“I went to the Metropole then & had a long interview with Tash, during most of which she was blasting men in her best manner. It was a propos of the alleged shocking state of the streets at night, & the suggested women’s patrols & the bishop talking of course as if the girls did all the scandal themselves. Tash spoke very plainly of the bishop, & her remedy for the state of the streets wd be for the older women to catch a solider & tar & feather him & drive him down the quay […] She said a man from Limerick boasted to Seán Lane how some young men there – Volunteers I think – caught 6 girls that had been walking with soldiers and cut their hair off for a punishment, and I don’t think I ever so anyone so possessed with rage about anything as she was about this. She seems to have crushed Seán Lane into powder when he told her of it in an approving way…”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/35
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 29th October 1918 – 11th September 1919
WEEK 76: 21st – 27th April 1919
Easter Monday 21 April. – I sorted things out of drawers & cooked, and D. and T. came to dinner. They were taking Tom King to Woodstown in the mor afternoon to show him what the Saratoga required, so I went too. It was cold, but a fine sunny day and lots of furtz & primsroses out. We went over the house & let butterflies out of windows, & Louis was cross because he couldn’t have a proper sleep. There are an endless number of rooms; they can’t all be furnished. I went to look at the well & found it lovely. Louis slept going back but was cross again in the evening. Emily was out, so there was plenty to do.
Tuesday 22 April. – I went to town & got Within the Maze, which is fairly good. I visited Mrs Murray in the afternoon & saw her baby, “Frankie” – a very et fat cheerful child; his legs were lovely but his face had too large a rim of fat round it. She talked about him & the way she was turned out of most of her classes at the Tech, & about knitted coats, & promised to show me how to make one. Mr M. came in presently for his tea & we were talking of dogs a propos of Gyp, & their troublesome qualities and he said the only objection he had to them was that they didn’t live long enough, which I thought a very pretty remark. It seems Gyp was the old door-mat dog’s name too. I went to the Metropole then & had a long interview with Tash, during most of which she [Superscript: She never saw one that she’d marry for pensions!] was blasting men in her best manner. It was a propos of the alleged shocking state of the streets
at night, & the suggested women’s patrols & the bishop talking of course as if the girls did all the scandal themselves. Tash spoke very plainly of the bishop, & her remedy for the state of the streets wd be for the older women to catch a solider & tar & feather him & drive him down the quay. She says that method is used in America & works well. She said a man from Limerick boasted to Seán Lane how some young men there – Volunteers I think – caught 6 girls that had been walking with soldiers and cut their hair off for a punishment, and I don’t think I ever so anyone so possessed with rage about anything as she was about this. She seems to have crushed Seán Lane into powder when he told her of it in an approving way; reduced him to the point of saying piteously “But, Tash, I wouldn’t do it!” & wouldn’t speak to him for 2 days. She pointed out to him how well
[Transcribers Note: Page 150 contains some faint pencil writing underneath the pen in some places but this was not clear enough to transcribe accurately]
it was the girls, not the soldiers, that these men attacked, & I think represented the matter so as to alter his opinion of it. Kitty was there while Tash was talking of this, & groaned because she was so sick of hearing about it – she felt just as strongly as Tash, she said, but she was tired of hated hearing about it. I believe there is more stuff really in Tash than in any of them. Mrs Power seems to progress very slowly. I went to the C. na mb. meeting about the Wednes Aonach, and gave them my brooch & pendant.
Wednesday 23rd. Thursday 24th. – I went to see Rose Butler. Tom came in the evening & we went through more papers. I took Louis out in the afternoon pretty often that week, but it was horrible dusty weather.
Saturday 26th. – I went to town early, took my pipes to M’Cormack & asked him to sell them for me (he says Fr Dowley wants to buy a set) & went to Miss Watt to have the old green dress tried on
that I’m having altered to an everyday summer one. Mrs S.S. was arriving by the 1.40 train, & T. & I went in the motor to meet her. She & I had to call in at the club to a committee meeting held to consider whether or not to play the proclaimed Dawn Mist that night. The Two Wylies were very keen on it, Dr White was against it, because it might end in arrests, & its queer how the absence of arrests hitherto in Waterford makes the possibility of getting arrested over a thing an impassible obstacle to it in some of their minds, and Brazil, Kenny, Doyle & I forget who else all seemed fairly willing to risk it. Mrs SS spoke very well, in her own polite but unmistakeable manner, for having the play – said if you give wat to the authorities they always encroach further etc – & finally we left at 2.40, thinking only the details remained to be fixed. After dinner Aunt H. came in, & then Dorothea, and very late, Mrs Hayden.
We were talking about America & divorce, & Mrs H. was shocked to learn that Catholics do it there, & marry again, & no one objects. They call it annulment of marriage. Mrs H. thinks any divorce at all will destroy family life. We had tea up in the drawingroom. I don’t think I know a prettier room than it anywhere, and half the beauty is in the colouring, which the photos don’t show. We went down to the theatre in due time, & watched the first half of the concert – all the usual stuff – from the dress circle, & learned from J. Wylie that the committee sat till 4, & that as soon as we were gone everyone but him & his brother opposed having the play & it was finally voted down. They found a splendid excuse – women & children might be hurt if there was a panic following the entry of the police. When we went down behind the scenes for the lecture, Mrs S.S. spoke some of her mind
to members of the committee – asked them why they didn’t bring up that argument while they there were women there to answer it, etc. I think she made them feel fairly uncomfortable, & probably they said to themselves that they wouldn’t like to marry that one. The actors were very anxious for the play, & very angry with the committee. The lecture was about her time in America & the feeling there, & a good deal about Bowan Colthurst too – she gave a very detailed account of the murders of her husband & Coade. She said when first she applied for a passport to go to America she was told she could have one if she undertook not to mention the war or Ireland or politics even in private conversation while she was there. Now I suppose a lot of Catholics would tell you it would have been no harm for her to give that undertaking and break it. The lecture was highly appreciated. Dr White proposed the vote of thanks & I seconded it. We came home them, meeting Aunt
and Dorothea & Tom & Mrs Hayden & Miss Cutlar & Mrs Ryan outside.
