Ireland Is Drinking More
From Our Dublin Correspondent The country was stirred by the second move in the campaign to end Partition. Every newspaper published a statement by a group of Northern Nationalists —representing all six counties—in which they announce acceptance of the new Constitution as satisfactory and plead for active measures.
Among the sixteen signatories are high clergy from the dioceses of Armagh (including Monsignor O'Callaghan, Adm., Armagh), Down-and-Connor and Derry, and two M.P.s for Tyrone-Fermanagh who have abstained from taking their scats at Westminster.
The statement examines the Constitution and points to the Articles which contemplate the temporary exclusion of the Six Counties and " the continued use of the British King for certain purposes in external affairs"; but it recognises these as " provisions of a legal instrument . . . removable by the will of the Irish people." 11 proceeds: " As for the rest of the Constitution, we, whose chief concern is to secure the unity and independence of Ireland, need make no comment beyond this: That the Constitution as a whole takes account of the individuality, freedom, and dignity of human beings and human families. in refreshing contrast to the servile obedience enforced in the Totalitarian States of our time.
"Believing therefore that the new Constitution is that of a Sovereign State and knowing that it has been adopted as law by the 26 counties, we would call upon all sincere Nationalists—Catholic and Protestant—to direct their energies to having the new Constitution applied as soon as possible to all Ireland as the most immediately practical step towards bringing about the unity and independence of our country."
In order to attain the desired object, the signatories call for the setting up of a council of Ireland and a Six-County committee, these two bodies working to win world opinion and home support for a final settlement. tion was proclaimed by a Dominican preacher at St. Saviour's, Dublin.
" In its new Constitution, our Irish State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of marriage, on which the family is founded, and to protect it against attack," said Fr. W. B. Costello, O.P.
"Article 43 of the Constitution of our Christian democratic State warns all," he said, " that no law shall be enacted providing for granting the dissolution of marriage.
" Our Divine Lord's clear teaching on the fundamental tenet of social life is made the law of the civil government of the nation."
Plans for the Senate
The Government has published its plans for nominations to the Senate, for the filling of the vocational seats. They are highly complicated. An electoral college of 355 members, comprising the Drill and electors selected from all the municipal authorities, is proposed. From end to end, " P.R." will operate; the Government is wedded to that mathematical system of democracy.
Mr. McGilligan, T.D., gives the scheme a tempered approval, but says that restriction of the electoral college to persons who stand in some elected capacity will mean, in practice, that the nominees will be political.
Learned bodies and vocational organisations will not form part of the electoral college—only members of the Drill and members of the Councils: to both of whom, candidates will appeal on different grounds from those of which non-political bodies take cognisance.
However, future Senates will be elected differently.
Well Done, Radio Athlone
Much satisfaction greets a statement in the Plrilco News, a trade publication, in which, in a list of " the most popular stations selected through the aid of over 5,000 Pitiless dealers," Luxembourg is placed first with 95.6 votes, Athlone second with 77.6 votes, and Droitwich third with 74.1.
This is a feather for Dr. Kiernan's bowler
hat, and it is well-deserved. Among the most interesting. features of an ever-more interesting programme, Athlone is giving us lectures on Catholicism in relation to letters and affairs—as already announced in the Radio columns of the Catholic Herald.
"The big proportion of Catholics in the writing and thinking world and the strength of Irish Catholicism in all parts of the English-speaking world must tend to increase the influence of Catholicism on English literature," said Professor. J. J. Hogan, in the broadcast talk, " English Literature and Catholicism."
Catholicism had very largely entered into English literature. Spenser, who meant to be very Protestant, was to a large extent Catholic in feeling. Similarly Milton, Fielding and Gibbons were influenced in their writings by Catholicism. Matthew Arnold had acknowledged Newman as one of his masters and came to admire the Catholic Church for its certainty and for its appeal to the imagination.
If they were to take in the relation of Catholicism to English literature, they would have to cover the whole history of that literature.
Sir Thomas More and Dryden brought on the reasoned Catholicism of France. With Newman there came a great renaissance of Catholic literature which continued from Hopkins and Patmore to Belloc and Chesterton.
