Letter From The Bishop Of Limerick, Edward Thomas
Limerick, 4th December, 1902
Dear Father O’Donnell,
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the practices of the Great Southern Railway Company in relation to their staff composition. As you are aware, this company, which enjoys a near-monopoly in three provinces of Ireland, has been granted significant authority by the British Parliament. However, despite the fact that the Catholic population in these provinces exceeds two and a half million, while the Protestant population amounts to a quarter of a million, the railway company appears to be deliberately favoring Protestants for all significant positions. This situation goes against what would be expected in a population with such religious demographics.
It is disheartening to witness the railway company, which should operate as a neutral trading entity, instead behaving as if it were a governmental department. The blatant overrepresentation of Protestants in positions of importance raises serious questions about the impartiality of the company’s practices. I commend you and those who have joined you in bringing attention to this matter. It is a credit to your efforts that this issue has been brought to light, exposing the shameful conduct of the railway’s directors. I must emphasize that this criticism does not extend to all Protestants, as it is clear that these individuals are an exception rather than the norm.
It is my sincere hope that the public outcry and potential involvement of our parliamentary representatives will compel the directors of the Great Southern Railway Company to reassess their discriminatory policies. Enclosed with this letter is a cheque for £2 as a contribution to the funds of your association, which is tirelessly working to address this injustice.
With my utmost regards and prayers in Christ,
Bishop of Limerick
Rev. W. O’Donnell, P.P.
Northants. Evening Telegraph – Saturday 06 December 1902