Sunday 27 April. – A horrible cold windy dusty day. Mrs SS was late coming down of course & we took a long time over breakfast, talking. Á propos of religion she told me that her husband never believed in any future life, & was perfectly cheerful about it. She gets alleged communications from him now through Mrs Cousins, but puts no credence in most of them. There was just one that bore the stamp of truth; Mrs C. felt him near her & said “Hello Frank is that you?” & he said “Yes. So you were right after all.” And then after a pause – “I’m alive now, certainly, but what guarantee have I that it will continue?” This she said was exactly like what he would say. I mentioned papa’s theory that evangelical religion was a vulgarising influence, & it seemed to strike her; she remarked that he must have been
an interesting man. Then I showed her the images & she was much surprise; said she had been wondering if they came from Italy. Her brother Eugene is very religious, but it seems to have a good effect on him. Her conversation was as always delightful. We visited Dorothea & Louis after breakfast, not to mention Tom, and Louis was very good, but I was rather shocked at Hanna for never asking to hold him. I believe I would rather call her Johanna, but Hanna is what she uses as her name. While we were there, what I believe to be either Bannon or his brother came to say that the S.F. dramatic class were going to act the Dawn Mist privately that afternoon &
[Superscript: He said J.D. Walsh opposed the play fiercely in committee after we left. I wdn’t doubt him]
Wd Mrs S.S. come? Shortly after they said it wd be, so we like simple fools thought it would fit in with her photo at Poole’s at 1, & let us home to dinner at 2.30. But when
the photo was finished & we adjourned to the Town hall, we found the dramatic class only dressing for their photo, & it was obvious that things wd not be over for several hours. They insisted on having Hanna in their photo, so I went home to tell Aunt H. the approximate time for dinner, & at 2.30 she arrived, the damned photo having been taken at last. Before we were done dinner a car came to take us to the play, & of course we had a long wait before it started. These people are unbearable, knowing as they did that she had to hustle off to Carraig at 4.30. The play wd have been tolerable but for the loud rhetorical soliloquies & speeches of J. Wylie, the father of 2 sons one of whom had to reform the other from shoneenism [sp. ?] by getting killed in the rising. We had lovely time for a cup of tea before starting for Carraig, & I never had such a cold drive. There was a snowstorm part of the way
& a ferocious side wind all the time. Boland of Hearne’s went with us. We were frozen when we got to Carraig, & found Mrs Murphy in a low necked voile blouse. She gave us a gorgeous tea – her sister Mrs Gill with her son Harry, and Maurice Hickey were there too besides Seamus (looking awfully nice & very quiet & shy) and the doctor. Mrs G. says she can’t manage her son at all – he’s beyond her right before his face. Mrs S.S. considers she gives in to Owen too often, but sometimes she sticks out, & once she says said afterwards “Well, have you given up that idea yet?” “Oh, I suppose so – I thought I’d nag you into it but I suppose. I can’t.” We sat by a grand fire in the drawingroom till it was time to go to the cinema hall where the concert was. The grand big black dog is there still. The cinema hall was a
much nicer place than the old Town Hall. Seán Ó Floinn was there & had great conversation with H. There was a short bit of concert & then she came on. It was much the same as the previous night’s lecture, but there was something in it (being a Cumann na mban function) about the need of women taking more part in politics & joining the clubs as well as C. na mb. (she said everyone who had fierce Irish feeling in U.S.A. seemed to have got it from an Irish mother or grandmother) & she recommended them very earnestly to boycott the police, while of course they applauded without meaning to do it. She said people in America couldn’t get it into their heads that these police with all their devilment & their function as England’s garrison were Irishmen all the time. W. S. O’Floinn came back with us, also Boland,
& we had a lot of talk about the election at super – Seán asking questions about the intimidation in Barrack St & the accusations made against Waterford Sinn Féiners for not doing their share, & Boland giving making a defence for them which certainly sounded all right & denying most of the accusations of not having any men in certain booths, etc. We had some talk before that about Dr O’Hickey & his persecution & how it broke his heart that he couldn’t get a fair hearing at Rome – nothing but intrigue & procrastination. Maurice Hickey speaks pretty strongly about it. I asked Hanna for details going home, & she told me the beginning of it which I had forgotten – his calling a meeting of the Mát Nuadat [Maynooth] students to demand compulsory Irish after the bishops had pronounced against it, & telling them to pray for the president. But the most interesting part of
the day was what she told me about labour in America – Mooney & the police plot to accuse him of bomb throwing at a military parade, & how his wife & others were arrested & sentenced to a for life in face of clear evidence of his innocence – an alibi I think – & her visit to him in jail & how shocked she was at finding him in a cage & how she protested to the governor – “Pete Kelly”, a very rocky black guard who on finding who she was said he would do whatever she wanted, & gave her Mooney in a decent room with no warder for as long as she wanted him. Mooney was much amused. And the very Irish governors & police who do things like that would take bribes & plot against labour leaders with anyone. She told me about that strike where the forces of the law set fire to tents & burned people to death, & lots more that I can’t
remember. It was past 12 of course when we got home.