Sources


Articles, etc in the Irish News 1936 concerning the SCW.

This report is an initial survey of the coverage of the paper during the war. The articles, editorials and letters mentioned here are listed to show the response of the paper and its readers to the war.

This list completely ignores the substantial coverage of the war given by the paper as that is really outside my remit. A handful of exceptions are made for details that caught my eye.

As time permits more extracts from these articles will be added to the site.

CC, 22nd June 2002.

July - September 1936
20th Editorial on Spain

23rd Editorial on Spain

24th Reports of "communist atrocities".

27th British Worker's Sports Association 46 members of the delegation to Barcelona for the Peoples games had arrived back in London on the 26th.

28th Editorial

29th Letter to editor

For Catholic Spain

Sir,
In today's issue of the Irish News your leading article on Spain is misleading, inaccurate and mischievous. From your account of events and the issues involved in the unhappy struggle now proceeding one would gather that there was a rising on the part of the people to free their beloved land from the grip of a Communist Government. Nothing could be further from the truth. The present struggle in Spain was precipitated by Fascists, monarchists and aristocrats who joined together in attempting to overthrow a Government which was elected by a majority of the votes of the people. The present Government in Spain is neither Socialist nor Communist; it is a purely Republican Government. In fact there is not a single Socialist in the Government. This information is given by a leading journalist from Spain.

It is also a mistake to assume (as you seem to do) that on the rebel side are gathered all those who wish to defend the interests of civil and religious liberty, and on the other side - the Government side - are gathered all those who stand for Communism, Socialism or other left wing forms of Government. According to one responsible writer reporting in today's Press, many of the rebels are using churches, convents, etc. as forts from which to fire upon the working class troops.

This can be verified by a report in today's Daily Herald in a message written by a lady doctor to Dr. Levertoff, Vicar of Holy Trinity, London. This lady also asserts that it is not part of the Government policy to destroy sacred buildings as such.

If, however, buildings of this kind are destroyed or damaged through the fighting, then the main responsibility rests upon those Fascists, Militarists, Royalists and aristocrats who fermented and precipitated the present rebellion in Spain.

The masses of the people in Spain are fighting for the retention of a Government democratically elected by the people of Spain. They are fighting to defeat the attempt to foist Fascism upon their country. They are fighting to retain the republic which was established by the blood sacrifice and sorrow of the workers of Spain. It is only natural that Socialists should associate themselves with the defence of the present regime in Spain and assist in defeating the Fascists and Militarists, but to suggest that the present rebellion is an attempt of the masses of the people to destroy religion and life in the name of Communism is a sheer grotesque distortion of the facts.

In view of your appeal for liberty and tolerance in Belfast, I trust you will be tolerant enough to publish this letter. Yours etc.

(Alderman) Harry Midgley MP
232 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast, 28th July 1936.

(Our readers who are familiar with unbiased accounts of events and atrocities in Spain at the present time, are, we suggest, capable of judging whether or not the statements contained in the letter of Alderman Midgley MP are accurate. Editor, Irish News.)

30th P 6. Letters to editor

For Catholic Spain

Dear Sir,
Mr. Harry Midgley has shown himself so discerning a critic in local politics that I am surprised t find his name to such a confused and unintelligent piece of criticism as appeared in your newspaper yesterday.

The thesis which I understood your leader to maintain was very moderate one that not all the common people in Spain supported the burning and looting of churches, and that in some places, such as Burgos and the country about it, the people as a whole, were behind the revolt.

The chief positive contribution of Mr. Midgley's to our knowledge of what is happening in Spain is his assertion, on the authority of a lady doctor, that churches and convents were being burned because the rebels had used them as sniping posts.

Just why Mr. Midgley should accept the lady doctor's story as true, and, at the same time would (presumably) reject as untrue the story brought back by another lady of priest's heads being carried around on salvers, I am at a loss to understand.

I have no doubt that rumours of sniping from churches and convents are widespread in Spain, but Mr. Midgley should know from his Belfast experience that when there is shooting by concealed marksmen rumour-mongers are very quick to find the snipers billeted in whatever position agrees with the rumour-mongers prejudices.

Mr. Midgley should also know that, in the four months before the Spanish rebellion broke out, over sixty churches had been burned in Spain without any allegation that they had been used for criminal purposes. These figures were given in the Cortes and have not been contradicted.

I cannot say that in Spain churches have not been used as firing posts, but I can say that it is very unlikely that a Catholic would make such use of a church or convent.

