Amnesty for Dáil Éireann Members

Sunday Mirror, 7 August 1921

Ten days before the elected members of Sinn Féin convened the Second Dáil in Dublin’s Mansion House, Dublin Castle announced that the British Government would release all members of Dáil Éireann who were currently interned or imprisoned. Though the following reports states that J. J. McKeown (Seán Mac Eoin) could not be released due to a murder conviction, he was later included in the prison amnesty after a government meeting on 8 August.

Bid by Cabinet to Hasten Irish Peace

Week-end activities here and in Belfast encourage the hope that the peace negotiations will take a definite turn very shortly.

It is officially announced to-night from Dublin Castle that, “in keeping with the public undertaking given by the Prime Minister that the Government would facilitate in every practicable way the steps now being taken to promote peace,” it has been decided to release forthwith and without conditions all members of Dail Eireann who are at present interned or undergoing sentences of penal servitude or imprisonment.

This decision has been made to enable them to attend the meeting of Dail Eireann on August 16. The Government add that one member, Mr. J. J. McKeown, who has been convicted of murder, cannot be released.

News of the amnesty was received in the city with much satisfaction, and is considered to lend colour to the views of people who profess to be well-informed in these matters that dramatic developments are now only a matter of days.

It is certain, at all events, that the period of anxious suspense is not likely to last much longer.

Nothing that has happened at the secret meeting of the Sinn Fein Cabinet will affect the negotiations in any decisive way. Dail Eireann, when it meets on Tuesday week, will exercise an independent judgement on the Government’s proposals, unfettered by anything which others may have said or done.

The Sinn Fein Cabinet has concerned itself only with the spade work of the negotiations, and the ultimate decision will rest with a full meeting of the Dail.