“The officers’ class was all about a rifle. Paddy – , the bold officer, had one drawn, & all its pasts named, but he didn’t show the inside of it. I learned that an oak is the best tree to shelter from bullets behind, being hardest for them to get through, & how a cartridge is made – he had a cartridge which he took to pieces for us, & showed us the cap & the little holes the spark comes through to the powder…. Paddy – says that in an execution squad only one rifle is loaded, which seems to me a ridiculous arrangement.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
WEEK 18: 28th January – 3rd Febuary 1918
Monday 28th. – Dorothea went up to Dublin with Mrs Coade to attend some
suffrage committees. I went down to the club in the evening to a meeting to start studying the policy, & we did actually get something done; that is. I read parts of the Resurrection of Hungary, with comments, & they seemed fairly interested, especially Miss Skeffington. Not a word out of M. New.
Then we talked about the Armagh election, & one girl said Sinn Feiners couldn’t go on living in Ballybricken if Donnolly won.
Tuesday 29th Jan. – Wet day. Tom came to tea & Aunt H. came in afterwards & we played bridge.
Wednesday 30th. – Aunt H. is ill again. I went to the Tech and dipped the brooch in hydrochloric acid solution which more or less oxidised it, and O’Shea tightened the collar round the enamel, & it was done. I started an oblong one for Nancy’s birthday. In the evening I went to the Fianna hall, calling at the hotel to ask about the jam Mrs P. offered me, & I showed Tash the brooch & she was greatly interested. The officers’ class was all about a rifle. Paddy – , the bold officer, had one drawn, & all its pasts named, but he didn’t show the inside of it. I learned
that an oak is the best tree to shelter from bullets behind, being hardest for them to get through, & how a cartridge is made – he had a cartridge which he took to pieces for us, & showed us the cap & the little holes the spark comes through to the powder. He also burnt the powder but it made no bang, only flamed up. The people downstairs were noisy as usual & officers had to go and scold them. Paddy – says that in an execution squad only one rifle is loaded, which seems to me a ridiculous arrangement.
Thursday 31st. – I went to town and visited J. Ayres. She was up this time, smoking by the fire. I went to the club a.t. but there wasn’t a quorum, so I went home with J. Power & visited with them. They loudly deny that Kitty Power is pretty; she looks deceitful & they don’t like Tash either, she’s a bold strump.
(78) Feabra February 1918
Friday Lá feile bríde. – A very wet day. I went to 4 shops looking for copper wire & found none but very thick stuff, then I went to the Tech & asked O’Shea about it & he said to buy it, so I went back to Walter Walsh’s & got an ounce for 5′. & spent the rest of the morning, or most of it, drawing it through a drawplate in the room where the boys draw carpentry diagrams. It was very interesting work; I got it very suitably thin at last in the 27th hole. Tom came to tea.
Saturday 2nd Feb. – I was to have gone on the plebiscite with Mr Kearns this afternoon, but it poured rain. We learned the Armagh election result from the Evening Star, which said it was absurd to suppose
that any Unionists voted for Donnelly – on the contrary they probably all voted for M’Cartan. I went down to the club in the evening to apologise to Mr Kearns, & he said “My dear child, I wasn’t expecting you!”
Sunday 3rd Feb. – T & D came to dinner and D. told us all about the suffrage committees in Át Cliat. It seems the English societies sent over to ask for co-operation in a demonstration of joy over the passing of the franchise bill, & another of gratitude to George for it – and they D all laughed at the notion except one woman from the north. And they were all respectable non-militant societies too. She told of a cousin of Lily Stephens’s, a young girl teaching kindergarden in a big school, who seems a constant prey to melancholia, & Ned does be trying to do her good. She is constantly to be found in the parlour with
him, almost speechless with gloom. D. had visited Lucy Garrett and had a great account of her work – she is getting a brooch from her for Nancy’s birthday. I went to the club in the evening, & spent half an hour discussing things with Mr Gallagher – he told me how the English tanners ruined the trade here – & then went home as there was not a quorum.