There is some force in Mr. Midgley's point that this rebellion is against a democratically elected Government. But the Socialist leaders who were elected to power in the February elections were not the men in charge at the outbreak of the revolt. They had allowed power to drift into the hands of the extremists, e.g. moderate Socialists like Senor Azana had given way to Communists like Senor Largo Caballero ('the Spanish Lenin'), and the government had shown itself either unwilling or unable to prevent the intermittent burning of churches and convents.

It is to establish a Government which will be a Government and not a system of licence for anarchists that the rebels have taken up arms.

I feel fairly sure that among the rebels are just as good republicans as can be found in Spain, and I know that they are led by soldiers who refused to stir to save King Alfonso.

If Mr. Midgley would believe that reports which appear in such papers as The Times, The Daily Telegraph and Le Matin, from which are our leader writer quoted, are just as likely t contain the truth as are the Daily Herald reports, he would not have written such an absurd letter.

Yours, etc. E.C.

31st Top of p6 Letter For Catholic Spain

Dear Sir,
In reading today's Irish News, I cam across a letter sent to you by Harry Midgley, and in it he had the audacity to judge you very severely for making false statements in regard to the trouble in Spain. He has as his authority a leading journalist from Spain and the Daily Herald report of a letter written by a lady doctor to Dr. Levertoff, vicar of Holy Trinity, London. I wonder does Harry Midgley think that the people who read the Irish News are so dense that they require a champion like him to explain the position in Spain to them.

Is it not a fact that long before these disturbances took place that these poor working-class people of Spain who, according to Harry Midgley, are innocent of the crime of burning churches and convents, did actually burn down churches and convents? Well, I don't want to go too deeply into this business, but I hoe and trust that these so-called Rebels will be successful this time in their aim, not only for their cause, but for the cause of Christianity. I am enclosing a report in today's Daily Mail which should meet Harry Midgley's case.

Yours respectfully,
Fair Play, Lisburn,
29th July 1936.

August 1936
1st P4. Editorial. Atrocities in Spain

1st P6 Letter. For Catholic Spain

4th P4 Editorial Foreign intervention in Spain

4th P7, Letters. 4 letters in Col. 1-2

6th P4, 2 editorials

7th P2, letters col. 5-7, inc. H Midgley

8th P3, Belfast communist meeting
Spain, Germany - and the Six Counties!

A mild sensation was caused at a communist meeting last night in Library Street, when Mr. T Geehan referred to the atrocities in Spain, and said that they were greatly exaggerated by the capitalist press, a young man called out: 'You cannot repudiate the camera.'

When reference was made to the brutality of the Italians in the Ethiopian campaign, a man shouted: 'You need not talk about Italy or Germany, look what happened here in 1921 to 1922.'

It was also suggested at the meeting that all the workers should unite and start a drive against Lord Craigavon and remove him from power, as he was mismanaging Northern Ireland, and had only existed because of the sectarianism and disunity in Belfast. They should stop him cruising about on the Mediterranean.

Mr Geehan, after the Means Test had been explained by Mr. Wm. McCullough, of Belfast Branch, said that the reductions in payments would compel young men to join the army to escape starvation and this was the National Government's policy.

Dwelling on the report of the Council of civil Liberties, the speaker said that the report had opened the eyes of millions in Britain to the despotic powers of Lord Craigavon and the real character of the Special Powers Act.

10th P4 Ed. Germany & Spain

10th P6, Pilgrimage to mass rock, col. 5, top of page.

11th P7, 4 letters, col.1-2

12th P5, Col. 3 propaganda piece, Barcelona's nights of bloodshed

12th P6, letter, Midgley's reply

13th P6, top, letters

14th ?, col. 1-3 letters

15th P4, letters on top of col. 5

15th P7, Scenes at Belfast meeting
Speeches Delivered in Storm of Interruptions

Man ejected from Hall by Stewards

Motion in Support of Spain's Government Evokes Clamour of Protest

Scenes of disorder marked a meeting under the auspices of the Socialist Party of Northern Ireland in support of the Spanish Government in the Labour Hall, Belfast, last night, and the speeches were delivered amidst a constant din of interruptions.

One man was ejected from the hall by six stewards.

At another stage there was an altercation at the door of the hall, when a man who was attempting to get into the meeting came to blows with some stewards.

Police on duty intervened and persuaded the intruder to leave.

