Irish-American on Rising

Posted By: May 30, 2016

“Devoy should have been shot”!

On This Day [ in History]

Monday,  Irish News, May 30, 1916

Irish-American on Rising

Eamon Phoenix. Monday, May 30, 2016

            Patrick Egan, former US Minister to Chile, after he had read of the execution of the principal leaders of the Dublin revolt, remarked that if England should have shot anyone, it was John Devoy, editor of The Gaelic American in New York and his associates.

            Mr Egan, who is a Home Ruler and a follower of John Redmond, said he and associates of his section of Irish-America knew that the Dublin revolt had been planned and directed from New York by John Devoy whom he characterised as the brains of the uprising. He said he knew that it had been financed by German money, obtained by Devoy in the United States and Germany, and charged that the men who had led the uprising in Ireland had been assured that on May 2 a German army would land in Ireland to fight the English.

     Mr Egan said he also had reason to believe that some of the arms used in Dublin had come from the United States and that Devoy had been guilty of violating her neutrality.‘My heart goes out to those men who had to face the firing squad today,’ he told the New York Times. ‘They were brave boys, sincere in their love for Ireland, but they had been deceived into backing an impossible cause. I do not think that England should have had them shot. Ninety-eight per cent of all Irishmen were not in sympathy with the revolt and England has nothing to gain by shooting people after it is over. For although Ireland will not look upon Pearse and Connolly as martyrs, they will resent their execution.

            ‘If anyone were shot, it should have been John Devoy who hatched the whole nefarious scheme here in New York and was personally responsible for it.

…He got funds in Germany. Devoy is a destructive and dangerous agent. He and his Clan na Gael never did any good for Ireland or anyone else but themselves.’(This extraordinary statement was made by Longford-born Patrick Egan (1841-1919), a former Fenian and founder of the Land League. Fleeing Ireland in 1882, Egan settled in the United States where he became a successful businessman and politician. A strong supporter of Redmond Home Rule after 1900, he intensely disliked the US ‘Fenian Chief’, John Devoy who was deeply implicated in the Casement arms mission  and the subsequent Rising.)