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Limerick Bishop Voices Opposition to Partition in Letter to Trade Unionists |

Limerick Bishop Voices Opposition to Partition in Letter to Trade Unionists

In a poignant correspondence addressing the crucial issue of partition and the dire need for freedom of discussion, the Most Rev. Dr O’Dwyer, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Limerick, has penned a letter directed towards Trade Unionists and their stance on the matter.

The letter, signed by the bishop, comes amidst a climate where the fate of the country hangs in the balance. Highlighting the significance of free discourse, particularly in a time when the destiny of Ireland is under threat, Bishop O’Dwyer underscores the importance of open communication.

“When the first suggestion of the partition of Ireland was mooted, the Trades Union Congress and Labour Party took the earliest opportunity to protest against the proposal,” the bishop expressed in the letter.

Despite being a small nation, the Irish are denied the fundamental rights of free and open communication, Bishop O’Dwyer laments. He points out the irony that while they seek support from their counterparts in the United States, they themselves are deprived of such liberties.

The bishop’s letter touches upon the rejection of the Government’s proposed partition of Ireland by Mr Redmond, representing his followers in Parliament. This rejection, according to the bishop, underscores the steadfast opposition to any form of division within the country.

“The proposed partition would create two separate entities, inevitably leading to the alienation of different regions of Ireland,” the bishop wrote.

Highlighting the impact such division would have on the working class, the bishop emphasized that it would be disastrous for the cohesive movement of the working class and would only serve to repeat historical mistakes.

Expressing scepticism towards alternative proposals such as the Home Rule Act, Bishop O’Dwyer asserts that it has not been effective in fulfilling the aspirations of the Irish people. Instead, he argues, it has been utilized by the government to manipulate and deceive.

“The Home Rule Act has been the trump card in the hand of the British government and their Irish collabourators,” the bishop stated.

In a bold declaration, Bishop O’Dwyer called for a united front against any scheme that seeks to divide the Irish people. He warned that such division would not only be detrimental to the working class movement but would also play into the hands of those seeking to undermine the unity of the country.

“We believe that any scheme dividing the workers of this country would be suicidal and disastrous,” the bishop asserted.

In conclusion, Bishop O’Dwyer reiterated the necessity for open dialogue and unity among the Irish people in the face of looming threats to their sovereignty. His letter stands as a testament to the unwavering spirit of resistance against any attempts to partition Ireland, echoing the sentiments of many who yearn for a unified and free nation.

Evening Irish Times – Saturday 19 May 1917

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