“This was the day French’s proclamation of Sinn Féin, the G.L., Cumann na mBan & the Volunteers as dangerous societies appeared in the press. I went to the court house a.d. to see if I could get in to see George Murphy’s trial, & on the way I met Mrs Callender with her 2 little daughters Margaret & Ita.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
WEEK 40: 1st – 9th July 1918
Monday 1st July. – D’s birthday. Mamma & I gave her a double saucepan & Ben a horrible book – The Valley of the Squinting Windows. Mr Giles & his son were working at Suirview in the morning, & when they were done we brought them in here & set them to dig up the well. When I came home from town they had only reached the planks, after digging down about 4 feet, &
were getting discouraged at the amount of thicknesses of planks that were there – 3 or 4 layers of them, that is, Mamma & Tom who had called in to look were getting discouraged, but Mr Giles had a sort of hankering to go on, & as we were talking, T. having gone, we perceived that a punch he had made with a long pointed tool [Superscript: between the planks] had filled up with water, & that settled it. Mr Giles was deeply interested in it & very willing to talk, especially about other wells he knew of. He had been employed to cover in one with concrete, & evidently thought it a pity. Soon after dinner they uncovered enough water to sound it, & behold, it was over 25 feet deep. It was very funny to see “Geordie” walking off backwards with the line to show the length between the knot where the water came to & the plummet, & that was the one occasion when he permitted himself to smile.
Eileen Power paid a visit in the afternoon & was much interested in it & admired the garden. Miss Bowman came in the evening to stay a few days. I went to tea at St Declan’s, & to a feis committee afterwards, where I learned that I was to judge the middle & junior history – oral of course – with Mr Butler, which I was very glad of, as it would limit my time for flag selling.
Tuesday 2nd. – I spent a good deal of the morning dispersing the pile of earth from the well excavation over the garden, & talking to Mr Giles about conscription etc. Like many people he has to stop working while he talks. It was a splendid fire hot day. They built up the sides of the hollow with piece of concrete out of the lane, & made two steps going to the well. Janie Bell paid a visit a.d. & was much
impressed, & offered me some plants for the little rock border I want to make along the side of it. She is reading In the Palace of the King which I recommended to her when she said she was fond of historical novels. I went to Mt Misery in the evening, to the G.L. classes which they hold there at present, but there were not enough girls there to do anything. I think its rather a mistake to keep it on in summer at all. It was a lovely evening, & a gorgeous view over the river & the town, which they pointed out to me with pride. Wednesday 3rd It was this afternoon that Miss Scarlett appeared with her young friend Miss Fleming on their way to Bonmahon for 10 days. Miss S. wrote to me sometime before, asking where was it was that Tom & Dorothea went last August & asking for particulars, so I told her all I could & she wrote and
engaged Mrs Moloneys rooms. Miss F. was very eager to hear what sort of a house it was & what sort of a place it was, & we took them upstairs to see Mr Addey’s pictures, which seemed to please them. Uncle E. came in & talked to them; Aunt H. had gone to Orristown that day. Miss Fleming seemed to me very nice.
Wednesday 3rd July. – Miss Courtney of the tech came to tea, to see pictures etc & to bring me the money for the turquoise ring. We showed her the images and some of Papa’s club drawings, & she was very much impressed, especially with the pen & ink illustrations of Tennessee’s Partner & the man passing the tree stump & savourness Deelish. She is a nice girl though a little bit insipid. I went to a feis committee afterwards. They can get no one from a distance to open the feis – of course its all priests they’re asking, except Eoin MacNeill & Kelly Ni Brian –
the last was my suggestion, & I’m not certain that Connolly did wire to her.
Thursday 4th. – This was the day French’s proclamation of Sinn Féin, the G.L., Cumann na mban & the Volunteers as dangerous societies appeared in the press. I went to the court house a.d. to see if I could get in to see George Murphy’s trial, & on the way I met Mrs Callender with her 2 little daughters Margaret & Ita. They would send no one else, or could find no one else, to take up her work here, so she had to come back after letting her house & sending Brian to his grand-parents. M. & I. were rather pretty little dark children, I. the prettiest. She is 5 & M. 8. The public was not let in the courthouse, so we went away, & she & the children came up & visited us in the garden a.d. T. & D. also came, to look at the well. In the evening I went
to a gen. meeting at the Club, & Dr White read aloud the whole of the Mansion House Conference’s letter to America, which was middling – it suffered from the absence of Griffith etc, & was a trife rhetorical & weak. Then Wylie read Fr O’Flanagan’s speech in Cavan that the papers weren’t allowed print. It was very good, much better than I expected. One good point was that we are the only nation out of all those in the war whose leaders go into danger ahead of the rank & file. He told how when they were badly in want of money from the Roscommon election, Griffith wanted to give £300 that he had just been given to re-start Nationality, but they managed to do without it somehow. It was crowded & very hot.
Friday 5th July. – All public meetings proclaimed. I went to the hotel a.t. & had some conversation
with Mrs O’Rourke, G. Murphy’s friend, who was down for the trial. She says Dublin is crawling with soldiers, loyalists even keep them in tents in their back gardens. I went to a feis committee & then back to the hotel for a parcel I had left there, & then waited to see Milroy go to the train at 10. He had been down, with M’Donagh, & someone else Mahony, to give evidence at the trials of Puzzau & Murphy. Puzzau was acquitted this day. There came a crowd down Bridge St, & a sidecar with Milroy & I suppose detectives, on it & an army of police, walking behind. Milroy looked very well.
Saturday 6th. – I went to Miss Dunne at the Granville for flags for the next day, but I had to go back to change ones I got because the carstand Powers objected to the words Not Damn Likely on them. I went & did some writing
at the club then, filling up applications for voters. They were very busy there that weekend. I think Brazil is improved by his sojourn in America.
Sunday 9th July. – I went to the Powers at about 12, but they wouldn’t sell flags in the streets for fear of being attacked by separation women, who are always damning them when they meet them, so I went home to dinner & went down again when it was time to go to the feis. We sold them inside the convent gate for a while pretty well; May Rolleston being also at work there, & then I had to go to the opening ceremony in order to see that there were women on the platform. Miss Doyle & I were the only ones. Fr Dowley opened the proceedings in Irish, then Fr Kelleher spoke very well in English, defying the proclamation. Fr Furlong was there, the first time for years, I
think. Then Matthew Butler & I went into the schools, & after he had left Tom in charge of the senior history, which was written, he & I retired to another room & received the juniors. There were several little boys first – 1782 – 1880 – then I had to go out to search the field for more competitors, & found 2 girls who found more, & we went through them – the New Ireland movement. There were a couple of boys in that class at the beginning, & some more boys turned up, but by 5.30 when the supply of competitors had run dry, not more than half the names in the program had turned up. I remember the same happening before; they go in for every competition & then leave out some. The average was fair & some knew a good deal, but M.B. kept each one too long. He was wearing the bloodstone ring that I was wont to admire in
Benson’s window. The Powers came in & sat behind us, listening & saying “Why didn’t you look at me? I was trying to prompt you”? They broke open the box & counted the money, & it was over £2. I went home with them & they wanted me to have tea, but the gas was bad & the kettle wouldn’t boil & I had come home as Janie Bell was to bring me some rockplants at 7. She didn’t come till after 8, though. I found Margaret & Ita had spent the afternoon here. Janie came when I we were playing bridge & I had to go down to her, but she wouldn’t stay more than a few minutes.
Featured Image: Granville Hotel c. 1922, (Image courtesy of NLI, Poole Photographic Studio, POOLEWP 2041)