25 September 1921, Sunday Illustrated
Viewed after the Irish Civil War, it can be easy to see diverging opinions on acceptable compromise among the republican movement before the discussions in late 1921. But to a reporter for the short-lived Sunday Illustrated, republicanism was anything but divided. The correspondent met with many Sinn Féin members – possibly including “fiery” Countess Marckieviez – and left with the impression that nothing could shake their unity.
SUNDAY ILLUSTRATED is able to publish below an important despatch to the inner mind of Sinn Fein, by a special correspondent who had had intimate talks with de Valera and his colleagues.
“Sinn Fein,” he says, “will stand by its independence demand, and a bridge – if the deadlock is to be ended – must be found by Mr. Lloyd George.
“De Valera and his inner council,” adds our correspondent, “still believe that the British Premier will devise a means to this end. If he does not there will be no peace.”
Peace or War?
From the conversations I have had it is clear that De Valera and his thirteen stalwarts of the Inner and Outer Cabinets (to say nothing of the fiery Countess Marckieviez) will present a united front.
I know that Sinn Fein envisages a further period of war, up to two years or more. The leaders have men and money, as well as almost the whole nation at their back. “Holy dying” is here a craze and a cult, even the women being ready to sacrifice their husbands and sons.