IRELAND FEARS SPREAD OF CONFLICT TO HER SOIL
From Our Own Correspondent
Plans have been announced for the evacuation of children and expectant mothers from Dublin, to be followed by similar plans for Cork and other large urban areas. Throughout an active week, registration went on, and something like 100,000 souls in Dublin now have billets ready prepared for them in the quiet counties of the Shannon side.
The announcement of the scheme came as a surprise and a shock. It
was followed by a very solemn broad cast by Mr. de Valera and similar broadcasts by General Mulcahy and
Deputy Norton, warning our people that war is far closer to them than they
commonly realise, and that an act of aggression in any other part of the
Twenty-Six Counties would be accompanied by a bombing of the capital for the purpose of disorganising the defence system.
The Dubliners took the warning seriously. They hastened to enrol their children. Civilians now are as alert as the Army, WHAT IS PORTENDED?
What these urgent and exhaustive preparations portend, of course. we do not know, but the language of the national leaders, in the three-party broadcasts indicates that the near future is viewed at the headquarters of the nation with misgiving. A few weeks ago, when the British Press was campaigning about the Irish ports. there was an alarm which stirred up some of the old suspicions: but these sentiments have died down, under the, growing realisation that Britain is resolved to respect our sovereignty honourably: to-day, the bnpression is rather that the Government fears an overflow into our island of the vast action which is generally believed to be impending.
Jam proxiinus rude: Ucalegon is the thought which seems to have prompted the preparations for the utmost ordeal: ,, already our neighbour's house is aflame."
I have reason to believe that the problem of Partition has bee discussed in high places one more Mr. Wendell Willkie did not leave Dublin without hearing how this issue bears on Anglo-Irish relations in war
time as well as in peace. It is difficult to see how a fresh settlement could be made in mid-war, save under the stress of actual invasion. If Ireland were attacked front the Continent, for any reason, co-operation between the armed forces in Ireland would be necessary, and might entail a political unification. Such a situation must have been envisaged as a possibility, though it hangs on circumstances that we would rather avoid.
Evacuees from Britain have reached both north and south, to a total of about 4,000 persons, according to Frees reports. One consequence of the refuge given in the North to many refugees from the Continent just before and during the first year of the war, has been the uprise of a considerable number of small industries. Skilled workers from Czecho-Slovakia and Austria have been employed by Six County industrialists, and enterprises have sprung up which have produced an export trade to America, Africa, India and the Antipodes, of many commodities formerly made in Central Europe.
It is not unlikely that the foreign workers will be absorbed permanently, and the new industries may remain as an asset in the melancholy balance of war's effects.
WHEN DUBLIN'S SEE BEGAN
The origin of the See of Dublin is the theme of a valuable essay which has been running in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record, from the pen of Rev. Aubrey Gwynn, Si.
In 1110, when the dioceses of Ireland were defined at the Synod of Rathbreasail, Dublin was omitted from the list, on the principle that it was a diocese of Danish foreigners, although its first bishops were Irishmen. At that time, Dublin looked to Canterbury rather than to Armagh.
Most historians hold that the diocese was erected between 1035 and 1040. Fr. Gwynn now revolutionises the accepted
view. He tells how Sitric Silldieard was King of Dublin from 989 to 1036—a long reign which saw Brian's victory over the
Northmen at Cloniart in 1014. In 1027, the Danish King of England, Canute, went on pilgrimage to Rome and secured the better organisation of the Church in England. In 1028, Sitric of Dublin is recorded to have gone to Rome, too. Fr. Gwynn connects the two royal pilgrimages, argues that the Danish King of Dublin copied his Danish fellow-King, and secured the erection of the See of Dublin, with objects of reform in view.
By this reckoning the See of Dublin dates back to about 1028 or 1030.
" DRIVE THE PLOUGH TO TARA I " Nearly all the Bishops of Ireland have found opportunity to exhort their people to throw themselves zealously into the drive for doubted tillage Ploughing competitions have been held in all counties, and All Ireland's champion ploughman will be named after the culminating contest which will be held as these notes are printed.
The Dean of Clogher, presenting prizes to ploughing winners in Monaghan, said that Ireland not merely could feed itself, but could support three times its present population, if the people depended on themselves and on the soil. There need be no hunger if the nation used the resources which Divine Providence had given it.
It is heartening, indeed, to watch the co-operation of Church and State in the bringing of Ireland back to tillage, and one remembers the slogan that Cardinal O'Donnell used to utter: " We'll drive the plough to the foot of Tara hill."