No. 283 NAI DFA ES London 1922

George Gavan Duffy to Art O'Brien (London)


Dublin, 9 May 1922

A Chara,
1 I have now considered your further letters of 29th ultimo and 2nd and 6th instant.
2 I have already dealt with your quite imaginary grievances against myself; the complaints you make against other Ministers are not relevant to the issue. I must, however, remind you that you have yourself alone to thank if the Ministry did not hear you with reference to the 'Catholic Herald'. The Ministry gave you an appointment at your own request; you failed to keep it; your absence on that occasion remains unexplained to this day; yet you are so far from realising your own default that you make the 'Catholic Herald' matter your first grievance!
3 I am glad to note from your letter of the 6th instant that you have in effect abandoned the amusing contention that you are protected from disciplinary action by the Ard Fheis Agreement.
4 Long familiar as I am with your lucid style, I am much surprised upon this occasion to find in your 9-page letter of 29th ultimo no clear statement of the case you want to make.1
5 Apparently I am to gather that you contend that it was consistent with your duty to attack Mr Duggan in the Press, so long as you attacked him as a member of the Provisional Government.
6 Without subscribing to that subtle theory, I may say at once that it is inapplicable in the present case. Your letter in the 'Irish Independent' is quite clearly an attack upon the Minister of Dail Eireann with whom you had been in constant communication as Dail Envoy on the very subject of your letter, the Irish prisoners in England.
7 I should be more sensible of the gentle flattery (perhaps I should call it irony) of your references to my accuracy and acuteness of mind, if they were followed by your recognition of the fact that my decision may have been right after all, a possibility which seems strangely to have escaped you.
8 Finally, would it not be well to pause and reflect whether the better course would not be to admit frankly that you cannot defend the action I have impugned? I find it hard to distinguish the alternative from an attempt to erect your office into a kind of Super Dail.

Le meas,
S.[eoirse] Ghabháin uí Dhubhthaigh

1 Not printed.

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