Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Cuala News - May 1st, 1920 #1916 #283

The Rathmines and Pembroke Election Committee produced a four-page copy of The Cuala News - reproduced in full below. It is all about the local elections of 1920 which took place during the War of Independence (1919-1921). It was one of the last elections held in Ireland before independence and the results were an astounding victory for Sinn Féin (then led by Éamon de Valera) who dominated councils (except in Northern Ireland) after this election. The Cuala newsletter was revived for the duration of the election and there may not be that many of these originals left. This one is taken from the Eileen Ryan Collection.

The Cuala News of May 1st, 1920 advocates its readers to strike "an effective blow for Ireland" by placing the "sentinels of Irish nationhood in the Local Councils". "The Plain Issue" section tells its readers that there is "no middle course now, no neutral zone of compromise and barter". The choice for voters is Ireland or "West Britain". Among the candidates (all men) was Alfred McGloughlin whose association with the 1916 leaders is made clear. Also listed was Christopher O'Kelly, brother of a future President of Ireland Séan T Ó Ceallaigh, I haven't been able to find out the results of this election, though given Sinn Féin's success it is likely that most of these men were elected.

On the last page there is a Why-How-When-Where-What to vote section. Bearing in mind that this was 1920 and women has only recently been allowed to vote - it was probably a good idea to explain voting like this. The last point advocates readers to vote "Solidly Republican - and nothing else".

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