“The Redmonites had a procession in the evening & I, not being sure at first that they were Redmonites, hung a flag out of the drawing room window, which infuriated them so that a lot of them came and hurled themselves against the door, & yelled & shouted, and put up a torch to burn the flag, I pulled it in just in time & they threw a torch in after it, but it went out as soon as it fell.”
WEEK 24: 11th – 17th March 1918
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
Monday 11th March. – Drizzly morning & wet afternoon & evening, of course. I went to town with D. in the afternoon to buy stuff for a coat & skirt & got some greenish tweed that she approved of, at Robertson’s for 38/6. In the evening I went down to the meeting on the Mall. It was late starting, of course, I was much harassed by Redmonite tulls roaring & screaming to drown the speakers voices & singing Keep the Home Fire’s burning etc. Dr White could not be heard much except close to the waggonette, but Milroy
& P. O’Mahony the organizer were a little better. Milroy spoke for a long time. I was with May New, & we went back to the rooms a little before it was over. Milroy was so hoarse he cd hardly speak at the committee. O’Mahony arranged with me to go out to P. W. Kenny the next afternoon & try if he wd canvass his district with me.
Tuesday 12th March. – Fine day. I went to Barrack St to make pies with D. in the morning, & found she had been asked to put up policemen during the election, but she didn’t want them & refused. In the afternoon I went down to the club & O’Mahony & Doyle & I drove out to Kingsmeadow on a car with a flag on each side, amid the execrations of the children coming out of school. Kenny received us on the doorstep & talked a good while
& was quite ready to go canvassing on Thursday afternoon, but as O’Mahony said, he might have asked us in. A box of little precious stones came from Wainright in Birmingham this day, for Shea & I to choose from. The Redmonites had a procession in the evening & I, not being sure at first that they were Redmonites, hung a flag out of the drawingroom window, which infuriated them so that a lot of them came in and hurled themselves against the door, & yelled & shouted, and put up a torch to burn the flag, I pulled it in just in time & they threw the torch in after it, but it went out as soon as it fell. I was My face & blouse were drenched with paraffin & the drawingroom smelt of it for days. They also threw a stone through the fanlight.
Wednesday 13th March. – Before I was done breakfast I had a visit from Mr Ginnell, who came all the way from the Metropole to tell me if a telegram came to us, it was for him. He was wanted by the police, but wished to avoid them till he had spoken at Ballytruckle that evening, & the wire wd be from his wife about his luggage which he had left behind. He was wearing a soft grey hat as a disguise. His hands are very shaky, as if he was quite old, yet I doubt if he is 70. I spent the whole morning at the Tech, looking over the stones with Mr Shea & choosing them. He called in all the girls to see them & they were greatly charmed. I chose a 6′ amethyst, a 6′ moonstone, a 6′ opal, a 1/’ green stone whose name I don’t know, 3 little 2′ turquoises, a 2′ opaque bluish green stone that I don’t know, & 3 2′ red stones that may
possibly be garnets but they have not the purplish tinge that most r
eal cheap garnets have. O’Mahony & Doyle came up in the afternoon, & we went out to Cove to look up the 3 votes there. One of them we found to be dead & the other 2 we located but they were out. In the evening I went to the Fianna hall but it was full of boys with sticks who said no girls were coming there at present, & the commanding officer insisted on sending 2 of them with me as an escort, so I went to the Metropole as the quickest way to relieve them. There I found Marie, Tash, & K Hicks just starting to the Ballytruckle meeting, and Mrs Power looking in great spirits, & Kitty looking rather lost. She had been hearing wild accounts of our house being broken into Tash dragged me into the bar to look at leaflets they were going
to give out at the meeting, and gave me a lot of them, then we sat out, and reached Ballytruckle without mishap. I think Tash wd make a good officer of Volunteers, the effect of the election on her was to make her ten times more commanding & energetic than ever. We gave away the leaflets to a civil decent crowd, and some time after the appointed hour the a car came with speakers on it and Kenny opened the meeting & Dr White followed – very good MacDonagh & Ginnell & Darrell Figgis were there too, but I couldn’t stay to hear them, having to be home early.
