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Limerick Archbishop Appeals for Relief Funds from America | Limerick Gazette Archives

Limerick Archbishop Appeals for Relief Funds from America

In an extraordinary move reflecting the dire circumstances in Ireland following the recent rebellion, Archbishop E. J. Hanna of San Francisco issued a heartfelt appeal for funds to alleviate the “appalling misery” and destitution gripping the nation. The appeal, published in the San Francisco Examiner on the 18th, underscores the profound misrepresentation of Ireland’s situation in the United States.

Under the auspices of prominent figures such as Cardinals Gibbons, Farley, and O’Connell, a nationwide initiative has been launched to address the pressing humanitarian crisis in Ireland. The American relief committee, chaired by Archbishop Hanna, pledges to extend support to Ireland, with funds to be administered under the guidance of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Walsh.

Archbishop Hanna’s plea sheds light on the severe constraints imposed by censorship in Ireland, which inhibits the dissemination of accurate information regarding the country’s plight. The Bishop of Limerick, the Most Reverend E. T. O’Dwyer, has decried the current situation as one of the darkest chapters in the history of misgovernment.

According to Archbishop Hanna’s appeal, no corner of the island has been spared from the devastation. In the capital, Dublin, hundreds have perished, and thousands have been either deported to England or detained within Ireland. The prisons are overflowing with men, women, and even children, while many more languish in English concentration camps. The absence of adequate provisions for the families left behind by the incarcerated or deceased exacerbates their plight.

The repercussions of the rebellion reverberate beyond the urban centres into the rural heartlands. The agricultural workforce, depleted by arrests and deportations, faces the daunting task of harvesting crops with diminished manpower. Families once reliant on the labour of their now absent breadwinners confront the spectre of destitution.

Despite the enormity of the challenges, Archbishop Hanna’s appeal offers a glimmer of hope. In San Francisco alone, over $12,000 (£2,400) has been raised thus far, demonstrating a groundswell of solidarity and compassion towards the people of Ireland.

The Archbishop’s initiative underscores the transatlantic bonds of kinship and solidarity that unite the Irish diaspora in America with their compatriots enduring hardship at home. As efforts to alleviate suffering gather momentum, Archbishop Hanna’s appeal serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and generosity that define the human spirit in times of adversity.

Evening Irish Times – Thursday 06 July 1916