In a letter to the editor, the author sheds light on the concerning state of Limerick at the time, led by Dr Long’s arduous efforts to spread Christianity. It appears that the local priests stand against any Protestant aid, leaving the city’s inhabitants in a precarious situation. Results of Rome’s celibate priesthood’s guidance in Limerick seem to be far from ideal.
The letter highlights quotes from the Most Rev. Dr O’Dwyer, Bishop of Limerick, who calls out Limerick’s issues, particularly the prevalent sin of drunkenness. The Bishop lamented the unabated vice in his Lenten address of 1900. He stressed that despite the myriad religious practices in place, such as churches, sacraments, preaching, and confraternities, drunkenness continued to overpower their community.
In an address in St. John’s Cathedral in 1902, the Bishop presented alarming figures illustrating the severity of intoxication levels. Surprisingly, about 907 men and women were convicted for drunkenness in the city, totaling nearly 3,000 arrests that year. The Bishop asserted that unless this vice was checked, Limerick would remain an impoverished and destitute city.
The author of the letter provides these facts from a Roman Catholic Bishop and questions the silence of the “Catholic Times” editor in response. The situation in Limerick during this period was undoubtedly troubling and seemed in dire need of transformative change to rid the city of its vices and challenges.
Kent & Sussex Courier – Friday 24 October 1902