No. 53 NAI DFA Paris Embassy 19/34

Code telegram from Art O'Brien to the Department of External Affairs (Dublin)
(No. 54) (Copy)

Paris, 19 May 1937

Yesterday Saturday evening at Concours Hippique Captain Lewis1 won first individual prize Coupe Cavalerie Française. At distribution prizes the military band instead of playing Irish national anthem put on a very bad gramophone record of 'O'Donnell Abu' to amazement of all diplomatists and teams present. That a military band at an international show is ignorant of national anthem of an invited guest nation, and gives instead bad gramophone record of another air is a public insult which no country would or should tolerate. The insult is rendered inexcusable by fact that invitation was accepted through French Government intermediary many weeks ago. Appropriate action would be to withdraw our team from remainder of Concours unless public apology be made by radio announcement at Concours, by statement to the Press, by letter from Foreign Office and also Ministry of War. Do you authorize me to proceed on those lines or do you wish for more drastic action. I think this procedure will be successful. I have already verbally advised Chef du Protocole that a very strong written protest will be lodged with Foreign Office to-morrow. Have also advised President of Concours that if similar incident occurs to-day I and my guests will demonstratively retire at once and our team will ride out of the ring. Minister of War verbally expressed regret to Captain Corry2 this morning, but Captain said matter was diplomatic and that Irish Minister would deal with it. I am awaiting your urgent reply ENDS


1 Captain John Lewis, Army Equitation School, Irish Defence Forces.

2 Captain Dan J. Corry, Army Equitation School, Irish Defence Forces.

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