Libel Action By Irish Author
Raises A Moral Question
From Our Irish Correspondent The Irish Brigade in Spain is on its way home. A long statement of he Brigade's troubles, published by Captain Francis MacCullagh in America, has been reprinted in most of our papers.
Captain MacCullagh-who, by the way, is an Omagh man by birth, and warmly remembered and admired in his native diocese of Derry—tells that the Brigade suffered in a most unfortunate affair before Madrid, when it was fired upon by Nationalist troops in mistake for Red forces and lost one slain and several wounded; fire was returned, with casualties.
General Franco was distressed of the occurrence and took appropriate steps. His cordiality towards the Irish volunteers was great, especially as the Irish contribution to the Catholic and Nationalist cause was an offset to the charge that he got help only from specifically Fascist States.
Lack of support, following on the nonintervention agreement, made continuance of the enterprise impossible.
It is reported that tnembers of the Brigade belonging to East Cork intend, on their return, to put up an Independent candidate at the coming General Election.
One anxiously hopes that this is untrue, or will be reconsidered; for such an action would do harm to the good cause. The Government party would be obliged to oppose the Brigade candidate at the polls. If he were defeated, as he probably would be owing to the reluctance of the electorate to turn its attention from the main home issue, the defeat would be represented abroad as a repudiation by our people of the highly honourable ideals of the men who, wisely or not, went out to Spain to fight, whereas no such repudiation would be intended. Catholic Ireland honours the Brigade's intentions, and would be sorry to see its respect for the fighting men pitted against the loyalty of the biggest party to political leaders.
The Censorship in Court
The action by Mr. Patrick Mulloy against the Daily Express for alleged libel rising from comments on his banned novel, has been reported fully in London. The case was followed in Ireland with interest, though the reports in our papers, at the time of my writing, do not make the verdict clear. Of the case itself, I say nothing, but an °biter dictum of Mr. Justice Hawk; who tried the case, deserves attention.
Counsel had spoken of the book as not suited for young people, and his Lordship observed: .. It struck me as a little odd that the question was confined to young people. Are there not people so refined. and living such sheltered lives, that it might possibly be a terrible shock to them to find in Mr. Mulloy's book a reference to homo-sexuality and a graphic account of scenes in a brothel?"
This expresses a point that I have wished to see made in the controversy over the Censorship. We have a school of opinion which wishes to confine censorship to what is read by the young. " Are we never to grow up? " — one lady has written, and there is a plan to shut certain cinemas to young people. This appears to me to imply that there is one standard of morality for the young, another for the old, and that chastity of mind does not matter once you are over twenty.
Millions for the Hospitals
The Hospitals Sweepstake on the Derby gave us the usual stir. It was the twentyfirst sweepstake since the series began in 1930, and the hospitals of the Free State now have derived £11,000,000 from this system. Furthermore, it was one of the biggest of the Derby sweeps, with a prizefund of £1,600,000—a huge advance on the last two years, in which we may trace, no doubt, a result of the economic " boom."
Corpus Christi was celebrated throughout Ireland with customary devotion. Glorious weather favoured the processions of the Blessed Sacrament which were held in many towns. In the cities, this great feast is not observed as a public holiday, although the churches are thronged, of course, at the early Masses but in most of the rural dioceses, it is a public holiday, and one of the best-loved days of the Catholic year.
There can be little in the public worship of the Church to excel in devotional beauty the observance of Corpus Christi in any of our typical rural parishes—in many the procession is held on the Sunday within the octave. A stranger turning the corner of a country road in the gold of early summer and beholding a procession of the schoolchildren and country folk, civic guards,
road-workers, professional men, with the swaying canopy above the vested parish priest who carries the monstrance on the flower-strewn way from the cruciform chapel to the. graveyard, where benediction is given, and back to the chapel and the altar--such a stranger would recognise the real life of Ireland and its imperishable spiritual power.
Five thousand folk from Belfast, headed by the Bishop of Down and Connor, travelled to Drogheda on pilgrimage to the national shrine of Blessed Oliver Plunket. It was regretted that Cardinal MacRory unavoidably was absent.
The great pilgrimage to Lough Derg —the most austere pilgrimage in Christendom—opened on June I, and the flow of pilgrims of all ranks and types and even nationalities, which will last till the Feast of the Assumption. began, with the Papal Basilica on the lonely Donegal island as its goal.