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Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921$
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William Murphy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569076.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 December 2021

‘In Place of an Academy We Have a Jail’

‘In Place of an Academy We Have a Jail’

Ireland, Summer 1915–Easter 1916

(p.34) 2 ‘In Place of an Academy We Have a Jail’
Political Imprisonment and the Irish, 1912-1921

William Murphy

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the imprisonment in Ireland under the Defence of the Realm Act of radicals—largely Irish separatists who were members of the Irish Volunteers, but also pacifists—between the outbreak of World War I and the Easter Rising of 1916. These men qualify for the description ‘political prisoners’ under almost every criterion one might apply. They were imprisoned because of their political activity and for political purposes. They were imprisoned under extraordinary legislation, although the state was cautious in its use of this legislation, combining severity with flexibility. The prisoners presented the state’s actions as illegitimate, declaring themselves political prisoners and regarding themselves as a class apart. They and their supporters employed very effective propaganda tactics, but they did not, with notable exceptions, develop an effective strategy for militant action inside the prisons.

Keywords:   Defence of the Realm Act, Irish Volunteers, pacifists, propaganda

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