Fermanagh Herald

This paper was checked from July to Nov. 7th 1936. Essentially it carried a number of horror stories about the persecution of the Catholic Church in Spain. (Finished checking on November 9th.CC 16th Nov 1999)

1 August 1936

This edition carries a number of articles, including an eye witness report by Miss Charlotte Heagney, from Dublin, who had spent the previous year in Spain. She declared that "The rebels must win, for if they donít all hope of religion in Spain is gone for years to comeÖ. Religious persecution in Spain has been gong on systematically for years.

This is echoed by a short piece, which includes the line, " a disastrous civil war is raging"

15 August 1936

"Christianity in Peril"

This article includes statements by the Most Rev. Dr Hinsley, the Archbishop of Westminster that "Churches and convents have been burnt to the ground."

In a further article titled "Conditions in Spain" the author report a number of attacks on the church, including the murder of 30 priests.

5 September 1936

"Atrocities in Spain"

This reports on the 15,000 who attended an ICF rally in College Green, Dublin.

12 September 1936

In an editorial entitled Inconsistency the FH attacks the stance of the Daily Mail, etc. in order to make an argument about the Unionist domination of Northern Ireland.

"Irish Catholics cannot but feel that the attitude adopted towards the present position in Spain by that group of English newspapers founded by the late Lord Northcliffe is commendable and in every respect praiseworthy however suspect the motives animating the editorial policy of those organs may be. A recent issue of the "Daily Mail", probably one of the most influential, carried a striking leading article in which the results of the internecine conflict in Spain to date were analysed and a review made of the various incidents that had their culmination in the armed challenge thrown down by the Patriot forces to the Anarchists and Syndicalists of Madrid and Barcelona. Figures were given revealing how the Red forces in Spain, although numerically inferior to the parties of the Right, were able, thanks to the institution of gerrymander and intimidation, to secure office with a majority of seats in the Cortes and embark upon that campaign of murder and seizure of private possessions that eventuated in the Civil War. This juggling with the electorate was denounced in vehement and unequivocal language as being a violation of every principle of liberty and democratic government.

With such denunciation no fair-minded man or impartial student of the present conflict in Spain could fail to find him-self in agreement. Catholics and Nationalists in the six north-east counties of Ireland, however, have not failed to notice that this English newspaper, now thundering against the inequity of the ballot-box trickery by which the extreme element in Spain grasped at the substance of power, has ever been strangely silent on the subject of the shameless gerrymandering carried out in this area and which has been effected, not upon one isolated occasion, but also at any period in which it seemed likely the Nationalists would come into their own in the particular district concerned.

The "Daily Mail" is thoroughly conversant with the gerrymander in rural and urban areas in Tyrone and Fermanagh; details of the proposed re-gerrymandering of Derry City were published in its columns, but, singularly enough, no editorial fulmination has denounced the grave wrong it is intended to perpetrate upon the members of the majority in the second city of "Ulster, nor has any indication been given by the same English newspaper of the professed abhorrence in which it holds the weapon of the gerrymander when the Six-County Government is at fault.

Quite rightly, the 'Daily Mail' to-day is lending valuable aid in exposing the widely-held fallacy that the coterie of Communists and others now fighting a losing battle in Spain represents the majority of the Spanish people, but its silence upon a similar subject when applied to the Six counties must be interpreted by Irish Nationalists as affording striking proof of its complete acquiescence in the activities of the salaried gerrymanders of Stormont, and as revealing a unanimity of opinion between north-east Unionists and British Tories regarding the taking of measures against the minority here that may best be efficacious in attaining the desired objective.

Condemnation of the Stormont Government, and of the avowed policy of its Ministers to boycott and suppress, was contained in the report recently issued by a select Commission appointed by the National Council for Civil Liberties to inquire into the workings of the Civil Authorities (Special Powers) Act, but here again, the 'Daily Mail' had nothing to say in favour of the members of the Commission or of their findings.

On all occasions, and whenever possible, the Stormont Government is whitewashed and made appear as always doing the right thing. Gerrymandering, educational disabilities, exclusion from offices in the public gift, open inciting to refusal of employment are but some of the disadvantages under which four hundred thousand Catholics and Nationalists labour in the Six Counties, these constituting a state of affairs in an area under British control and situated within a few miles of England's shores that would better befit one of those South American Republics, where revolutions happen overnight and petty tyranny and persecution are the order of the day, than the six north-eastern counties in this nation where 'loyalty' to an outside Power is held as a virtue and Nationality considered a crime.

This edition also carries a report of an Ancient Order of Hiberians rally in Scotland, apparently attended by 60,000 where they expressed strong opposition to the Spanish government.

19th September 1936

In a piece titled the "Pope and Spain" the FH says that the Pope gave a terrible indictment of the Red Terror in Spain.

26th September 1936

"Cardinalís Warning Wars"

It reports on Cardinal MacRory denouncing "the action of that small group of self-styled extreme politicians, the Irish Republican Congress, in sending a cablegram to Madrid pledging the Communist movement in Spain sympathy and support." The paper went onto condemn the "shameful message".

24th October 1936

It carries a report on the failure of Limerick County Council to pass a motion calling on the government to "suppress the Irish Communist Society".

Other local newspaper reports here.

Extracts from the Left press of the period