Amongst the speakers advertised to attend the meeting was Mr. Murtagh Morgan, Belfast, and just after the meeting had begun a note was handed to the Irish News reporter signed by Mr. Morgan stating that he had not authorised the use of his name and that a disclaimer had been sent to the secretary and chairman of the meeting.

When the resolution in support of the Spanish Government was put a man asked permission to move an amendment, and there was an outburst of protest, but the man remained on his feet. The chairman found it difficult to proceed for some time, but eventually he declared the resolution carried, his voice barely audible, above the clamour of protest by those in support of moving an amendment.

The Chairman, Mr. Samuel Haslett (Chairman of the Socialist Party), said the speakers represented different organisations who were there to make a public gesture of support for the workers of Spain in their fight for democracy. Amongst those who he announced would speak was "Comrade Morgan from the industrial side."

Later a note was handed to the Press that Mr. Morgan would not be present.

Mr. Jack T Dorricott, speaking of the Socialist attitude to Fascism, said it was fantastic that the simple catholic peasants of Spain would shoot their priests, evacuate their homes and burn their churches.

Heckling Begins
Interrupter - It has been done.

Mr. Dorricott went on to say that his party had always stood for democracy, and a man interrupted and said - Did they do it in the last general strike in England?

There were cries from several parts of the hall and general disorder followed. The interrupter continued to shout and was forcibly ejected by six stewards.

When order was restored the speaker said they were told that democracy existed in Northern Ireland. If they were denied the right of free speech they could prove that democracy did not exist.

Mr. Peadar O'Donnell, who said he had spent two weeks in Spain just prior to the Fascist rising, stated that rising was against the constitutionally elected Government of February, which had defeated the Fascist tendency by an overwhelming vote.

'I was in Barcelona the Friday before the rising,' he said, 'and one man told me that he and other workers had been sitting up for town nights in the trade union hall waiting for the Fascists to rise.'

Scuffle at Door

While Mr. O'Donnell was speaking, a scuffle took place at the door of the hall, and Mr. O'Donnell appealed to the audience not to get excited and to leave the matter to the stewards.

Mr. O'Donnell, continuing, said it was quite true of Barcelona that churches had been burned, but it was something which should not have been done.

He referred to an incident in regard to a Catholic church in Galway, and there were cries of 'Keep to Spain.'

Mr. H Midgley rose to speak and was interrupted. He said the interrupter was one of the type who had always been asking him to stand up for civil and religious liberty and was not prepared to extend it to others. A man who came there to interrupt was guilty of intolerance and a bigot.

Mr. Midgley referred to Catholics and democracy and there was a voice - Keep the Catholics out of it.

Mr. Midgley - An ex-member of the Nationalist Party has no right to come here and tell me what to keep out of.

The Voice - On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I am still a member.

More Interruptions

There was again a series of interruptions.

Mr. Midgley said that he had received many threatening and abusive letters recently and there were manifestations of enmity against him ever since he had entered the hall.

'I have fought,' he said, 'for the minority in Belfast for eleven and a half years - (cries and protests) - during which I have tried to get benefits for everyone. Now I am told that I am to be driven out of public life.

'My answer to everyone from Dock Ward who holds that view is this: I would rather be out of public life than stay at the expense of selling my birthright of liberty.'

There were frequent interruptions during the remainder of Mr. Midgley's speech.

Mr. W H McCullough also addressed the meeting.

Further Disorder

At the close of the meeting there were further scenes of disorder when a man in the body of the hall said he wanted to move an amendment to the motion.

The chairman opposed the request to move an amendment, stating they were in control of the meeting and could not accept it.

The resolution was as follows:

'This meeting proclaims it support and sympathy with the workers of Spain in their struggle to maintain a democratically elected Government against the brutal forces of Fascism and reaction.

'We express our satisfaction at the stand taken by the International Workers' movement against the intervention by capitalist Governments in support of the rebels.

'We rejoice in the hope that the forces of democracy will be triumphant.'

The meeting dispersed without further disorder. Police and detectives with a tender were on duty in York Street outside the hall during the whole proceedings.

18th P4, ed. Progress of the war

18th P5, Religious refugees from Spain
May find temporary home in Ireland

Arrangements being made in Co. Dublin House of St. John of God

The House of St. John of God, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin, may shelter some of the brothers of that famous Nursing Order who have escaped martyrdom at the hands of the Spanish Reds.

Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated there yesterday for the Spanish Brothers shot by the Communists.