Catholic literature of the sixteenth century, which was too little known, was a good field for Irish students of English literature.
Drink Gains Ground
The worst news of the week is that drunkenness is increasing. The splendid progress of Ireland towards a model state of temperance has undergone a setback— thanks largely to the employment of enormous numbers of girl workers.
At the Pioneer Total Abstinence annual meeting. the central director, Fr. J. Flinn. S.J., described the drunkenness at dances and social gatherings. especially among girls, which drove up the money spent on drink in the Twenty-Six Counties from £10,900,000 in 1934 to £12,500,000 in 1936.
" Ireland is drinking more." Fr. Flinn said. " Intemperance is again on the increase. The souls and bodies of too many of our young people are being endangered by early drinking habits.
"One would think that all Ireland would rise against this—But no! The licensed trade have announced a vigorous agitation to secure what they call" reform of the liquor laws.' They have already set forth their demands, most of which, if granted, would result in increased consuntption of drink.
" Against any relaxation of the liquor laws that tends to increase drinking, we protest and protest most emphatically. For increased constonption 14411 result inevitably in increased intemperance, and increased hurt to the Sacred Heart."
The Bishop of Clonfert, who presided, said that Pioneers numbered almost 250,000 at the present due; they were enrolled in a religious, nation-wide association. Pioneers should enrol as many members as possible. They should not, however, make a fetish of numbers but enrol only worthy members.
Dr. Dignan also suggested that all children taking the pledge until the age of 21 or 25 after confirmation should be enrolled in the Juvenile Association, and he appealed to parents, teachers, priests and all Pioneers to see that this was done.
The Rev. Leonard Gallagher, Si.. St. Francis Xavier's church, said the Pioneer movement was a hard movement. It had purposely made its rules so strict that only the generous and only the courageous could keep than. It required a full and constant appreciation of the motives of the movement to carry out those rules as they should be carried out. On their faithfulness to the rules was the strength of the organisation built.
The Very Rev. Fr, A.loysius, O.M.Cap., the famous temperance leader, said that today there was a mad rush for pleasure, a struggle for more and more material comfort, and if the Catholic temperance movement did nothing more than bring back people to the fundamental principle of Christianity—self-denial and sacrifice, it would have done a great service.
"I would prefer," said Fr. Aloysius, " to see three men drunk than one woman under the influence of drink. Intemperance among women is bringing the rot into the home. It is putting out the great spiritual light of the home and bringing the evil to the very cradle."
Last week's rumours of an impending General Election shook up the country, but the election is not likely to come' about after all. The Irish Times appealed for a coalition Government in order to keep l.ahour from the balance of power, and proposed that Mr. de Valera and Mr. Cosgrave should divide the presidency and the chairmanship of the new Senate between them, leaving the Dail to a coalition between the big parties.
This is no more likely to happen than the election itself. In fact, good or bad, it is unthinkable, among people who know the facts of Irish life.
We are not long out of the six months' strike in the building trade, which paralysed a large part of Dublin, and now a dock strike has begun in Dublin.
In Cork, weavers employed in the woollen mills have demanded higher wages, and a general strike in the industry throughout the country is threatened.
No Black Cap
When Mr. Justice Cavan Duffy passed sentence of death on a man found guilty of murder, he did not don the black cap.
It is said that the emblem never has been dispensed with before by any judge in Ireland when passing the death sentence in a criminal case.
Dublin Beats Galway
After the football and hurling finals, the girls of Ireland sent teams from Galway and Dublin to compete for the Camogie final. The game of Carnogie resembles hockey, but allows great freedom with the weapons used, Dublin won.
Austria to Ireland
Count Edward Taaffe, head of the Austrian family which is descended from the Irish exiles of the eighteenth century— his grandfather was Premier under the Emperor Franz-Joseph—has sold his Austrian estates and is about to settle in Ireland. The Countess is a Dublin lady.
The rumour that Count Taaffe might he first President is not taken as having any authority.