Volume 2 1922~1926

Doc No.

No. 64 NAI DFA Secretararies’ Files S2

Extract from a memorandum by Kevin O’Shiel
to each member of the Executive Council
(Strictly Confidential)

DUBLIN, 19 April 1923

[Matter omitted]
6. It is said that designing and imprudent advisers are endeavouring to use the Monsignor's position to stampede the Government into calling a Truce with irregularism and opening up parleys with de Valera.

Some of these advisers are said to be foolish, but well-meaning people; others are said to be in sympathy with de Valera and are probably endeavouring, on his directions (now that their conspiracy is on the verge of collapse) to improve as far as possible 'the maximum terms of settlement for his Party under the circumstances'.

The plan of campaign appears to be to send representatives on the q.t. to the various County Councils and Local Bodies who suggest to these Bodies to call special Meetings and request the Monsignor to work for peace.

Should the Monsignor lend himself to this very obvious manoeuvre at this late stage in the day it will be tantamount to an act of gross discourtesy to the Irish Government, in so much as he had refused to recognise the lawful Government of the Land to which he had come as Envoy from perhaps the greatest world power, and had endeavoured to engage whilst in that country, on a line of policy in direct conflict with the policy of the de jure and de facto Government.

In this connection it is also well to recall that the present Government has the emphatic endorsement and support of the highest moral authority in the Land, viz., the Irish Hierarchy.

On the 11th October last the Hierarchy met at Maynooth and addressed a most important pastoral letter to the Priests and people of Ireland. In this now famous pastoral the Bishops declared that the killing of National Soldiers was murder, and that the seizing of public and private property was robbery, and that persons guilty of these crimes could not be admitted to the sacraments, should they persist in such evil courses.

Priests who approved of this 'saddest of all revolts' were declared to be false to their sacred office and guilty of grievous scandal, and they were forbidden, under pain of suspension, to advance such doctrine publicly or privately.

This being the solemn, deliberate and unanimous ruling of the highest Christian Authority in Ireland, the alleged activities of Mgr. Luzio appear all the more extraordinary, and, considering them in conjunction with the reported grant of the Benediction of the Holy Father to one who comes under the Bishops' interdict, one would have to draw the conclusion that the Roman Authorities were in direct conflict with the grave and considered opinion of the Irish Church.

Apart from this, as I have said in the beginning, an unofficial Vatican-made settlement with the Irregulars would have the most calamitous results on our Northern policy.

Assistant Legal Adviser