'It is not yet known how many members of the order have met their death at the hands of the Reds,' Rev. Bro. Gerard Madden told an Irish News correspondent yesterday, 'but the following facts show that a large number have been murdered.

'Eighteen Brothers (including the Prior Novice-Master and 13 Novices) were shot outside their hospital in Calafell.

'Owing to the troubled state of Barcelona, practically no news has been available, but it is definitely known that 30 Brothers have been killed there.

'The actual number may be much higher, as the Brothers of St. John of God have three hospitals in Barcelona.

'The Order has 17 hospitals in Spain, including mental hospitals, orthopaedic hospitals, eye hospitals and epileptic colonies, and it can be presumed that the Communists have paid their attention to some of these.

Patients Shot

'In one hospital some of the patients were shot as well as the Brothers.

'Some of the brothers have managed to escape death, and in spite of difficulties and dangers have made their way to France.

'It is expected that some of these will make their temporary home in some of the houses in England and Ireland belonging to the Irish-English province and arrangements are being made for their arrival.'

The Father-General of the Augustinians in Rome has informed the Prior of the house at St. John's Lane, Dublin, that two of their churches have been burned and twelve priests murdered in Barcelona.

18th Small piece on atrocities on both sides:

"while the Government militia and sympathisers proceed against suspected Royalists and Fascists by a process of weeding out, the insurgents hold mass executions."

[Now that is a quote from a French report, but even so, should be noted as it runs against the Irish News normal coverage.]

18th P5, Col. 3, 1st ref. To Irish Brigade
20th P4, Great Irishmen of Spain. An historical piece on the links.

20th P6, col. 3 Letter

20th P7, General O'Duffy and Spain, right side of page

21st P4, letters, back to H Midgley

22nd P7, col. 7 mid page, Future of religion & NI Socialist Party [2 articles]

22nd P8, letters

24th P4, editorial, Opp on Spain

24th P5, Col. 4-5, Support for Spanish patriots. Runs onto p7.

25th P6, col. 5, letter

26th P5, col. 4, mid. Irish Brigade for Spain

27th P4, ed. Military situation in Spain

27th P5, col. 5, lower mid, Gen. O'Duffy Irish Brigade

28th P5 Irish Brigade for Spain

Retired British Army officers offer their services

It was stated at General O'Duffy's headquarters yesterday that no further official statements concerning the proposed Irish Brigade for Spain would be issued for the next four to five days.

Offers of assistance still pour in. Included among them are some from retired British army officers with distinguished records.

Among them are Major O'Malley, Suir castle, Golden, Cashel, Tipperary, who is also a Knight of Malta, and Lieu. Col. PB Butler, DSO.

28th P9, col. 2, bottom. Dundalk Cllr and Gen. O'Duffy. An attack on O'Duffy's position on NI.

29th P5, Col. 2, The Irish Brigade

29th P6, A day of reparation. Also several letters

31st P4, 2 editorials. Blacks and Reds & British labour

31st P5, col. 5 Irish Christian Front, 6000 men

31st P6, col. 5-7 several pieces

September 1936
1st P5, col. 3, bottom. Trade relations with Spain

2nd P4, Edit. In the Med. Today

2nd P6. Letter
Moscow and Madrid

The most valuable information about the war in Spain hardly reaches the English using countries. Neither the English Press and radio nor the Irish newspapers and radio, which are obliged to depend on the English agencies, have given us this vital piece of news which was announced by the French radio on Sunday.

M. Rosenburg, the envoy for the Russian Soviet Government, visited President Azana in Madrid on that day and expressed the sympathy of Moscow with the Madrid Government. The President replied that Madrid stood beside Moscow.

Even so, we will continue to hear it denied that the Nationalists in Spain are fighting against communism.

I am, sir, etc.

Aodh de Blacam

Ravensdale, Co Louth

5th P3 Unions Grant to Spanish Reds
Another Branch of AT & GWU Protests

Strabane branch of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union last night passed a resolution protesting against the actions of the Executive Committee in subscribing 1,000 from union funds to aid Spanish Reds.

Mr John Kelly, UDC, PLG, the local union secretary, who proposed the resolution, said the EC had no right to authority to make any contribution. By their act that had rendered it impossible for a Christian to remain a member of the union.

If the Executive wanted Communism, let them go to Russia. As a worker of Ireland, he did not want Communism in their ranks.

