“I went down with Hanna to Harcourt St to see what was going to be done about the Árd Feís that was proclaimed that morning. There was the usual male crowd there, increasingly rapidly as delegates arrived. It came out that Griffith, Mick Collins, & Milroy & a few other prominent men had held a midnight meeting in a hotel, with blocks of delegates from other hotels, which they called an Árd Feís, & decided to keep on all present officers & have no compromise with the Party in future Ulster elections. There wasn’t a single woman at it, & several male members of the executive also were not notified.”
NLI Call Number: MS, 3582/36
NLI Catalogue Link can be found here
Date Range of Diary: 12th September 1919 – 27th January 1920
WEEK 101: 13th – 19th October 1919
Monday 13th Oct. – My 31st birthday. Miss Bowman sent me a book called the Rainbow Trail, not too bad, & Aunt H. a pair of scissors & £1. Aunt N. & Is. Subsequently gave me Ryan’s book, “The Man Called Pearse.” I went to see Cousin Deborah in the morning and dined there. She seemed less deaf than usual & fairly well. Constance talked about the Pooles of Sweetfarm where she was staying lately; seems to have a very good opinion of Hubert, says his mind is perilously broadened by having been in France. His family seem a little scared by him. She also said how good Eileen is to her mother. I went out to Leonard Webb’s then and J.W. showed me all her sketches at Holyhead & Bell Hill & Glenalla. The Some of them were lovely, but she does pick unattractive subjects often. The Franklins must be very
interesting, especially Michael. They say Cyril is not improved by having been in the army, poor wretch. J.W. was very interesting & interested, as always, & arranged to take me to the hotel to visit Mrs Trapnell etc on Thursday evg. I went to the I.W.F.L. in the evening & heard a nice looking young man named Hughes talking about all the ways in which women support the capitalist system. It was interesting, & there was a good deal of discussion. [Superscript: J.J. Walsh called to see H. & spent half an hour talking in the hall].
Tuesday 14. – Hanna came back about 9 in the morning, having had a successful time. She went to bed after breakfast & I wrote a review of The Years of the Shadow by K. Tynan. Owen had a cold & didn’t go to school but tinkered with a broken bicycle lamp all the morning.
I went to visit Dolly Hill & found her in. Dear me what a gorgeous house & garden she has. She has a dark blue silk gown, with chiffon sleeves & looked very well in it. She asked lots of questions about Bessie & agreed that she spoiled the baby and asked questions about myself and Mrs S.S. & politics & so on. She had a splendid fire & gave me a good tea, but then Richard came in & made himself very unpleasant with violent abuse of everything in Ireland outside Ulster and domineering fulminations against conscientious objectors – all in perfectly good humour, without the least idea that he wasn’t being perfectly civil & agreeable. Men are extraordinary – some men anyhow. Its very bad for them to be small. Dolly has a lovely grey Persian cat to whom
she seems sincerely attached. I went on to a sort of social at the I.W. F. L., which was a sort of orgy of cigarette-smoking. Conrad Petersen & all several of the haughty frivolous crowd from the dance were there. I was talking chiefly to Mrs Connery in the inner room; her husband was there, silent with a frequent cheerful grin & a nice face.
Wednesday 15 Oct. – I went out in the morning to buy myself a winter coat, & got one in the 2nd shop from here to Rát Ó Máine, a little place called Cahill’s, with a big display of coats on, all, they said, Irish made. I then went to Russell the lapidary, & found him a rather tyrannical old man who will only show you what he wants to sell. He made me buy a dozen little pale amethysts at 4′ each, but I got nice coral & a beautiful flat
oval bit of lapis lazuli. I went to see tea with Mrs ffrench Mullen, & then to visit the Stephenses, but they had a there was a very tiresome civil servant from Malay & the British there very nearly the whole time. Professor Rudmose Brown came in a while after him & presently got some show in the conversation & was most entertaining with his account of Archbishop Bernard, the new Provost, trying to make all the Church students attend morning chapel, & how they hastened to change into other faiths on account of it. R.B. is evidently a pagan, & has a thoroughly free mind with a taste for mocking. He was delightful anyhow. Ned harmonized well with him – Lily didn’t say much but was nice.
