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Treatment of Irish Prisoners

Treatment of Irish Prisoners/tiles/non-collection/l/lfp_029imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
Treatment of Irish Prisoners/tiles/non-collection/l/lfp_029imgtile2.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration


H. Res. 235 was introduced after Irish nationalists who supported a republican government for Ireland, rather than rule by Great Britain, led a revolt known as the Easter Rising. It began in Dublin on April 24, 1916, and ended on April 29, when the British suppressed the rebellion. In the days that followed, British authorities court martialed and executed the leaders of the revolt.

The resolution, introduced by Representative Leonidas Dyer of Missouri and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, expressed horror at the executions and solidarity with the Irish rebels by aligning their struggle with the earlier battles fought by the United States to “erect a republican form of government.” The resolution also asked for the rebels to be considered prisoners of war, who would be “treated in accordance with the rules of international law,” rather than as “traitors, outlaws or criminals.” Although Dyer’s resolution never made it to the floor to be voted on, it marked the beginning of Congress’s involvement with Ireland’s fight for independence, which became known as the “Irish Question.”

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