P4, Ed. Still another Spanish Government

5th P4, col. 6 Beware False prophets [approx. 10inches] Jesuits & Spain

7th P7, Col. 4-5, Letter from Midgley, also Bottom of the page, "In reparation.."

8th P4, Ed. Mr Midgley Answered

8th P6, most page , letters, Catholics & Spain

9th P6, Ed. Spain's Fascists Aims

9th P7 1000 Grant to Spanish Reds

Threatens to Split Trade Union in Derry

Workers Defy the Executive

A split in the ranks of Trade Unionism in Derry is threatened over the question of joining in protests against the actions of the executive of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union making a grant of one thousand pounds to assist the Spanish Reds.

At a meeting of the Derry branch of the Union the question of making a protest was raised and had the support of the majority of workers present.

It was pointed out, however, that such meetings would require 14 days notice, and on this point it was understood the executive refused to sanction the holding of a protest meeting.

A large section of the members - said to be 80% - afterwards decided to call a meeting despite the decision of the executive, and this has been arranged for Thursday night.

One of the men stated last night that the majority of the men agreed that it was not merely a question of religion that was involved, but Christianity versus paganism.

The workers of Derry and, he believed, the workers of Ireland as a whole would never stand for the new paganism now so painfully in evidence in Spain.

9th P9, col. 3-4, letters

10th P4, col. 6-7, Newry Priest on Spain, 2 full col.

11th P4, col. 3-5, letters

11th P7, col. 4

1,000 Grant to Reds in Spain

Derry Workers Protest Against Action of the Union Executive

A largely attended meeting of the Derry branch of the Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union last night passed a resolution protesting against the actions of the Executive in London in sending a subscription of 1,000 in the name of the Union to assist the Spanish Reds.

The resolution stated that the contribution was indirectly a contribution towards the appalling atrocities that had shocked every nation outside Russia and aimed at undermining Christianity.

While fully recognising the magnificent work of the Union had done in providing the conditions of its members, they trusted that that protest would cause the Executive Committee to reflect on their action and take its members in to consideration under any similar circumstances that might arise in future; otherwise they dare not visualise what disastrous results might follow.

The resolution ended with an appeal to other branches to submit their protests and let the Executive Committee know that neither Communism nor its agents would be tolerated in the ranks of the Union.

Mr P McCafferty, chairman said it was obvious that the Government in Spain was bent on a crusade against all forms of religion. That meeting was representative of all members of the Derry Branch, irrespective of religious persuasions, showing that people other than Catholics were opposed to Communism, he added.

12th P4, col. 7, top. Grant to Spanish Gov.

12th P5

Labour representatives in Newry Disassociate
Themselves with letter upholding Spanish Government

Following a letter published in the press from Mr Myles Connell UDC Newry, upholding the cause of the Spanish government as against that of the rebels, a meeting of Labour representatives on Newry public boards was held in the Dockers Hall, Mr J Poacher, PLG, presiding.

Following deliberations, the following resolution was passed.

'That we, the Labour representatives on the Newry public boards, wish to dissociate ourselves with the letter from Mr Myles Connell, which appeared in the local press."

The following names were attached to the resolution:

James Poachers, PLG; William Byrne, UDC, PLG; John Neary, UDC; John Byrne, PKG; Daniel McAllister, UDC; M Griffen, UDC, PJG.

12th P6, col. 6-7, letters

14th P4, ed. What are we fighting for?

14th P4, mid page. Newry Catholic Labour Representatives

14th P5, col. 6-7, bottom right. Irish Brigade for Spain/ centre page, Irish Bishop on Spanish war

15th P1, col. 5; letters
P4, Ed. The Pope and Spain

16th P5, col. 3 Northern volunteers for Spain
Communist Salute at Farewell Social

A farewell social was given in the Labour Hall, Belfast, last night to Mr Fred McMahon, Ravenhill Street, and Mr Joe Boyd, who have volunteered for medical service in Spain. Both men will join the Scottish unit, which consists of 6 ambulance units.

After the presentation of cigarette cases, the Red Flag was sung and Mr McMahon gave the Communist salute - the uplifted clenched fist.

Mr Boyd left last night, and Mr McMahon leaves today to join the unit in Glasgow.

They leave Glasgow on Thursday [17th] and will travel by road to Dover and over to Calais, from whence they will go to Paris, then Marseilles, and into Spain via the Pyrenees. They will work in the mountain region outside Madrid.

