A set of very interesting documents and a book were discovered in Dublin in 2015 during the cataloguing of a collection of law books by Jennefer Aston, an Irish law librarian and book seller. The documents and the book are dated between 1895-1896 and they give us a comprehensive information on the situation of the Armenian population in Ottoman Empire under the regime of Abdul Hamid.
One of the documents is as much interesting to us Armenians living in Ireland as it is about an establishing of the Irish Armenian Relief Fund in 1985 under the presidency of the Lord Mayor of Dublin. The fund was aimed to collect£6,000 to help the victims of Armenian massacres perpetrated by Abdul Hamid to somehow survive the upcoming winter of 1895-96 and support them until the next harvest. The document contains references to the reports of Her Majesty’s Vice-Consuls of Van, Moush, and Bitlis. The document was published at Mansion House, Dawson Street, Dublin on 6th November 1895.
Another very emotional document entitled “A Call to Prayer” is published at Granville House, 3 Arundel Street, London in early 1896. The document signed by a number of religious leaders is full of pain and horror of what was happening with the Christian Armenian population in Ottoman Empire at that era -“It is incredible, it is intolerable that Christendom should continue to look on in apathy and impotence at sight so appalling”.
And the last finding is a book of Malcolm MacColl, British clergyman and publicist. The book entitled “England’s Responsibility towards Armenia” is a rare 4th edition published in 1896. In the preface to the 3rd edition of the book MacColl predicts the resolution of the Armenian question 20 years earlier before the Armenian Genocide happened: ‘If Europe do not intervene speedily, the Armenian question will soon be settled by the extermination of the Armenians’.
The documents were kindly shared and the originals were allowed for display during the Genocide exhibition in Corkby Johana and Anna Dunlop an Armenian-Irish mother and daughter, the cousin of Jennefer Aston. Thank you Johana and Anna for your dedication towards the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Ireland.