Mr. A. B. Reid (July 6) is mistaken when he declares that Mr. dc Valera was not in Ire land between 1920 and 1923. As a boy on holiday at Gougane Barra I met and shook hands with him when he dropped in there in the late autumn of 1921, with Dick Mulcahy, for a meeting with Brigadier Hegarty of the I.R.A. at Cronin's Hotel. The Treaty negotiations were proceeding at the time.
Further, Mr. Reid is incorrect in stating that the ban of excommunication was not imposed until after the Treaty. The then Bishop of Cork. Dr. Coholan, decreed excommunication during the Anglo-Irish struggle against those who either took part in ambushes or took part in hunger strikes when imprisoned.
remember, at school, putting this hypotheical question to a harassed Presentation Brother: Suppose there were an ambush on the borders of Cork and Kerry on a road that ran along the county boundary, so that one side of it was in Cork, and the other in Kerry? Would the I.R.A. men on the Cork side be excommunicated, but not those on the Kerry side, since the Bishop of Kerry did not share Dr. Coholan's opinions?
Later, when the Bishop of Cork, in all his canonicals, led the Irish hierarchy at the remarkable civic funeral of Terence MacSwiney, after his death through hunger-strike in Brixton Prison, I demanded an explanation of this anomaly (God forgive me for a malevolent impl ); to be told, with obvious embarrassment, that the hunger-strike had been outside the diocese.
Anyway, Mr. Reid seems to have got his dates mixed.
Donal Giltinan Fishbourne, Chichester, Sussex.
May I make a polite but faintly irritated request to the publishers of the Missalettes? Goodliffc Neale's compilers go to no end of trouble, as it seems to me, to develop hymn-singing in the Church by publishing each week a set of three hymns for singing during the Mass. For those of us who alsb sing the Ordinary it forms a splendid and supplementary service. The hymns are chosen from different source-books and selected with care to blend good unfamiliar ones with those wellknewn and "hackneyed".
I suppose their idea is to enlarge the compass of the Catholic's repertoire, gradually to improve its character, and thus to enrich our musical tradition.
All this is excellent, yet it falls to the ground for want of a little commonsense. We come to Mass; see the day's Missalette for the first time; have not the faintest idea of some of the tunes, and are perforce completely dumb where we wish to sing out the words before us.
There may be churches where they have an organ, and an organist who by skilfully accenting the melody line can teach the congregation to pick up the tune; but not all are so lucky.
The solution is very easy. Each week's Missalette should carry, as a postscript, a list of the first lines, with references, of the hymns to be sung the following week. Thus those who are keen could be well primed in advance, and help to lead those who have not done so, Picking up a tune is extraordinarily simple, providing someone is present who knows it properly; and the publishers' aim could be brought to success. May I plead with them to do so obvious a thing?
Harold McCrone Laxton, Near Corby, Northants.
Yorkshire Television would like to hear from readers who have a good general religious knowledge for a possible role in a new 13-week series of the popular programme "The Sunday Quiz" to be screened during the winter.
The format will involve teams of two lay people, representing a parish, congregation or circuit. Recording begins at the end of November.
Anyone interested should write to the Education Department, Yorkshire Television, Ltd., Leeds, 3, marking the envelope "Sunday Quiz", for further details.
Tony Scull Producer, "Sunday Quiz," Yorkshire Television Ltd., The Television Centre, Leeds.