No. 306 NAI DFA ES Rome 1921-1923

Extract from a letter from P.J. O'Byrne to George Gavan Duffy

(Confidential) (Copy)

Rome, 27 July 1922 (received 1 August 1922)

A Chara,
I attended yesterday at the Vatican to hear the reply to my request and was duly received by the acting Under Secretary of State. He communicated to me the official reply of the Cardinal Secretary which I regret to say was not favourable. His Eminence said that having regard to the state of affairs at present prevalent in Ireland and to the fighting that was going on there he did not consider it opportune to grant my request just now. He said it should not be taken as a refusal but merely a postponement and gave as his opinion that once peace was restored and that a Government could function normally in Ireland, he had no doubt the Pope would receive its representative with due formality.

The alternative of being received in a totally private capacity of course remained but on reflection and on having consulted some trusted friends I came to the conclusion that having regard to the position I have openly occupied for the last six months my applying for an audience in my private capacity might be misunderstood. I have therefore determined not to take any further steps at present and I think when I lay the matter completely before you, you will approve of my course of action. I have accordingly bespoken my tickets to-day and am getting ready to leave in three days. I shall reserve anything further I have to say until I can report to you verbally.
[Matter omitted]

Au revoir soon I hope and with kind regards,
Mise le meas mór
P.J. O'Byrne

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