Page 6, 21st April 1944

21st April 1944
Page 6
Page 6, 21st April 1944 — Irish News Letter

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Locations: DUBLIN


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Irish News Letter


Some unfounded rumours

t Our Own Correspondent DUBLIN Ireland has beensubjected to a great dealof very unkindly misrepresentation in the last month. One wonders what motive prompts some of the charges broadcast about our country, since it is difficult to believe that they are honest errors.

Especially is this so in regard to the repo,' circulated in some American newspapers on the eve of Holy Week, to the effect that there had been anti-Semitic gestures in Ireland. A minor persecution of Jews was supposed to be afoot. What was the source of this preposterous fiction ? How can anyone with a farthing's knowledge of Ireland have piked it for publication ?

Mr. Robert Briscoe, a Jewish deputy, who sits for a Dublin constituency in Mr. de Valera's party. and who is, let me add, one of the most popular figures in the Irish capital, sent to the American agencies a testimony to the generosity of the Irish State and people to the homeless race of Israel: one hopes that 'his protest received equal publicity with the false charge.

As an example of the consistent attitude of our rulers to the Jewish people, one might cite the building of immense Jewish schools in Dublin, equipped in the same lavish style as the best Catholic schools: this provision is made for the Jews with goodwill that is all the more cordial because they are exemplary citizens. The Jews have supported the Irish State and national policy with loyalty. Indeed, it is no uncommon thing for Jewish children in Dublin to carry off first prizes in Gaelic competitions. Many Jewish children weak Irish with flueocy.

In the very week when thc antiSemitic charge was being made, 3,000 miles away, dere happened to he running at the biggest theatre in Dublin to the full approval of mixed audience e a play about St. Ignatius Loyola's championship of the Jews (in which Christopher Casson acted the part of the Jesuit Founder brilliantly)— the production was by the Ertil of Longford's company. Now this play was a protest against all forms of antiJewish prejudice: a defence of the homeless racc: and I may mention that it se pleased the late Cardinal Hinsley on reading, two years ago, that he recommended it to the Venerable English College for production. It was commended also by an eminent Rabbi.

These facts show how precisely contrary to fact is the charge of antiSemitism in Catholic Ireland, and what a mistake propagandists make if they think they can in turn drive a wedge between Ireland and Israel—to whom suffering Ireland's heart always has gone out in fellow-feeling. They show, too, how just treatment of the Jews calls forth loyalty from that people. The way of St. Ignatius has proved itself in Ireland. .


Another lamentable statement that calls for correction is reported in the Ulster newspapers to have been made by General Montgomery at a " Salute the Soldier " rally. The General is reported to have complained that if he visited his native County of Donegal he would be interned.

If the General really did say this— and, apart from other considerations, one hardly thinks that he could have so broken the unwritten rule thdt serving soldiers refrain from interference in politics—he was saying what is totally untrue, and he must be misinformed to an astonishing degree. Every day the trains carry British soldiers, from privates to high officers. to visit their people in the Twenty-Six Counties. General Montgomery is as free to visit Donegal as Private Murphy to visit County Cork.

If the General did venture into political matters. he might have made with advantage a protest against the recent circulation on all bookstalls throughout the Orange districts of a paper bearing a photograph of himself, vending in victorious pose, in the sanctuary of a shattered church, and with his back to a broken Tabernacle. We all know that modem wgr cannot spare churches, but one hardly could imagine a more unfortunate choice of a site for the General's portrait. Surely, with one word he

'could have suppressed this painful representation, and surely, that was due to Christian feeling.


One more rather unfortunate phrase was tbat of Mr. Cordell Hull, when he asked neutrals (naming " Eire " among them) to cease aiding the enemies of the United Nations. To be neutral, and to fulfil the dniveesally recognised duties of neutrality, is not to render aid to anyone's enemies. Itches not aided the enemies of the United Nations: that may be repeated with emphasis, though it has been demonstrated so often that one wonders how it could be unknown to anyone. Is America so far from Europe that it does not understand how on the profit and loss balance, Britain has gained two immense advantages from Ireland's position in the world situation: a material advantage. in being safeguarded from mischief on her Western flank, and a moral advantage in the credit she has won by her honourable recognition of Irelands right to neutrality ?

It is in the light of these things that Cardinal MacRory's Lenten Pastoral will be understood—when he said that credit ought not to be withheld from Ireland for her bearing in the world crisis.

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