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Dr Long Condemns Catholics and Protestants in Limerick, Sparks Controversy |

Dr Long Condemns Catholics and Protestants in Limerick, Sparks Controversy

In a fiery speech delivered at the annual meeting of the Irish Church Missions in Delfast, Dr Long ignited a wave of controversy by denouncing both Catholics and Protestants in the city of Limerick. While the intentions behind his remarks remain unclear, his statements have sparked a heated debate about religious tensions in the region.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Long acknowledged Limerick’s positive attributes and expressed admiration for certain priests whom he believed were sincere in their efforts to serve God and the community. However, he strongly criticised the religious system in Limerick, asserting that it hindered and stunted the city’s development. His comments particularly targeted the Confraternity of the Holy Trinity, a Roman Catholic association, which he accused of ruining the city and inspiring terrorism.

The contentious issue of a car boycott, which has persisted for over three years, was also highlighted by Dr Long. He claimed that the boycott was a result of the Confraternity’s influence, causing him great difficulty in hiring transportation. Furthermore, he alleged that the Limerick magistrates, who were members of the Confraternity, supported and endorsed the boycott, thus demonstrating the power wielded by the Roman Catholic Church in the city.

Dr Long further claimed that the Roman Catholic Church’s influence extended beyond its own followers and affected Protestants as well. He recounted instances of Protestant individuals being harassed and intimidated by crowds, some of whom were associated with the Confraternity. The Queen’s Jubilee nurses, a group meant to provide medical care without religious bias, were also accused of refusing to attend to poor Protestants at the behest of the Roman Catholic Church.

The controversial remarks by Dr Long didn’t stop there. He narrated personal experiences of being denied access to patients in Catholic households and even facing abuse and hostility from individuals aligned with the Roman Catholic Church. He emphasized the need for a small Protestant hospital in Limerick and praised the Irish Church Missions for their work in the face of such challenges.

Despite the contentious nature of Dr Long’s comments, he did acknowledge the goodwill and support they had received from many people. He highlighted the increasing attendance at the Irish Church Missions’ dispensary, with more Roman Catholics seeking their services each year. Dr Long concluded his speech by expressing hope for a future where the people of Limerick would embrace the Protestant faith, reject the Roman Catholic Church’s claims, and contribute to a united and free Ireland.

Dr Long’s remarks have ignited a passionate discussion regarding religious tensions in Limerick. While some view his statements as a sincere call for change and religious freedom, others have condemned them as divisive and inflammatory. The controversy surrounding this incident is likely to persist as different factions engage in a spirited debate over the role of religion in Limerick and the future of Ireland as a whole.

Limerick Echo – Tuesday 19 January 1904

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