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Baton Charge and Political Fervour Mark Sinn Féin Celebration in Limerick |

Baton Charge and Political Fervour Mark Sinn Féin Celebration in Limerick

Limerick, Ireland – Tensions escalated in Limerick as Sinn Féin supporters gathered to celebrate the election victory of Mr McGuinness. What began as a jubilant procession in the city quickly turned chaotic, with scenes reminiscent of a bygone era of political fervour.

A procession formed, featuring a black wood coffin bearing the inscription “The Irish Party died in Longford, May 1917. R.I.P.”, accompanied by chants of “Nation Once Again” and other nationalist songs. However, the atmosphere soured when Sinn Féin supporters clashed with women displaying flags in support of the rival Allies.

Witnesses reported that Sinn Féin supporters rushed the women, prompting police intervention. Despite efforts to calm the situation, the flags were confiscated and burned amidst cheers from the crowd. Mr Brett T.C., addressing the meeting, hailed the protests as a warning to England, declaring that the Irish people would no longer be slaves. He further asserted that the era of John Redmond’s leadership was over, signalling a shift in Irish political sentiment.

Reflecting on the symbolism of the procession, Mr Cullen emphasized that while Parnell’s policy had been characterized by hostility towards England, the current Sinn Féin movement was distinct in its aims and methods. The coffin and effigy were then paraded, and a bonfire was lit, marking the climax of the celebration.

Amidst the fervour, the arrival of Countess Plunkett and Mrs. Mary Plunkett, who had travelled by motorcar from Longford, was met with resounding cheers from the Sinn Féin crowd. The sight of the women, prominent figures in Irish nationalist circles, served to further galvanize the supporters gathered in Limerick.

Notably, many of the flags carried in the procession bore the insignia used during the recent election campaign in South Longford, underscoring the significance of the victory for Sinn Féin and its supporters.

The events in Limerick underscored the deep divisions within Irish society and the fervent desire for change among many citizens. As Sinn Féin celebrated its electoral triumph, the clashes, and symbolism of the procession served as a stark reminder of the complexities of Irish politics and the ongoing struggle for independence and self-determination.

The scene in Limerick echoed sentiments felt across the nation, where political passions ran high and the legacy of past leaders continued to shape the course of Ireland’s future. As the bonfire blazed against the night sky, it served as a beacon of hope for those who dared to envision a new dawn for Ireland.

Dublin Daily Express – Saturday 12 May 1917

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