A letter from a wounded Tuam soldier
‘A TUAM WOUNDED SOLDIER ON RECRUITING
TO THE EDITOR OF THE TUAM HERALD
Hospital, harefield Park, Middlesex
March 31, 1916
Dear Sir – Now that there is talk of general compulsion in order to obtain sufficient recriuts for the army, it seems to me Ireland has the oppourtunity of showing to the world at large, that she is heart and soul in this struggle on the side of the Allies by the young manhood of country offering their services to the nation.
The sooner the Irish people realize that this war is their war just as much as it is England’s war, and in fact it means more to Ireland than to any of the Allies. Should England go under in this struggle all the cherished ideals of the Irish race are doomed for all time.
Ask anyone who has been in close touch with Germans. Their ideas of morality are far removed from that held by our race. They haven’t got the same respect for their women folk, and surely there is no man among the Irish people who is not game to fight, to the death if necessary, to protect the purity of the race which is renowned the world over for its purity.
We don’t want a non-combatant corps of Irishmen, as I think in 99 cases out of a 100, the men who say they are conscientious objectors are funks, I was nearly calling them cowards, but I believe there are several men who join the U.C.C. not because they are cowards at heart, but they funk going into the firing line from ignorance.
Now is the time for the boys of Ireland to roll up, and let it never be said of them they had to be compelled to fight for the honor of their fair ones and the freedom of their country, but that they gave their services voluntarily and willingly – yes, and their lives, if necessary, in a great cause.
- G. O’F,
Wounded, North Galway
25, 3, 1916
For more on Dennis Gerard O’Flanagan see:
From the Connacht Tribune, 08 April 1916
‘The Munition Factory
As Chairman of the Urban Council, Mr. Martin McDonogh has called a meeting of representative citizens to be held at the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, at 4 o’clock this (Friday) afternoon, to consider the proposal to establish a munitions factory. The interesting circular sent out adds to the information we have already given the public the item that Captain Downie, the chief expert of the Munitions Ministry in Ireland, has reported that the premises selected by Mr. Morton are ideal for the purpose in view, being equipped with a water turbine of ample power, only requiring slight alterations for the installation of machinery, and being available at a rent that would enable them to compete to advantage with any other works in this country. There are many reasons why a factory of this nature should be established in Galway among the more important being cheap water power, abundance of female labour; Galway is outside the scope of Zeppelin raids, a point referred to by Mr. Lloyd George as of considerable importance; there is not a single munitions factory in the province of Connacht, although the other three provinces in Ireland are all benefiting from this industry. Captain Downie is at present reporting favourably to the War Office with a view to seeing what contract could be secured for the proposed factory here, and it has been suggested by all the experts that a capital of £5,000 would be necessary to put the scheme on a working basis. This capital, however, would not be asked for until such a contract was forthcoming from the Government, as would ensure success. Amongst the difficulties foreseen has been the purpose for which these works could be utilised after the war, should it not be possible to ensure a continuance of munitions contracts, and it has been pointed out that, with high-class modern machinery, there will be a large scope for new manufacturing processes in the united Kingdom after the war, and that munitions plant adaptable for some of these processes could easily be installed, while the advantages of cheap water power and labour would place this factory on a basis that would enable it to compete in cost of production with all others. The all-important problem now appears to be to find the capital. We sincerely hope that the meeting called for this afternoon will go at least some way towards solving this. A splendid example has already set by three public-spirited citizens.’
From the Connacht Tribune, 08 April 1916