Times Past In Longford

MacEoin’s speech

An extraordinary display of welcome mingled with general enthusiasm greeted the arrival in Ferns,Wexford of the former Free State President, Mr Cosgrove, who was accompanied by General Sean MacEoin, TD, Longford Westmeath. General MacEoin TD who was treated to an enthusiastic reception said: “Griffith and Collins laid the foundation of a great country when they brought home the Treaty and recommended it to the people.

The people showed their wisdom and their judgement by their acceptance of that agreement. Remember when Collins and Griffith recommended that Treaty to you they were called traitors, cowards and subverters of the existing republic. Griffith said to you that “the Treaty was your national and economic salvation”.

Our representatives are on the League of Nations Council and finally the head of the delegation, President de Valera, presided over the League Assembly this year. He basks in the sun of Griffith’s,Collins’, O’Higgins’ and Cosgrave’s work and I don’t wonder at that. He accepted the credit for their work and labour here in 1920-1921 when he was in America posing and splitting our people there into warring factions.

Roddy asks for votes

One of the more picturesque candidates thrown up by the campaign for Clann na Poblachta is Roddy the Rover, otherwise Aodh de Blacam, whose homely column, smelling of turf smoke and buttermilk, is known to thousands of readers of the “Irish Press” since 1971.

Roddy dressed in tweed with a “new look” overcoat, the green look of it stretching almost as far as his ankles, a red scarf, a stoop and one wisp of hair over an otherwise bald head , stood the other morning in the Mall of Drogheda in the biting cold. Women and girls crushed beside him saying “Let us see Roddy”. Introduced as “Roddy the Rover of the ‘Irish Press’” and his speech in faultless English – he is a Scotsman – was sharply critical of de Valera. Roddy Connolly, son of James Connolly, stands for Labour against Roddy.

Up the town of Drogheda the Labour Club had portraits of a diminutive pipe-smoking Frank Aiken (Fianna Fail candidate) and a giant out of place Roddy Connolly taking his position at the head of the poll. Roddy the Rover spoke of cheap cabbages, the raising of more children in the west and jobs for men in their own country.

Before Mr de Blacum saw the light of Sean MacBrides’s torch he used to write at election time about the campaign of his Uncle Sam and Aunt Louiza in their old Tin Lizzie.

‘Trickery and collaboration’

Dear Sir. The arrest and mock trial of Republican leader Sean MacStiofain and sacking of the RTE Authority are the best acts of trickery and collaboration with the British Arm,UVF, UDA and the Orange order.

Jack Lynch has collaborated with the British Crown ever since the trouble following which he sacked three of his Ministers. Kevin O’Kelly, editor of “This Week” on RTE had interviewed MacStiofain and the result of the broadcast of that interview was that both interviewer and interviewee were jailed and the RTE Authority sacked.

Desmond O’Malley went to the United States to preach the gospel of Fianna Fail justice to the Irish and Irish Americans. The gospel which O’Malley tried to get over was the gospel Lord Carson preached in 1912 and that Bill Craig is preaching today. He told the Irish in the United States not to contribute to the wives , mothers and children of the Men Behind the Wire in Northern Ireland.

He said they were the wives, mothers and children of IRA gunmen and murderers of British soldiers. I cannot see why Catholics of the south are letting Lynch, O’Malley and the Fianna Fail henchmen sell the country out to the British crown.

Where is Ballymagash?

Ballymagash is a name that is synonymous with the great man of RTE Frank Hall. But where exactly is Ballymagash? Frank’s village was supposedly situated somewhere in Cork.

In fact, it isn’t all that far from us here in the Midlands. Sumerhill is the correct name for the village being used for Frank’s new series. The South Meath village is the home of Hall’s famous centre of wit and ignorance.

The series looks like being as successful as the magnificent Hall’s Pictorial Weekly and the name Summerhill will become as well known as did Dunboyne when it was the home of Leestown for the long running show “The Riordans”.

The election

As we write these notes the election is the main and only topic with the public and the media. In this area most of the candidates or their representatives have visited every house and all report a good response.

The latest man in the field is former Bunbrosna footballer, Peter Rogers, Mullingar and a native of Multyfarnham, who is on the Sinn Fein ticket. The question of the moment will Albert get his overall majority or will it be a rainbow government. We personally do not know the answer and if I might say we care less.

We quote the saying of the noted politician of old and famed, Daniel O’Connell. A man breaking stones on the roadside with a hammer in those days,asked O’Connell, who will win the election. O’Connell’s answer was ‘Don’t bother son, you will go on stone breaking no matter who wins the election’ !

Authoritative Granard history

The community in Granard was out in force recently for the launch of the revised edition of the local history book, ‘Granard its History our Heritage’. This revised edition of ‘Granard Its History our Heritage’ includes a detailed account of the archaeological dig which took place last June at Granardkille, in what was widely believed to be the old town of Granard.

The account is written by Dr Kieran O’Connor, who headed up the dig at Granard and Mary Dillon. Among other things the dig which took place opposite Granardkille cemetery, uncovered a prehistoric, probably Bronze Age, cremation site.

The primary aim of the dig was to try and determine just how old the stone works under the ground were. The writers conclude that the site was probably developed and deserted around the 16th and 17th centuries and therefore was probably not the location of the village set up by Richard de Tuite in the 13th century.

It is thought this settlement lies closer to the existing town of Granard.