Page 11, 19th March 1937

19th March 1937
Page 11
Page 11, 19th March 1937 — Irish Letter
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Irish Letter

STORMY PRELUDE TO ST.

PATRICK'S DAY Anti-Clerics In Ireland

From Our Dublin Correspondent

Storm—Storm—Storm: that is the chief news from Ireland. A snowstorm and blizzard swept the land, causing deaths, losses of stock, desituation of buildings and telegraphs, and paralysing social life. Towns were isolated, ships wrecked,

Last week was sweepstake week. For the first time since the Irish Ilospitals Trust started its remarkable series of draws —this was the twentieth—the weather forbade the opening procession. However, this took place on Saturday, with great éclat, when the sun struggled through the snowelouds. It was notable because it afforded the first international motor show ever held in the country. Sixteen varieties of luxury cars, every one of them "assembled" in the Free State, paraded — a remarkable sign of our progress in material things.

The sweepstake itself showed no sign of waning success, and the Speaker of the Mil, Mr. Frank Fahy—who now signs all Acts of Parliament in place of the Crown —attended to draw from the drum the 50,000th ticket ever drawn in the sweepstakes.

President's Broadcasts

The present week is St. Patrick's Week, and I am sorry that these notes must go to the printer before an account of the national festival can be included. President de Valera is broadcasting to America and Australia at appropriate hours for reception in those continents, and will he telling, no doubt, of the country's political and material progress and hope of a final peaceful settlement with England on a basis of Irish unity.

The week is marked in commercial matters by a display of Irish manufactures in all shops. We " buy Irish " this week in earnest—though, in truth, tariffs ensure that pretty completely at other times now.

Making New History

This St. Patrick's Week is rendered histonic by the ordination of the first four priests trained by the St. Patrick's Society of Missionary Priests.

A few weeks ago I described this remarkable new Irish mission, which received its name at the suggestion of Cardinal Van Rossurn, and has at its head the Very Rev. Patrick Whitney, at the House of Our Lady of Africa in County Wicklow.

The mission already has many priests, lent by Irish dioceses, working in Calabar. but on Thursday the first four priests

trained at Kiltegan were ordained. Their names are: Rev. D. Creedon (Cork), Rev. J. Houlihan (Kerry). Rev. J. Gilmartin (Elphin) and Rev. T. Fitzgerald (Kerry). May I urge readers who are interested in the Foreign Missions to get St. Patrick's Missionary Bulletin from Kiltegan, County Wicklow, and follow the progress of this most vigorous new Irish missionary enter

prise? By the way. a silver chalice of the Penal days was presented to Fr. Whitney at Kiltegan last week, and he says that he hopes to see visiting negro priests celebrate Mass with it some day among the Irish mountains.

Buying German

Talking of " buying Irish," the enormous oil refinery being established in Dublin has ordered a fleet of tankers to be built in Germany. No shipbuilding yard in the Free State is fit for so large an undertaking, though some people think that the Dublin dockyard ought to have enlarged its slips and done the work.

In Belfast, a Unionist spokesman said that if the Free State had given this contract to the North. it would have done more than could be achieved in any other way towards bringing about unity. Certainty, every Irishman whose patriotism does not stop at the Free State frontier feels sorry that the great Northern shipbuilding industry did not build these ships for Ireland. However, the answer given is that Belfast assuredly would have got this work, along with a lion's share of other industrial contracts, if it had stood in with the rest of the country, and that it is rather late in lamenting its mistake.

There this deplorable question rests.

The Jews

We have had two more rather heated discussions on Spain in the Dail. but they have carried the argument no farther, so need not record the asperities.

An indirect consequence, however, was

a speech -by Deputy Bob Briscoe, a Jew, who is a member of Mr. de Valera's party.

In the name of his race and creed. Mr. Briscoe repudiated the charge, alleged to have been made by Deputy Belton (I.C.F. chairman) that the Jews, now so numerous in Dublin commercial and industrial life, are disseminators of Communism. " No one with a religion can be a Communist," Mr. Briscoe said — a statement which one would like to see examined.

Another spokesman of the Government party said that most of the Jews in Ireland were supporters of the Opposition, so that if they were Communists the Opposition had them on its own side!

It is satisfactory to have Mr. Briscoe's assurance, and to note his claim that many of the Jews took a stalwart part in the struggle for Irish national liberty. However, in spite of the traditional Irish hospitality to that homeless race, we cannot expect them to be a strength to us in the revival of the Irish culture and spiritual life. Their dominance in some trades already is far from a gain to us. It is a sorry thing to see Belfast separated from us and the Jews growing mighty in our midst.

Two Heresiarchs

At Naas Circuit Court two colporteurs of the Watch Tower Bible Society, London —Judge Rutherford's sect — appealed against the decision of a District Justice binding them to the peace on charges of distributing literature calculated to provoke a breach of the peace.

Judge Comyn confirmed the decision and dismissed the appeal. One of the men, John HenryCorr, told the Judge that he had separated from his wife in London 12 years ago. They were Catholics, but he had left the Catholic Church.

Robert C. Burton, manager of the Society in London, the other appellant, said that their Society attacked all the churches. They had 14 men in the Free State distributing literature for the last five years.

The books complained of are Choosing, by Judge Rutherford. and Riches. They contain passages described as scandalously offensive to the Catholic clergy. By the way, the founder of Judge Rutherford's sect, the late Pastor Russell, was of Ulster

origin. An account of the vagaries of these two heresiarchs is given in a late number of The Rock, the review edited by the Jesuit Fathers in Hong Kong.

Free State Protection

Mr. W. Norton, T.D., the leader of the Irish Labour Party, announces his party's complete approval of the Government's Protective policy, without which, he tells the Opposition, there would be much greater unemployment.

He has told the Civil Service Clerical Association that it should struggle for conciliation machinery.

Mr. S. O'Kelly, of the Post Office Accounts Department, complains that the time may conic when tow paid female labour will displace clerical officers in the Civil Service."

Mr. Norton was present when this just complaint against the Civil Service tendency to rely on girl labour was made and it is a pity that he did not take the opportunity to give Labour's view of the girlsand-machinery developments which are mainly responsible for unemployment and the stoppage of marriages.




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