Thursday 16th. – I went down with Hanna to Harcourt St to see what
was going to be done about the Árd Feís that was proclaimed that morning. There was the usual male crowd there, increasingly rapidly as delegates arrived. It came out that Griffith, Mick Collins, & Milroy & a few other prominent men had held a midnight meeting in a hotel, with blocks of delegates from other hotels, which they called an Árd Feís, & decided to keep on all present officers & have no compromise with the Party in future Ulster elections. There wasn’t a single woman at it, & several male members of the executive also were not notified. Griffith made a speech to the crowd, telling what had been done, & then we were told to go away because the police were coming for a raid, but the police did not materialize. I met Lasairfhiona there. I went to the National Library for a little while, & then met
Hanna at the Liberty café (at Liberty Hall) & we dined there & she had a long conversation with Nora Connolly & another girl. N.C. would look nice only her bobbed hair gives her the effect of an overgrown child. I went to afternoon tea at Miss Scarlett’s, & met Maud Joynt, J. Webb and Alice Jacob there. The latter had some rather nice sketches she had done lately in Ciarroide [sp.?]. Madame Markievicz was coming home that evening & Miss S. said she wd go with me to the train to meet her, but she was so sure the train would be late that we missed the arrival altogether. I met J.W. at the Standard at 8, & Leonard Webb came with her. We visited with Mrs Trapnell in the parlour & saw her youngest child Geoffrey – how an English voice does take away all attractiveness
from a child. Gracie sang to us – vile pseudo-Irish music hall stuff – but she has a nice voice. We visited T.H.W. in bed one by one, & he showed me genealogical books explaining Alice Jacob’s relationship to me. Gracie had a lovely brooch – a big pink topaz with pearls round it.
Friday 17th. – H. went to Harcourt St and came home with a tale of a deputation from Ulster that wanted to lay proposals for propaganda before the Ard Feis & failing it, tried to explain them to Griffith, but he simply brushed them aside & wouldn’t listen. They reached Hanna in a state of rage & disappointment bordering on tears, & said she was the first person they had met at No 6 who thought them worth sitting down & talking to. They want to start a paper in Belfast, & that, meaning
a money grant, would not appeal to Griffith etc. I went to tea at Moyne Rd, and then went out to Dolly’s but she was out.
Saturday 18th. – I went out to Deilzilny [sp.?] in the afternoon & visited Lucy & Mary are more like relations than nearly. Anyone else, they take such an interest in your intentions & criticise them freely. Lasairfhiona in unfortunately devoted to Griffith – she is a bit narrow politically, as I suppose people say about me.
Sunday 19 Oct. – Fine bright day. In the afternoon Mrs Kettle & Mrs O’Brien came & we all went for a walk out beyond Palmerstown park & along by the Dodder that’s a beautiful walk along the bank if it only extended a little further.
Then we went a long round of roads, which brought us back to where the Tir an Lubair [sp.?] tram starts. I had Mrs O’Brien to walk with – I forgot to say that Owen & Betty Kettle came too, the latter is a very pretty, nice-looking kid, but of a rather delicate appearance. Mrs O’B. talked about the teaching profession – she either is or was one herself – and abused the Ryan family with great force, especially Min. Said she was a great grabber & is hated by all other teachers – that they whole family are very keen for their own advantage, great flirts in the sitting about in men’s arms in public style, & great admirers of men as compared with women. When she told Min that Hanna had been sacked from the Rathmines Tech for being in jail, Min instantly replied. “Oh, is that a good job? Would I have any chance of it?”
She also blasted Griffith, & quoted him saying to Paddy Little that he knew the story of the Party cheering the 1916 executions in parliament was untrue, but that lies were sometimes very useful. Also how her father heard him using the story at a meeting & came up on the platform & said “You lie, & you know that you lie” – Griffith took no notice of the remark but went on with his speech, about the worst way he could have taken it. I left them at the tram & went to Maxwell Rd, only to find them just finished tea, but being in the kitchen they easily provided me with some more. They are bothered with their kitten not being well. I went on afterwards to the Stephenses, but they had 2 girls – Doreen Synge who was staying with them, and another – in the room, dull in themselves & preventing any intimate conversation.
I remember Ned talking about all duty being ultimately duty to oneself, and Lily asked me to come on Thursday afternoon and see the children.