From Our Dublin Correspondent The main subject of interest in Ireland at present is " the 'flu." Daily the newspapers report the progress of the epidemic across the country. It raged first in the North, then it smote Dublin and the Midlands. Now half Limerick is reported to be prostrate.
Business is upset. The publishers of the Irish Catholic. Directory say that influenza is the cause of its late appearance this year—printers and binders and despatch workers, seemingly, are short staffed.
Many schools in the country towns arc closed, either because up to 50 per cent. of the pupils are unable to attend, or because (in some cases) all the teachers are on sick leave.
Meanwhile, stories and floods rage. To go about is as unpleasant as it is dangerous. Though in Ireland we have escaped severe cold (and some stiff frosts would have done the land good as well as killing disease germs) we have been enduring one of the most trying winters in memory. Priests are never finished with sick calls. Parishes are losing their old people like ripe apples in a high wind.
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Belvedere's Big Day
President de Valera made his first public appearance last week, since his return from Geneva and London. It was at Belvedere College, the famous Jesuit school, where Mr. de Valera once taught mathematics for a short time.
Mr. de Valera spoke briefly, in Irish and English. The long applause with ,which he was greeted—almost as long as the speech that followed it—was the signal of the relief with which everyone has learnt of his good health; and his cheerful manner more than confirmed the report. This welcome was all the more cordial because political opponents, such as the Lord Mayor of Dublin, were among those present, possibly half the gathering.
A Good Word for Day Schools
Father T. O'Connor, S.J., the new Rector of the College, in thanking the President, called to mind the many eminent persons, including the Archbishop of Dublin and his assistant, the Bishop of Thasos, who were old l3elvederians.
Reply to Basque Propaganda
The lecture by Fr. Rarmin de Laborde on behalf of the Basque Separatists has evoked strong and effective protests in Ireland.
In the Irish Independent, a correspondent points out that Father Laborda's claim implies the dismemberment of France as well as Spain, and that if the Basques are to separate from Spain. Ulster must separate from Ireland. In the same paper, "A Professor of Theology deals with the infamous statement that the Basque Bishop of Vittoria condemned the Reds only under threat of the gun.
Following this comes a long and categorical refutation of the Basque Separatists by Father P. J. Gannon, Si., the noted Jesuit orator, who is a consummate expert on Spanish affairs. He says of Father Laborde:—
" He wants us to desire and, as far as we can, bring about the triumph of a cause now led rather by Rosenberg, the Muscovite commisar, than by Del Vayo or Caballero or Azana. He expects us to set the Fueras above the fate of the Church in the whole of Spain. He asks us to acquiesce in the murder of some 5,000 more priests and religious, in Castille, Navarra, Leon, Aragon, etc., when the amiable gentlemen from Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid over-run these still intact provinces of Old Spain. He expects us to welcome for Seville Cathedral or Our Lady of Burgos the fate that has already fallen upon the unique Sagrada Familia of Barcelona or its Cathedral.
" It is asking too much. We understand the cruel dilemma in which the Basques find themselves, and sympathise with their love of freedom. But even their political liberty cannot ultimately profit by the triumph of men who would make an end of all true liberty from the Pyrenees to the Straits of Gibraltar."
Germany and Ireland
A German society for Celtic Studies has been set up in the Berlin State University, on the occasion of a visit by Dr. Seumas Delargy„ who is director of the Irish Folklore Commission and lectures in University College, Dublin.
There are 30,000 folk tales extant in Ireland and edit awaiting record, I have heard Dr. Delargy say. He himself has done prodigious work in recording by Ediphone tales, songs, sayings, traditions; and the Folklore library over which he. presides already is one of the richest in the world.
" These folklore records," he says, "save for posterity the mind of an ancient race, and one which for 1,500 years has been saturated by Christianity."
Of the new German society, Dr. Rudolf Thurneysen is president. This scholar has done the greatest work of. any living philologist in reconstructing ancient ltish law and the heroic sagas; but his unique contributions to our knowledge are sealed to those of us who cannot read German. Could not writings on Celtic subjects— which have their chief exponents in many lands, from Norway to Austria and Germany—be published in Latin, so that all educated persons could read them? There is none of the Celtic scholars who could not write in the ancient lingua franca of Christendom.