“Instructions to close the telegraph and telephone service… sent to all offices”

Dublin 26 April 1916

To Under Secretary

I have carefully considered and discussed with my expert officers, your suggestion that some provisional service of ports, both cross channel and interval might be established, pending the recovery of the General Post Office.

I had already discussed this question with the same officers yesterday, when we saw no practicable steps which could be taken. I regret that my conclusion  they must be the same.

The obstacles are

I. The attitude of the mail cart Contractors who very naturally refuse to allow their vans to leave the yard. This refusal is explicit and precise and of itself makes any scheme almost impossible. Any other force applied to for cartage would, I am satisfied, return a similar refusal.

II. The state of the city, which is today according to my own observation, unsafe to a degree which seems to me to preclude the possibility of asking postmen to make collections, or attempt deliveries even if they were made, it would be inpossible at present to convey them to Kingstown or elsewhere.

I conclude therefore that, in the circumstances existing today, no restoration of services is practicable: and having explained to you personally the case as it presents itself to me, I understand that you accept this conclusion.

I add a few details of interest.

There are mails lying at all the railway terminals. At Kingsbridge there is an unspecified number of bags. I find that Cork sent a day mail to Dublin which was returned on Monday night.

Another mail was sent on Monday night and returned on Tuesday. Both mails have been sent again and are probably now at Kingsbridge.

At Broadstone there are mails. I have been promised details, but they have not come.

At Amiens Street, there are only [7] bags from unimportant offices [have] but military trains  are running.

There are mails at Harcourt Street.

Telegraphs and Telephones

I reported this morning that the Post Office Engineers are satisfied that the rebels in the GPO have no communication with the North, East, South and South West of Ireland. To this I am now able to add the West, owing to the plucky conduct of some of the Engineering Staff. O’Connell, RIC, has my report of this morning.

AH Norway

26 April 1916

I may add that instructions to close the telegraph and telephone service, including local, for all except Govt messages, have been sent on are being sent to all offices. As I told the Under Secretary, they are suspended in Ulster at the express request of Genl Hackett Bain, who has not explained his reasons. I have made it then that Genl Hackett Bain’s request is acceded to on the condition that he explains the ground of it to the Irish Command and obtains their approval.


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