Page 5, 2nd August 1940

2nd August 1940
Page 5

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People: Fr, Fl Hayes
Locations: DUBLIN, Birmingham


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From Our Own Correspondent DUBLIN.

Every day the Dublin newspapers publish announcements of novenas of Masses, which are being offered by the staffs of commercial firms, Civil Ser vice offices, or residents in given streets. At the country churches every Sunday, special Masses are announced for the intentions of parochial groups.

These devotions, which fill the churches of town and country every morning, are offered for the peace of the world and the protection of Ireland. Our threatened people have taken recourse to prayer with all the fervour and faith of " the most faithful nation "; and Heaven is stormed by Ireland's petition.

While the fear of an enforced struggle for our ports has diminished

since the sudden alarm of last month, the war has come nearer to our shores. The mining of the southern approach to the Irish Sea, and diversion by the British Admiralty of all shipping to the North Channel, means that the 18-mile wide neck of water between Ireland and Scotland must become almost the most important region in all the maritime campaign.

Tales We Don't Believe

Anxious concern for our neighbours grows as immediate fears for ourselves lessen. Horrifying rumours sometimes run through Ireland concerning events in England, but they are proved untrue by genuine tidings, and our people are developing a wholesome scepticism.

When someone says that someone told him that he heard someone say that a traveller had seen. say. Birmingham blown to bits, we shrug our shoulders and fully expect, what we get in the event, cheerful news from our Birmingham friends a few days later, indicating that if they have been blown up they haven't noticed it.

If we deal thus with rumour—and our Press censorship strictly forbids every impropriety—we could wish that the same were true of England in Ireland's regard. During the last ten days protests have been published against stories which have been printed in English dailies, concerning alleged German bases on the Irish coast, or of habitual calls by German crews. It is pointed out that these stories are mischievous as welt as false.

Irish Government's Strict Propriety

The Irish Press remarks that such travellers' tales would not be published, concerning any other country, without sober enquiry, and the paper makes a striking point when it says that Ireland would be treated more responsibly if it were not English-speaking. When news is sought in France or Spain, a French-speaking or Spanish-speaking journalist makes the enquiry. Because he knows the national language, he has studied the mind and character, history and habits, of the land he visits, and therefore writes intelligently. When he Gomel. to Ireland, an Englishspeaking country, he feels no such need for accurate knowledge. He does not trouble to distinguish between responsible informants, humorous leg-pullers, or even mischievous propagandists; and his news becomes a farrago, like that which we have cited.

It is thought that the Irish Government has taken up the matter diplomatically, and has requested that news from Ireland be censored as strictly as news from other places. It is surely dangerous that, in times like these, irresponsible writers should be allowed to tell a credulous public what they themselves credulously accepted, or perhaps accepted just because it made spicy reading, Let it be asserted that stories of improper communications and clandestine intrigue, on the shores of neutral Ireland, are Iles. The neutrality of our territory is maintained with the strictest propriety by a Government and Services which not only pursue this duty rigorously in the national interest, but are the only Power conceivable that could do it

Labour's Patriotic Gesture

The Irish Transport Union has rendered to the Government a loan of £.50,000 free of interest, for the period of the emergency: a patriotic gesture which the Government has commended in terms that

we all approve. We now watch for similar acts by the wealthy classes.

Pilgrimages and retreats continue with great earnestness, but more secular events are cancelled. We are sorry for the abandonment of this year's Dublin Horse Show, which ought to fill the capital with the nation's zestful life: but it was inevitable. Apart from other considerations, the show grounds are in military occupation, The vast Hall of Industries, where everybody meets everybody in the fashionable showtime throng, is put now to a sacred use. The soldiers of Ireland kneel there as Mass is celebrated.

Catholic Social Study

At Clongowes Wood College there was a Catholic Social Week-end devoted to the study of unemployment, but this. too, has been cancelled, and the social interpreters among the clergy, like Fr. Coyne, SJ., and Labour Senators and deputies, needs must stay at home without the usual annual reunion, so fruitful in thought.

One organisation gains and growsMuintir na Tire. The founder, Fr. .1. M. Hayes, said at the annual meeting of the parochial guild in Tipperary that they had many reasons for being proud. Three and a half years ago the first parochial guild and council was established in Tipperary Parish. To-day there were sixty of them in Ireland, and the nation had accepted the principle originally put into practice in Tipperary.

" We are glad," said Fl Hayes, " that the Government has accepted the voluntary system and is incorporating it in a Bill. What has the Parochial Guild done in Tipperary? It has brought harmony and peace among all classes. There. is One factory employing over fifty melt that owes its existence to Muintir na The. There are rural cottages arid relief schemes."

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