100 Years Ago – 18 January 1921

18 January 1921

The Government announced that after 38 hours of military intervention in Dublin, the fences and barricades had been removed by troops. An area of half a mile square had been closed off with barbed wire fences due to fears of violence at the courts.

Alexander Gordon Cameron, the chair of the Labour Party, said at a national meeting at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester that Sinn Fein “were not a bloodthirsty organisation” and “nor was it out to create disorder”. He said that violence should be rejected on both sides and that the Labour Party were the only option to resolve the Irish question, given that “a Government which does not know how to rule England had no right to try and rule Ireland”. Arthur Henderson, speaking at the same meeting, said that it was time “to trust the Irish people”.

Six men were arrested in Wandsworth for their involvement in the Sinn Fein movement and the arson attack on Wandsworth prison.

Lord Robert Cecil criticised the Government’s policy of reprisals in Ireland, saying that it was a folly and would likely be an obstacle in the final settlement of the Irish question.