27 JUNE 1896, Page 19

The Nationalists held a public meeting in St. James's Hall

on Wednesday night to agitate once more for the release of the dynamiters, whom they term "political prisoners." Mr. Dillon in his speech made an effective use of the easy terms which had been obtained for the "political prisoners" in the Transvaal, which he contrasted with the imprisonment for twelve years which some of the Irish dynamiters have under- gone. No doubt, so far as it goes, that is a valid argument for terminating the Irish conspirators' sentences on the first convenient opportunity, though it is one thing to take your life in your hand in an open and very dangerous attack on a well-disciplined force, and quite another to secrete bombs

which you trust to an interior machinery to. discharge, and to do your beet to get off scot-free yourself. However, we have no wish at all to insist on the full term of punishment, if the Government see reason for a relaxation of the sen- tences. We should rejoice to believe that even men who did not scruple to endanger many innocent persons against whom they had no sort of accusation to bring, while doing their best to shield their own lives from danger, have sufficiently expiated their very grave crimes.