HONOURS LIST IS ON 'HIE WAY
JOHN HORG AN
TRELAND is to have an Honours List. This fairly bald statement of fact should, perhaps, be qualified for readers who are unaware that for almost three weeks now Ireland has been without any Dublin-based national newspapers, and that as yet nobody knows about the list. The idea, of course, is not a new one. Kites have been flown frequently enough about it in the past—so frequently. in fact, that people have ceased to believe that anything will actually be done about it. But something is being done after all.
The man to break the news was, of course, Mr. Lemass himself. The occasion he chose was an apt one—a private dinner following his acquisition of an honorary degree at the hands of the Chancellor of Dublin University, Mr. F. H. Boland. Mr. Lema,ss, warming to his after-dinner speech over the brandy and cigars, was heard to complain about the impossibility of honouring anyone in Ireland without saddling them with an honorary university degree. Accordingly, he revealed, he had for some time been meditating on the possibilities of an Honours List and, what was more, proposed to introduce legislation to put his meditations into practice. "Haven't we abused democracy enough?" one man said to me, with asperity, when I told him the news. And his reaction was not uncommon.
mild "12th" WELL, "The Twelfth" has been and gone, and it was a hearteningly mild, friendly Orange festival north of the Boyne. There were exceptions, of course, but this time they came from within the ranks: one band of hecklers who barracked Sir George Clark, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, at the meeting in Finaghy. wore the Sash themselves and obviously represented an extremist group within the order.
The theme of Sir George's speech, ironically enough, was "harmony". He told the Orangemen that they would have to recognise the fact that the Roman Catholic Church was moving, through the Council. to consideration of many aspects of its belief. If reforms were implemented in due course, he added, it must lead to a better understanding between the people of both religious beliefs.
The obverse side of the medal of friendship worn by Sir George was displayed at Ballymena by the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, Captain Terence O'Neill, who pointed out: "Positive Protestantism makes sure that a man does his own duty to God and to country before he criticises any other. We who are Protestants believe particularly in freedom of conscience, but we must use that freedom for worthwhile ends."
Fine words, all of these, for a "Twelfth" speech — and words which certainly not have been heard two or even five years ago. That they coincided with an outbreak of slogan-daubing in Belfast streets, however, was an indication that all is not yet sweetness and light.
Case against Canon lost
A WOMAN who h ad " claimed £600 d amages for personal injuries after she had slipped and fallen In a Co. Cork church had her action dismissed in the Irish Circuit Court this week. The claim relates back to a day in 1962 when the plaintift was walking towards the candelabrum in the church in Mitchelstown to buy and light a votive candle.
Then, her claim went on, by reason of candle grease being on the floor, she slipped and fell, thereby sustaining severe personal injuries. She also alleged that the grease was on the floor through the negligence of the defendant (Mitcheltown's parish priest, Canon John OKeeffe), his servants or agents. The judge to whom it fell to assess the merits of this unusual case, said, however, that he was satisfied that all reasonable care had been taken in the maintenance of the church and that there had been no negligence. And he added: -I ant not satisfied that the plaintiff has established the true cause of the accident."
Ordination filmed IRELAND, suddenly, is in the news, Books about us are flowing off the presses, while still more are planned.
At least one Dublin journalist is writing a semi-sociological survey of us and our achievements for an American publisher; another, London-based, is doing the same thing for a British publisher; and television teams from the BBC, CBS and NBC have kept the native population amused almost continuously for the past six months.
Now there is another venture under way—a film being made by Rediffusion for the Independent Television series "Intertel". This film, which will be called "Priest and People" began with the suggestion that the activities of two Australian priests, who use a helicopter to cover their parish, might be suitable material for a film in this series.
"We decided, however," the producer, Geoffrey Hughes, told me, "that the subject was too slight to fill a full 60-minute documentary, and extended the theme to "The Priest at Work". Ireland seemed the obvious place to make such a film, but after initial research here I felt that an even broader basis would give more satisfactory results.
"So now we are treating the more general aspect of the way in which, in Ireland, the priests and the people form a unity—a unity, 1 may say, which obviously works."
Chance for unions THE IRISH Congress of Trade Unions, which meets in Cork this week, could hardly have chosen a more auspicious time if it had gone out of its way to do so.
"It is clear", notes an editorial in Irish Spotlight, "that we cadnot go on with this free-for-all policy. Neither employers nor trade unions seem willing to put their own houses in order. It is ridiculous to claim that these things are their private concern, The whole community is involved and it is the duty of Government to ensure its welfare."
This editorial, written before the printing strike, almost seems to foreshadow the situation as it exists at present. The 1,700 printers who are on strike at the moment have had their 33-1per cent "status" Claim turned down flatly by the Labour Court, and it seems to be increasingly clear that this is where the Government is taking its stand.
Very many people will suffer, and are suffering. Three hundred journalists were laid off in Dublin alone last weekend.