The Dublin Spanish Relief Committee have merged their funds in the Scottish and Northern Ireland funds.

Forty volunteers from Northern Ireland came forward, and Mr McMahon and Mr Boyd were chosen.

Alderman H Midley, MP, wished them bon voyage and Godspeed.

16th P5 Irish Christian Front
Denounced at Irish Republican Congress

The newly organised Irish Christian Front was vigorously condemned in resolutions of the Irish Republican Congress, which met in Dublin last night.

The Congress sent a cablegram to Largo Caballero, the Spanish Premier, denouncing the Irish Christian Front and General O'Duffy and the General's volunteers as Anti-Republican, Anti-Labour and representative of only a small minority of the Irish people.

'The Front is a puppet of a newspaper trust, and in an underhand league with General O'Duffy to revive Fascism in Ireland,' declares the resolution, which condemns such 'shameless and reckless efforts under the guise of religion.'

'We pledge our sympathy and support to the Catalonia and Basque peoples in their fight,' concludes the resolution.

The Irish Republican Congress is the advanced Left wing movement which split from the Irish Republican Army membership.

16th P7, col. 4-5, letters

17th P4, col. 3-5, letters

P7, Dublin Republicans Greet the 'Spanish Lenin'

A cablegram to the Spanish Premier, Senor Largo Caballero, known as the 'Spanish Lenin' was despatched from a meeting of the Irish republican Congress in Dublin.

It denounced the newly formed Irish Christian Front, already substantially endowed to send medical aid to the insurgents and to fight Communism in every parish in the Free State.

The meeting unanimously castigated the Front, together with General O'Duffy and his volunteers.

This Congress comprises the former Left Wing of the Irish Republican Army.

The meeting also passed a resolution alluding to the death of the 24 year old Limerick IRA man, Sean Glynn, found hanging in his cell on Sunday last, and who had left notes to his mother complaining of cruel treatment.

18th P4, Ed. The Basques

18th P5, col. 3, top. Derry Workers protest

19th P5, col. 5, Trade Union Conference

19th P7, col. 1-3, Letters

21st P4, Ed. The Real Issue

P5, col. 1-4, Cardinal on Spain [runs onto page 7!]

21st P5, mentions the Scottish Ambulance Unit leaving Dover on the 20th on the steamship Forde for Calais.

There is another note that the Secretary of the Mallow branch of the ATGWU had published the union executive's letter about the grant. There is a quote, "Irish workers are in sympathy with the democratic Government in Spain and opposed to General Franco, who has declared his intention of suppressing trade unions and establish a Fascist form of government." [Not actually clear who is being quotes, the EC or the Mallow man.]

22nd P7, Col. 1-5, lots of letters

24th P5, col. 2, lower, "Mass of Atonement"

P5, col. 4, 1,000 grant.

24th P7, col. 1-2, more letters

25th P5, col. 5, NUR grant to Spanish Reds

25th P6, col. 5-6, letters

26th P4, Ed. The Defence of Alcazar

26th P7, col. 1-3, letters

28th P4, Ed. Uniting the Anti-Reds

28th P6, col. 2 Derry Catholic Ex-Servicemen
Warn Against Communist Agitators in Ireland

'We pledge ourselves to resist by every means at our disposal any attempt to establish a Communist regime in this country, and warn those with that object that their activities will not be tolerated,' states a resolution which was unanimously passed at a largely attended meeting of the Derry Catholic Ex-Servicemen's Association last night.

The resolution deplored the tragic happenings in Spain, and went on to 'place on record our unanimous approval and support of those gallant patriots of the red Terror who are fighting and determined to save the Church and Christianity from destruction by Communist conspirators.

We pray God that things may bring it to a successful conclusion.'

29th P4, ed. Under Which Banner
The anxiety created in many minds by the growing strength of Communism can cause no great surprise. The great political parties supply their followers with cogent reasons why the public should retain their old loyalties and reject appeals from agitators who desire the overthrow of parliamentary institutions. Communism is made to appear as an alternative - an unpleasant and a stormy alternative, it is true - to the policy of government beloved of democracy.

The point that is seldom emphasised by upholders of the old political creeds is that the hostility of Communism is not restricted to methods or manners of governing. It is more concerned with attacks on organised religion than on party governments. Lenin's statement that religion is the 'opium of the people' is not a chance quotation lifted unscrupulously from its context to distort the speakers meaning. Other Lenin's have expressed themselves in almost identical terms.