Thursday 14th. – I went to town for tickets & visited J. Ayres. In the afternoon I went to the club to meet O’Maho Doyle but he wasn’t there, I was told O’Mahony said I was to wait till he himself came, so I did, & he was so late that
by the time I got to Kingsmeadow Kenny had given us up & sent away his trap & was just going into town. Doyle was on Volunteer duty & couldn’t go, and I believe O’Mahony only kept me writing for him because he thought I would be shy going to Kingsmeadow alone, for he & Willie Walsh were going canvassing towards Ballinamona. I called in at the carstand Powers’ on my way back, & they pitied me greatly for having had to walk in rain. A Volunteer named MacSweeney came to tea to them. Mamma & I went to tea at St Declan’s, in honour of their wedding anniversary. D. & T. were in their wedding clothes & I in my bridesmaid gown. D. sang a couple of songs after tea and just after the last Grace & Sam Bell appeared to pay a visit. They say that they
also wear their wedding clothes on their anniversary. They had brought a lot of little rock plants for D. They were had not been there ten minutes when more visitors were announced – Mettrick and Charlie, who had been to look for Mrs Green’s lecture, not knowing it was put off. I had a lot of conversation with Mettrick on the subject of typewriters, starting from the Newtownian. He has one at the school & seems accustomed to various sorts. G. & S. left presently & I soon after them, as I wanted to hear some of the speeches at the Quay meeting. I had to go to the club fast, and a howling mob that was waiting to form a procession came yelling around the building while I was there, & no one would be let out. I had to stay some time making badges with May New till they moved one (they had broken all the windows
the previous night, so they did not throw stones) then I went along Lady Lane & I met them at the end of it, a great procession with torches, marching very well but still yelling, going down Broad St into George’s St. Captain Redmond was arriving that night and they were passing the time thus before going to meet the train. When I got to the Market house the meeting was just over & they were singing the Soldier Song. Then we returned in procession to the club, & De Valera spoke out of the waggonette at the corner of Colbeck St, mostly about the necessity of the Volunteer, & excellently about conscription, & the duty of resisting it to all lengths. He looked whiter than before & as thin as ever, but very nice. He has lovely curly hair. There was a sort of gathering in the committee room then, & De Valera said he was ready to canvas the
next day, & spoke very sensibly on the subject of canvassing, saying that decent persons who could control their tempers were the only sort for it – and canvassers must always bear in mind that the Redmondites they are arguing with are not enemies, but really want the same as we do ourselves only they don’t believe we can get it. A dissatisfied voice – “The pig buyers don’t want liberty!” De Valera held that they could do better business if they had it, & about at this point I went home.
Friday 15th. – I had to call at the hotel in the morning, & there I found Mrs Power & Mrs Wyse Power together, which pleased me greatly, for I thought they never spoke. I learned that the election was to be on the 22nd. I went on to the Tech & did some soldering & a lot of wire drawing. In the evening I was
to go out to Cove again, & Mrs W. Power was sent to go with me, but Cherry & Murphy were still out. Cherry’s wife swore he wd vote for Redmond. Mrs P. had been canvassing out near Ballynanessha in the morning. She said that Mrs Sheehy Skeffington expects to be in Dublin again this month, & that women in Dublin are going to send in claims for votes in great numbers simultaneously, under & over 30, in hopes that the crowd will make it difficult to look up all their birth certificates. I went down to the League to a meeting about flag selling on Sunday, & then went to the club for stuff for badges. It had not come, & M. New was very important sending out orders about it. One O’Neill, who is in charge of leaflets, was sending out boys here & there around the town with bundles of them, & I spent a good while with him & M. New sorting them into
bundles on the floor. Then the Gibbon came, & I was just going when N. Whittle came and set me to work in the inside room to find if certain names on a bit of paper were in the register. Wylie & S Mathews & others were there pouring over various copies of the register, & MacDonagh came & talked to me about the conscientious objectors in Mountjoy, whom he admired very much.
Saturday 16th. – I went to visit Eileen in the afternoon & after having tea we sat by the window & watched everyone going up & down. Darkey wasn’t there at all. We saw Miss Brown go into the park with a little darkish Yorkshire terrier & Eileen said she told her she had paid off her lb for him. He must have been at least 30/- altogether. I went on to the Powers then, & found them with one Darmody who was
discouraging them about the election, saying the Redmondites were perfectly certain of winning after their canvass. I had to go out to Cove again, & I got them all to come with me. By Eileen’s advice we stopped likely-looking men coming in to town, & while talking to one, a rather small handsome dark young fellow, another going by asked who we were looking for, & turned out to be Thomas Hogan. J. and I talked to him, mostly J. of course, and the first young man, who had stayed to listen, joined in on our side very certainly. Hogan promised not to vote against White anyhow, & went off, the young man with him. We went on & discovered the 2 blackguards still out, but found M’Coy’s lodge keeper, Doyle, who was in Darmody’s jurisdiction. He seemed to think we had no right to ask him what he thought, & evidently meant to vote however
M’Coy did – he had an astonishing English accent. We went back to the club then, & Whittle set me to write a list of all the Quakers – he wanted to send some pamphlet to them. Then Mrs W.P. & the Powers & I & some others made badges for a long time, & I went home with a sore throat.
Sunday La Feile Padraic. – I had to stay in bed nearly all day, & so avoided the flag selling, the same as last year. I only got up because T. & D. and Charlie Murphy were coming to tea. They & Mamma had all gone to the afternoon meeting in the park, & Mamma had had a visit from the dark young man we met on the road yesterday, who said P. O’Connor had canvassed him & told him he had a vote, which he had not known before, & he wanted me to find out if it was
true. T. and D and Charlie Murphy came to tea and we had a great argument about the right of the Catholic church to forbid people to read what books they like. He talked as if freedom meant that every ignorant person would be compelled to read all sorts of difficult religious books, and seemed to think it a blessing to have experts to control spiritual affairs. We learned afterwards from D. that he got the notion that Mamma was very religious. We played casino too, and of course he won. I do think his hair is a trifle too long, but its beautiful. He considers, with Dorothea, that there is a lot of race difference between Catholic & Protestants here, & that he feels rather isolated in the Literary & Scientific Society in Cork. Why don’t the Catholics come into it then? If I was a Catholic, I’d be ashamed to say that. He had a very funny account of Pat & Bunchy,
having chicken pox one after the other, and Pat entertaining Bunchy with great success when B. was ill, & then when she got it, expecting B. to do the same by her, which B. was quite inadequate to.
Featured Image: Image taken from page 97 of Gems and Precious Stones of North America – George Kunz – British Library Commons Images (1890)