“We had Mrs Callender & Mr Coates to tea, & each of them drank 3 cups of tea with a lot of sugar in each. I don’t see how they expect people’s allowance to last under such treatment; they ought to bring sugar if they require it. He showed us a photo of himself with his wife & child; the wife is Russian, a chemist & a writer of pamphlets, & very plain.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/33
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: December 10th 1917 – August 4th 1918
WEEK 34: 20th – 26th May 1918
Monday 20th. – I worked at my history lesson on Red Hugh’s imprisonment & escape. We had Mrs Callender & Mr Coates to tea, & each of them drank 3 cups of tea with a lot of sugar in each. I don’t see how they expect people’s allowance to last under such treatment; they ought to bring sugar if they require it. He showed us a photo of himself with his wife & child; the wife is Russian, a chemist & a writer of pamphlets, & very plain. He & Mrs C. were in Kilmeadan the day before, starting Unions there. They both went to the Trades Hall after tea, & I to an election committee – a very small one, only Doyle & Grant & J.K. Walsh. We had to think up
suitable women for each subdirectorship in case conscription shd come on before the election, & it was very hard. We put Miss Doyle for head director, & K. Hicks for Transport, & Mrs Power for commissariat, & Miss Mac Donagh for one; [superscript: Mrs Phelan, I think for Canvassing] I forget which, & Tash for Meetings. No woman here could be legal adviser, & we were badly stuck for Literature; they thought of May New, but I don’t think she would do at all. I don’t believe half the women would accept the posts.
Tuesday 21st. I visited Dorothea a.d., & found she had a letter from Ben, in which she mentioned that he has at last read his Life of Wolfe Tone, & is delighted with it. There was no first aid class; Miss Connolly had to go away somewhere.
Wednesday 22nd. – I went to the tech & drew
wire for Kitty’s ring & its had hard work & hurts my fingers. Mrs Callender was having very bad luck all this time; talking to girls at & they promising to come & join up in the evenings, and then never coming. Murdoch had been looking wretched for weeks though eating pretty well, & this day Aunt H. found him in her garden apparently in great pain – poisoned with something possibly – & had to chloroform him. We missed him greatly, but I had occasion to visit Mrs Murray shortly after, & found they had been very good to him & done all they could for him, & Mr M. had always been very fond of him, & she said she cried when she heard of his death. Charlotte took me to a prayer meeting at the Presbyterian church, & it was awful, except
the hymns. Mr Coade prayed for victory in the war, & against these people who are plotting with the terrible enemy, & preached about the 6-winged arch angels in Revelations, & tw Miss Walpole & a man prayed, also both mentioning victory in the war; the man pathetically entreating that it might not be much longer withheld from us, & Mr M’Farlane prayed better than the others, asking that we should act righteously in all our business dealings etc. I hoped he would get through without praying for victory, but he did not. He prayed that the good people in Germany might be strengthened – “For we believe that there are such.” A great effort of toleration. I told Charlotte I had never found life or soul in any religious gathering; nothing but dry bones; & she very nearly agreed, but said she had never heard half such praying for victory at a Wednesday
prayer meeting before.
Thursday 23rd May. – I went to the Fianna hall in the evening & we were drilled for an hour with street brats looking in at us through the window. M. Myler’s elder sister wants to join, & I think it would be a good idea.
Friday 24th. – I spent a hard morning at the Tech drawing wire & trying to solder it into a ring. Mrs Callender used to come up & pay me long visits these days; I suppose she was lonely.
Saturday 25th. – Mrs C. came to stay a week with us. She got a lot of girls at the meeting last Friday night, & is much encouraged.
Sunday 26th May. – D. and T came to dinner, the first time for about 6 weeks. Mrs Callender spent the day organising at Kilmacthomas with Mr Coates. Dorothea says Tony wrote to his
father lately & said he wasn’t coming home because he didn’t choose to be conscripted, though if he were at home now & quite well, he would enlist. I can’t understand the mind that is willing to enter the service of a power that would do what it considers unjustifiable tyranny, & really it does seem as if he wasn’t ever coming home.