It is not without significance that wherever the opportunity has presented itself Communism has exerted its influence to seduce from their religious beliefs those sections of the population that have been noted for their devotion to their faith. In Communism we are not dealing simply with political fanatics or social revolutionaries. We are face to face with a movement which recognises no divine laws and wages a relentless war against Christianity.

At a moment when tempers are being frayed in controversy over the civil war in Spain, and at a time when the inhuman Reds are finding strange champions, we set forth in another column, two doctrines - the teaching of Communism and the teaching of the Catholic Church. The bitter agony of Spain has forced the world to study the progress of the fight between men of the same race who battle under opposing standards. Intense interest is aroused, after a rude awakening. Not all those who hoped for the approach of the Earthly Paradise knew that the fair promises of Communism would result in the devilry of war.

P5, Enniskillen Volunteers for Spain

Young men in Enniskillen, numbering over thirty, who volunteered for service with General O'Duffy's Irish Brigade for Spain, have received instructions to be ready to depart when they are called up.

Though no date is mentioned, it is believed that they will shortly be under orders.

[Note: the records only show 7 went to Spain with O'Duffy.]

P5 Communism and Fascism
Dublin speaker condemns both

'The world is in rather a serious and critical state, and there is no rhetorical exaggeration about the saying that today we are witnessing a race between civilisation and catastrophe,' said Dr. Cyril Norwood, president of St. John's College, Oxford, and former head of Harrow, in an address on education and citizenship delivered at the Dublin Rotary Club yesterday.

'It is obvious,' the speaker said, ' that Europe is very rapidly crystallising itself into two opposing factions, popularly called Fascism and Communism. Russia has crystallised itself as a Communist State. Italy and Germany as Fascist States. It s not known which way Spain will go.

'Elsewhere you will find dictatorships big and little. One can see the outlines of the next war shaping themselves in their grim reality without making much strain on the imagination, that war in which nothing is more certain that that civilisation as hitherto known over large areas of the world will perish and become extinct.

'Now I am not standing here to say that Communism is better than Fascism, or Fascism better than Communism, but I do stand here and say that both alike despise, insult, and trample underfoot the ideal of democracy. In both alike there is complete denial of liberty of thought and loud exultation's for what they call the fallen and sinking corpse of Liberalism.

'The timber camp, the concentration camp and the barren islands await those who dare to differ from the majority. In both alike there is a growing disrespect for, and growing evaluation of learning and knowledge.

' No one is allowed to honour knowledge for the sake of knowledge or to follow out an argument whithersoever truth may led it. There is room only for knowledge which is adjusted to and serves the purpose of the ruling power.'

The same issue of the paper reports " 'Nazi good wishes to the 'heroes of the Alcazar.' "

30th P4, Ed. No flight of the Wild Geese

General Cabanellas, head of the Provisional Government in Spain, has, it is reported, refused General O'Duffy's offer to put two thousand Irishmen in the field against the Marxist troops. The refusal, which must have been generally expected, will cause no heartburning in Ireland and will lose the Nationalist forces no sympathy.

Was it not a little late in the day to think of renewing the flight of the 'Wild Geese'? It may console some to feel that the 'Wild Geese' did not refuse to fly but were refused a landing place. Ireland, happily, has made a notable advance since the days when her soldiers and chiefs fought and perished in European fields, from Dunkirk to Belgrade. Such progress as has been made is the result of earnest endeavour, not as a consequence of quixotic adventuring.

The reason that influenced the Spanish Nationalists to reject the services of General O'Duffy's brigade is not uncomplimentary to Ireland as a nation. They link it with the countries which would be willing to give aid but which are asked to keep out of the fight and let Spaniards win their own war of liberation. Their desire to fight unaided will commend itself to everyone with a sense of fair plat, and will create no international complications.

If the national spirit is strong enough to win in Spain, it should be strong enough to foster in Ireland also the spirit of self-reliance and self-help. The Irish who fought for France and Spain in the eighteenth century won a fame for themselves that they could not win in Ireland. When the Nationalist army occupies Madrid, as it is likely to do so soon, the absence of Irish soldiers will bring no pain. To-day Irishmen can gain for their own country a high reputation if they concentrate on their own and their country's needs and leave cloak-and-sword romancing to the novelists.

P6, col. 4-6, Letters

To make these reports easier to read I've divided the notes into several sections.


Other local newspaper reports here.

Extracts from the Left press of the period





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