private in the Canadians.

John N. Mee also served as a lieutenant in the Canadians.

Ballyshannon Newspaper on local Illnesses

The Donegal Vindicator referred to illness among the local people, using terms such as ‘the mysterious malady,’ the mysterious ‘flu epidemic’ or ‘that mysterious form of influenza.’

Derry Journal on The Connection Between the War and Influenza

The local paper again came up with the theory that there was a connection between the war and the epidemic. ‘Its appearance in some parts of Ireland followed soon upon the return of soldiers discharged from the seat of war, and this lends an air of probability to that supposition.’

28th June

Advertisements for anti Influenza Medicine

These were carried in the Irish Times, the Irish News and the Belfast Morning News. They promoted the use of a substance known as ‘Formamint ‘to prevent influenza.

Panic in Ballinasloe

A correspondent of Freeman’s Journal travelled to Balllinasloe to find out what the conditions were like in the town. In an interview with an official from the local council, the man stated, ‘ The malady is here, the panic is here, as both the urban council and clerk know.’

29th June

Final Plans for Executions of Romanovs

The Ural District Soviet agreed on the final plans to execute the Romanov family.

United States Government and the Post-War Balkans

The United States government announced that in their view that after the war all of the Slav races should be completely free of German and Austrian rule.

Planned Shooting of R.I.C. Men in Tralee

Following the shooting dead of two Volunteers in at attack on Gortalea Brrricks in County Kerry, Volunteers under Thomas McEllistrim planned to assassinate the two R.I.C men who had been allegedly been involved in the killings. Thomas McEllistrim recalled,’ I got word that an inquest on Browne and Laide, killed at Gortatlea Barrack attack, would be held in Tralee and that the two R.I.C. men, Boyle and Fallon, would be in Tralee to give evidence. I called a private meeting of four men who took part in the Gortalea attack to meet in the old hall on 17th and it was arranged at that meeting that John Cronin and myself would go to Tralee the following morning to shoot Boyle and Fallon.

Our plan was made in this way. We selected a reliable Volunteer, Dan Stack, to take two shotguns for us to Tralee. The shotguns were to be taken by him in a donkey cart, concealed in a large sack, and he, Stack, was to sit in his donkey cart in front of the main entrance of Tralee Station, as it was our intention to shoot Boyle and Fallon as they got off the morning train from Cork. Cronin and I arranged to cycle separately to Tralee, at Ballybeggan Race Course Gate.

I left home about 7.30 a.m., as the train on which we expected Boyle and Fallon to travel was due to arrive in Tralee at 9.30. a.m. On leaving home I told my people that I was on that day going to the bog with my workmen who were on the same day ricking turf on the bog. I cycled to Ballybeggan Race Course gate and sat there on a little bridge to await Cronin’s arrival. It was a beautiful June morning and I had not long to wait when I saw a cyclist coming whom I first thought was Cronin.

As the cyclist came near me I discovered that it was Moss Carmody, one of the four Volunteers who was with me in the hall at Ballymacelligott the previous night. When Carmody jumped off his bicycle I asked, ‘What’s wrong? Where is Cronin? ‘He replied, ‘That business is off, Boyle and Fallon came to Tralee last night. They were seen passing by Gortatlea Station in the 10p.m. train.’

I thought for a while and said to him, ‘The court will adjourn for lunch. We will shoot them coming out of the courthouse at lunch hour, what about it? He replied,’ By God, Mac, I could never do it.’ I said,’ All right, go out and send in Cronin. Tell him I will meet him at the back of Tom Harty’s licenced premises, near the entrance to the market.’

When Carboy departed I cycled to Tralee Railway Station where I found faithful Stack right in front of the station-quite at ease-sitting in his donkey cart with his shotguns. I told him quietly that our plan had to be changed and to bring his cart and guns to the back of Tom Harty’s, near the market entrance. Stack and I secured the guns near Harty’s and I awaited Cronin’s arrival there-having sent stack to the courthouse to bring back what news he could. Cronin arrived about 11:30 a.m. and we re-arranged our plans. We took our two shotguns, concealed in the sack, into Harty’s licenced premises, got into a small snug where we were in full view of the main street, as Harty’s premises opened onto the main street. The snug we occupied was most suitable for our purpose. It was right opposite the bar, with the door opening inwards, and the door, when opened, served the purpose of concealing our guns from those in the bar. No one in Harty’s premises knew us at the time or knew our purpose for being there.

