No. 267  NAI DFA 2006/39

Confidential report from John W. Dulanty to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)
(No. 9) (Secret) (Copy)

LONDON, 18 February 1943

Mr. Frank Matthews told me that when he and Mr. David Gray were recently in Armagh, Cardinal McRory voiced to them strong anti-English sentiments, saying that he would prefer to have a peace dictated by Hitler rather than by the British.

'I told His Eminence', said Mr. Matthews, 'of my great regret on hearing of his attitude towards Hitler, and that I felt bound to say that the great majority of the Catholics in my country held, and held firmly, very opposite views. As His Eminence was aware, I felt very strongly on the injustice to Ireland of the Six County partition and assured him that I held no brief for the British. But today the British are Allies with us in America in a life and death struggle which had been cruelly thrust on the American people and, as far as I knew, the British, as Allies, were proving worthy of the confidence and trust we were placing in them.'

The Cardinal made no rejoinder to this but remained in somewhat sombre silence and looking, Mr. Matthews thought, very sad and perplexed.

He said that he and Mr. Gray agreed afterwards that they would treat this conversation as secret and confidential though he, Mr. Matthews, had thought it advisable to acquaint the Archbishop of Dublin, whereupon His Grace remarked that he thought His Eminence was probably almost alone in Ireland in the views he had expressed.

In view of the reference mentioned above as to the secret and confidential character of the talk, I asked Mr. Matthews if I had his permission to report it to my Government. He said he would be very glad if it could be mentioned confidentially to Mr. de Valera.

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