The demonstration of Sinn Fein violence took the form of
concerted attacks on disused police barracks and on Inland Revenue offices. Last Saturday night no fewer than 160 of the small barracks in outlying villages, which had recently been evacuated by the police, were set on fire and destroyed. At the same time parties of rebels gained admission to Inland Revenue offices in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, and other town, and destroyed the Income Tax papers, old-age pension returns, and other documents. The organization that directed the move- ments of thousands of men over the wide area covered by these outrages must be formidable. The ratepayers will have to compensate the Government for the barracks, and the Income Tax payers and old-age pensioners will be put to more incon- venience than the officials whose papers have been destroyed. But the affair is none the less a grave sign of the utter anarchy prevailing in Ireland. It is ludicrous for Mr. Asquith or any one else to complain of coercion or military despotism in Ireland. The country is suffering from lack of firm rule.