Ireland and the War

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Ireland and the War is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle published in The Freeman's Journal on 31 october 1916.


Ireland and the War

The Freeman's Journal (31 october 1916, p. 6)


Letter from Sir A. Conan Doyle

To the Editor of the Freeman's Journal.

Windlesham, Crowborough,
Sussex, Oct. 29th.

Sir, — I do not think that Irishmen in Ireland appreciate the consternation and shame which is felt by men of Irish blood throughout the Empire at the present shocking state of affairs, where, on account of politics gone mad, the Irish Divisions are left without recruits in the face of the enemy. Politics can wait, but war cannot wait, and the events of the next few months will determine the position which Ireland will hold in the future, both in the Empire and in the estimation of civilised Europe. Already Irishmen have been found so wanting in all sense of proportion that on account of a National grievance which was in a fair way of being remedied they have fought as the allies of the Turk, the Bulgar, and the Prussian. If they have no loyalty to the British Empire surely the spectacle of the martyrdom of Belgium and the mutilation of France should move the heart of a generous nation. I still feel that it must do so, and that the present hideous apathy will pass. Ireland, pouring its produce into Britain and growing rich by its sale, while refusing all the common duties of manhood, is surely a most unlovely spectacle. If Irishmen do indeed desire Home Rule then is it not clear that it is madness to turn their friends over here into enemies, and to bitterly affront so many who have worked for their cause in the past. Ireland is in imminent danger of losing not only the fruits of the last thirty years of political work, but her honour as well.

Yours faithfully,