Tax Resistance in the Struggle for Ireland

Here are a few more newspaper mentions of tax resistance as it was practiced in Ireland during the nationalist/loyalist struggles there. First, from the Newcastle Journal (excerpt):

Sinn Fein Policy.

Passive resistance, rather than downright rebellion, is the later preaching of the Sinn Fein Press in Dublin whenever it ventures to outline the policy of the future. Thus in one of the leading journals of the new advance in Irish Nationality (New Ireland, ), the following theory of political success is laid down, viz.:–

What passive resistance has done for the labourers of all countries it can do with much greater promptitude for the whole population of one. There are now so many Sinn Fein clubs in Ireland, and their organisation is becoming so thorough, that any movement inaugurated at the Sinn Fein headquarters is pretty certain of adoption by at least a million people, especially if the movement is anti-English, and contains the seeds of success. If a million people suddenly at at once refused to pay to England taxes and rates, refused to use English stamps, to appeal or submit to the decisions of English courts, ignored commandeering orders with relation to hay and fodder generally, declined to submit to the Insurance Act, to police regulations, to anything and everything decreed by England, and in addition boycotted as far as ever is possible taxed drinks, tobacco, and commodities of all kinds, what could England do? Shoot down the resisters? There would be no excuse for violence, because none would have been offered.

Next, from the Oswego Daily Palladium (excerpts):

Dublin’s Lord Mayor Favors a Revolution

In Interview He Asks: “Is America Against Ireland?”

Taxpayers’ Strike Planned

One of the Measures by Which Sinn Feiners Hope to Bring English to Grant Ireland’s Demands — Would Persuade All Irishmen to Refuse to Pay Taxes — Military Rule is Severe.

By Ralph F. Couch.
(United Press Staff Correspondent.)
(Copyright , by the United Press.)

A taxpayers’ strike is one form of direct action now being considered by the Sinn Fein national council directing revolutionary tactics in Ireland.

This is one of several measures short of open rebellion which the Sinn Feiners hope will call the world’s attention to what they call “Britain’s army of 100,000 bayonets occupying Ireland.”

Leaders say the strike will be adopted as a national Sinn Fein policy if the party is successful in winning majorities on the county councils at the local elections in .

Under the strike plan the National Council would begin a country-wide campaign to persuade all Irishmen to refuse to pay taxes. The council would issue a general appeal to this effect.

The appeal would be followed up by personal solicitations to taxpayers directed through the 1,900 Sinn Fein clubs scattered throughout the island with their 750,000 membership.

The Government soon would find it almost impossible to collect any taxes on real property, it is believed. Liens on furniture and other effects would be wasted legal action, leaders say. The furniture could not be sold to pay the indebtedness, they predict.

“No Irish auctioneer would consent to act at such sales,” said a Sinn Fein leader. “Auctioneers would have to be imported from England. So would purchasers.

“Then Irish laborers would refuse to move the sold goods to the wharves and Irish sailors would refuse to carry it on their ships. England soon would find herself without the millions of pounds sterling that she now squeezes out of Ireland.”

Next, from the Lockport, New York Union-Sun and Journal of (excerpt):

Sinn Fein Planning a Sabotage Campaign in North of Ireland

To Attempt to Break Unionist Government of Ulster by Refusal to Pay Taxes

By Charles M. McCann.
(United Press Staff Correspondent.)

 — Sinn Fein is planning governmental sabotage in Ulster when North Ireland adopts home rule. Four hundred and twelve thousand Sinn Feiners live in Ulster. They are talking frankly of refusing to pay taxes to be budgeted by the new government. They are talking of a score of plans to hamper the Unionists who will be in control.

Finally, from the Poughkeepsie Eagle of :

DeValera Urges Irish to Refuse to Pay Tax

(By The Associated Press)

 — Eamon de Valera tonight issued a proclamation enjoining all citizens of the “republic” to refuse to pay income tax, land commission annuities, and other rents or dues to the contested district board.

The people generally are told to refuse to pay all “monies demanded by any department, acting with or under authority of the British government, either directly or through its servants or agents, to so-called provisional government, or any other body purporting to exercise authority derived from the British parliament.”