Fighting against the British Empire, with all its resources, wealth, and man power, the Irish had to be very clever. The following is an example of this, I came across it while researching John Kenny’s life.
In 1878, Ireland appeared to be heading for another Great Hunger. The weather had been poor for several years; farmers in the west were frantic. The Irish were organizing around leaders who were agitating for land reform, hoping to prevent another Famine. As time went on and conditions worsened, there was talk of rebellion. But the people were neither armed nor organized. A rebellion would only give the British authorities an excuse for a draconian crackdown on the growing land reform movement.
Seeing their opportunity, British infiltrators and spies began to spread rumors of rebellion. The Irish needed a way to get the word out to the populace that any so-called plans for a rebellion were in reality a set-up by the British. However, any messages they sent out were very likely to be intercepted and twisted around.
They hatched an ingenious scheme.
The morning of their communications coup dawned like any other Irish summer day. The sun rose on the sooty streets of Dublin, crept across the green rolling hills of Kildare and swept across the midlands, eventually touching the western shores of the country with its golden rays. Amazement followed closely in its wake. Irishmen across the country were waking up to see the same poster plastered on every blank wall and church door, Catholic and Protestant alike; on post offices, court houses, shops and schools: the poster warned that any talk of rebellion was a setup orchestrated by British spies. Furiously, government agents rushed to tear them down. But the following day, anyone who hadn’t seen the posters (and there were few who hadn’t) could read all about them in every paper in the country, as it was the headline story. Dublin Castle was confounded – this obviously involved a much higher degree of organization than they had expected from the Land League. The Clan na Gael was thrilled.