When Stack returned to Harty’s, Cronin and I instructed him to go to the courthouse, wait for the adjournment by the court, watch out for Boyle and Fallon and when they left the courthouse he was to keep on in front of them and give us word at Harty’s when and how they were coming. Having done that he was to go out Harty’s back way and then look after himself. Harty’s house was on the side of the Main Street in Tralee and was in direct line between the courthouse and the R.I.C. barracks. We knew that Boyle and Fallon would have to pass that way from the courthouse to the barracks, When Stack had left we drank a few bottles of minerals to throw off suspicion. The two ladies in the bar came across chatting with us and in fact came into our snug. Our two shotguns, now fully loaded, standing behind the door, were hidden from their view by the door which as I have already stated opened inwards.

It was a busy day in Tralee. The court judge being in town, there was great police activity. The usual parade and display for the judge. At five minutes past one a tap at the door of our snug brought the message we awaited. Stack put in his head and said,’ Coming down the other side of the street, Boyle and Falloon.’He then disappeared out the back way we snatched our guns which as I have stated were already loaded and moved luckily to the door opening into the main street.

We could now see Boyle and Fallon, in uniform, going down the other side of the street. The street was wide and scores of people were passing to and from. It was dinner hour. We had to cross the street with shotguns in our hands. I collided with someone, slipped and fell on one knee. When I got to my feet Cronin was by my side and we dashed together across the street. There was great excitement and shouting and when we got halfway across the street Boyle and Fallon turned in our direction and saw us facing them with two shotguns. They first attempted to draw their guns. We lifted our guns to fire. We were only ten yards from them. As we did they flung themselves backwards in a somewhat sitting position on the flags. We took aim and fired and they were both wounded. Cronin and I dropped our shotguns in the middle of the street and dashed again for Harty’s front entrance and out through the shop to the back where we jumped on our bicycles and got clear away.

Our faithful scout, Stack, after delivering his message in proper style, slipped out Harty’s back way and immediately joined the crowd in the main street to witness the excitement after the shooting. The court in Tralee did not resume that day after lunch. The judge decided to adjourn further court work that day. Cronin and I on our bicycles made our way through Rock Street and out of the town unmolested. The R.I.C. having a strong force in Tralee that day for the judge, sent men out on all roads but the search party never got near us that day. After the shooting martial law was declared in Tralee and all roads leading to the town were barricaded for a period of three weeks.

Cronin and I after the shooting evade arrest. There was great activity and the R.I.C. often raided as many as thirty houses a night to capture us. We had a hut erected for us where we slept and sometimes cooked. Police and military raided the same district on several occasions but our hut was never discovered. The hut was erected on the bank of a river in the centre of a clump of brush wood and we had access to same from the river bank.

After the Tralee shooting Cronin and I always travelled armed with revolvers. We often moved into the towns of Tralee and Listowel both day and night and often had encounters with the R.I.C.’

Rumours about Ballinasloe and Influenza

Panic was starting to spread across Ireland and rumours abounded. The Tuam Herald ran a frightening story. ‘Rumours are spreading that the town of Ballinasloe is isolated, that no trains will be allowed to stop and that a red flag was suspended from the station platform warning all passers-by to shun the plague spot.’

Newspaper Claims Link Between Rail Travel and the Spread of Influenza

The Tipperary Star claimed that there appeared to be a link between the spread of influenza and those towns and villages connected by railways.

Police Report on Effects of Influenza in Dublin

In the capital a police inspector in a report noted that in his opinion that’ general work has been much and materially retarded as a result of influenza.’

Derry Biscuit Packers Return to Work

This strike had directly involved over one hundred workers and had begun on 24th June.

Disruption to Agriculture

Newspapers drew attention to the disruption to agriculture caused by influenza. The Down Recorder which has been published in Downpatrick since 1835 said that hay bailing had been disrupted because of sickness among farm workers. At about the same time it was stated that the threshing of corn in New Ross in County Wexford could not be done ‘because of the prevalence of disease.’

30th June

Influenza on the Western Front

Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, was the seventh child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. While on a visit to the Irish Guards at Divisional Headquarters at Bavincourt Chateau, it was remarked that ‘there were seventy officers and men down with pest, out of less than nine hundred.’