100 Years Ago – 18 April 1920

18 April 1920

Splits appeared in relations between The Viscount French, the Irish Viceroy (the Chief Governor of Ireland) and London, with French opposing the decision to release prisoners from Mountjoy Prison. The media reported that he had handed in his resignation, partly following the announcement that Hamar Greenwood would be given more powers in his role as Chief Secretary for Ireland. French though was to keep his role, remaining in office until April 1921 when Lord Edmund Talbot took over, who proved to be the last Irish Viceroy.

The British armed forces carried out raids in Monaghan and Armagh following the burning of police stations in Ireland over previous weeks. Seven men were arrested in Monaghan and sources revealed that one man arrested had pushed a police sergeant’s wife into a burning building.

James Falconer, who had been the Liberal MP for Forfarshire from 1909 until 1918 (and later on from 1922 until 1924) suggested that the subject of home rule for Scotland should be discussed given the situation in Ireland. In 1913, the Government of Scotland Bill had passed the Second Reading in the Commons with Liberal support, but it was never progressed or enacted due to the First World War. Although independence and home rule campaigns continued, there wasn’t a referendum on Scottish devolution until 1979.