“In the afternoon I went to the Powers, to go on plebiscite work to some monastic institutions. We went first to the de la sale college & saw Br. Ignatius, a big red fat man, not very polite & entirely opposed to us, taking refuge behind politics & the governmental nature of the place, of course. They asked if the students could sign outside, which he could not deny. The Powers of course disliked him even more than I did.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
WEEK 20: 11th – 17th February 1918
Monday 11th. – The main waterpipe near Knockaderry burst this day and people were in a dreadful state for want of water; some went out with cans to the well at Cove Lane. We laid in some before the water was turned off, but Dorothea didn’t know about it until too late. I went to tea at St Declan’s, & Eileen was there too. D. had a letter from Tony, he seems to be progressing slowly. We went to a lecture by Dr Mary on Women in Industry at the Protestant Hall; the Dean in the chair & 2 other clergy beside him. Protestants can be fairly priestridden too. The lecture was very
interesting, the she seemed quite grateful to the war for opening new professions to women. Where 1 was working for money before it 70 are working now. She spoke of some policewomen who are in authority over policemen, and of an Italian woman who is captain of a merchant ship, and of 7000 clergywomen in America – there are some in England too. The Dean made a rather silly speech proposing a vote of thanks; he wondered talked of St Paul in reference to the clergywomen, though not very seriously, & of though approving of equal suffrage, does not think men will ever allow women to make the laws, because in the last resort everything rests on force – which is a denial of Christianity. Then he got very stern & sentimental on the wrongness of the State interfering with the sanctity of the home, which, if it didn’t mean State pensions for mothers which Dr M. had been advocating, I don’t know what it meant.
Mrs Clarke spoke on the desirability of women architects, Miss Leighton on the grievance of women teachers in regard to the pay they get compared with women for the same work, a man named Paterson on the chance that there mayn’t be enough work for all men & women after the war, if all women are to work outside their homes, & Tom spoke denying this, & saying the work is there wanting to be done though it may not be thrown open to people. Then Dr M. replied, dealt rather feebly with St Paul, though she did say that most good causes now find the Bible apparently in their way, & said in answer to the dean that laws must ultimately rest on the consent of the governed, & you can’t rule people by force if they, like the suffragettes, wd rather die, then give in. I came home while she was at it, as it was 10 o’clock.
Tuesday 12th Feb. – Aunt H. took ill again. Wet day, but it cleared in the evening & I went to my
class, though late. I found that the dark handsome innocent looking boy of 16 is really 21, a teacher at Watapark, & was in the Rising. The Powers told me.
Wednesday 13th. – I went to the Tech, in the morning and did the fastenings of the brooch. In the afternoon I went to Jennings & he actually succeeded in putting the crown on at last. In the evening I went to the hotel for a bit on the way to the Fianna hall. Mrs P. was still sick & in bed; her heart seemed to be troubling her. Tash approved of my hat, & told me never to wear anything else coming there in future. Kitty talked about the G.L dance practices & the trouble Daly has to make the good dancers dance with the learners instead of leaving them out. The dance committee ought to help him. There was a general meeting at the hall, at last, but some of the girls were very late coming, & it was
well there was no officers class. I got my little lecture on St Brighid though, & hope for a more exciting subject next time. Aunt H. was still bad, better one day & worse the next, & no nurse to be had, but she got Katie Walsh to stay up a couple of nights.
Thursday 14th, St Valentine’s Day. – I went to town b.d & visited Julia Ayres & got tickets. In the afternoon I went to the Powers, to go on plebiscite work to some monastic institutions. Mr Durand came with us, he is very nice, & not as deaf as I thought. We went first to the de la sale college & saw Br. Ignatius, a big red fat man, not very polite & entirely opposed to us, taking refuge behind politics & the governmental nature of the place, of course. They asked if the students could sign outside, which he could not deny. The Powers of course disliked him even more than I did. Then we went to Waterpark, where they were all at
dinner, & couldn’t be seen. Then we went to Mount Sion & were very well received by a Mr Nolan, who laughed heartily but took a book to get filled. The next place was the Little Sisters. We paid quite a long visit there, the Good Mother being so full of conversation. She was willing to send a book among the old people; said there was a cute old Sinn Féiner to whom she would commit it. We tackled the old man at the gate, who was not interested & rather frightened of signing anything, but got his name at last. Then Mr. D went home, & we visited the Good Shepard convent & were received much more favourably than I expected. The Superior would give a book to the penitents, to sign in if they wished. It seems they are very holy indeed, & whatever they pray for is sure to come. We went away then, & they had great pleasure in telling their father
they only got one signature & had to pay a shilling for it – meaning that Durand tipped the gate man something when we were leaving, but certainly not a shilling.
Friday 15th Feb. – I went to the Tech & finished the brooch, though as usual it took much longer than I expected. Aunt H. was still ill, and Mrs Kinsella had a bilious attack this evening.
Sunday 17th Feb. – D. and T. brought a very interesting little book on the civilization of India China and Japan, I forget the writer’s name, but he puts India entirely apart & says China & Japan are more like the West than they are like it. We went for a walk across the river after dinner, it was a lovely afternoon, and the ferry boats were packed. We went along the Belmont road a little beyond Belmont, & coming back met Hilda Hill in her trap & she drove us to the ferry.
We were talking of fashions a.t. and figures, & D. & I maintained against Mamma & Tom that women should be equally as flat in front as men, which they denied. [Short-hand symbols here]. I went to a special industrial exhibition committee meeting at the League in the evening, & Miss Doyle & I had to wait a long time till the others came. We went over the syllabus, and people began to come from M. Butler’s lecture on Crotty before we were done, but I didn’t stay for it.