Page 5, 3rd May 1940

3rd May 1940
Page 5
Page 5, 3rd May 1940 — Hunger Strike may cause I.R.A. issue to be put to electorate

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Locations: Dublin, London


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Hunger Strike may cause I.R.A. issue to be put to electorate

From. Our Own Correspondent The issue between the Irish Government and the I.R.A. will be submitted to the electors soon, if not in a general election then in two by-elections.

There are Dail vacancies in two constituencies. When Mr Gerald Boland, Minister for Justice, was

called at the inquest on the second hunger-striker who died—and who was buried from the Augustinian church—he said that the electorate soon would be asked to say whether the nation stood for the Government or for those who denied its authority. This statement indicates that the hunger-strikes, and the general challenge to the Governmeat, will be put to the people, It is a piteous thing to make that dreadful and mortal clash of wills a matter for electoral debate, but there seems to be no alternative. The second inquest was the greatest cause celebre of recent years; the report overflowed pages of the daily papers and was read with burning interest.

Fr. O'Hare, the Carmelite priest who was the prisoners' trusted spokesman in negotiations, gave evidence which so far impressed the jury that a rider to the verdict virtually condemned the Minister for Justice for a rigidity which forced the contest to a mortal issue, but the Minister contends that a principle vital to authority was concerned. Accordingly, there must be an appeal to Caesar, in the electorate.

Dublin Castle Incident

On Friday morning, about dawn, Dublin was aroused by a terrific explosion, and citizens rushed forth in night attire supposing that aerial warfare had descended on the Irish capital. It proved that a powerful land-mine had been laid by the wall of Dublin Castle, near the sleeping quarters of detectives. Vast damage was done to the Chapel Royal, and several persona were injured, but the deflection of the explosive saved the sleeping detectives from destruction.

Within a few moments a military cordon was flung round the city, machine-gun squads appeared at the bridges, and an exhaustive search for the perpetrators of the explosion followed. A number of young men were detained let er and, it Is reported, may be interned.

Trade Talks in London

Meanwhile, Mr Sean Lemass, Minister for Supplies, and Dr. J. Ryan, minister for Agriculture, flew to London on Monday to go into trade questions with British Ministers. The Department for External Affairs is represented on the delegation.

These fresh Anglo-Irish trade talks have been foreshadowed for some time, but the situation caused by the cessation of Scandinavian imports—of food to Britain and of timber to Ireland—is their immediate reason. With the general rise of commodity prices, Irish farmers need an increase in the prices paid for our livestock, butter, bacon and eggs.

The negotiations ought to be fruitful in large benefits to both countries. At all times the freshness and vitality of Irish farm produce makes it the beet that England can buy, and wise English statesmanship would strive, by a generous deal with Ireland, to encourage

the doubling of our production. By intensive measures, doubling would be possible, and this output, besides its excellence in quality, would have the additional advantage that it has not to be brought from far over ocean at great cost and risk.

The logic of geography once again cries out for a better deal in AngloIrish trade than has been usual in the past, when the rich butter of Ireland has been priced below the butter of Denmark's stall-fed cows.

Irish Unity: More Food

The representative of the Department of External Affairs may take the opportunity to point out that nearly a quarter of Ireland's rich soil, owing to Partition, is being laboured insufficiently. In the greater part of the Six Counties, tillage is far behind the Twenty-Six Counties, and mismanagement of feeding stuffs has caused a veritable massacre of young pigs and of poultry, so that the partitioned area is producing far less food than it might. We in Ireland want unity for reasons of vital concern to ourselves, but here is a material reason making unification a concern of interest to Britain. Give us our island and we will have vastly more food to sell you, at your door.

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