No. 66 NAI DFA Secretary's Files P126

Extract from a letter from Thomas J. Kiernan to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Holy See, 5 January 1946

I saw Monsignor Montini this morning ...

[matter omitted]

We then got on to talk about the omission of Ireland from the list of new Cardinals. He said he knew he was interpreting the mind of the Holy Father in saying that there is no question of a break in Ireland's having always a Cardinal, no question whatever of a lack of 'égard' towards Ireland; simply a temporary postponement due to the vacancy of Armagh, and that he thought it important at present to preserve the primacy of Armagh. Dublin had had two Cardinals and Armagh three; the Archdiocese of Armagh linking together the free Ireland and the broken part of it seemed the most suitable symbol of the desired unity of the whole country under the Irish Government. He referred to the delicacy of the situation and said that the Holy Father had all the considerations before Him and believed He had acted in the interests of Ireland in allowing the Armagh vacancy to lead in due time to the elevation of the Archbishop of Armagh.

I asked him then about the Nuncio, and he said that there is no question of changing him, that he will remain with us as long as his health permits; and I do not think Monsignor Montini regards Monsignor Robinson as in any kind of poor health; he expects and hopes he will remain at his post for a long time; he has a very high regard and great affection for the Nuncio and spoke especially of his great tact. However, I reminded him of my previous conversation with him. He has a fantastic memory for detail, and repeated for me the various arguments for having an Irish Nuncio, one who could, as I had put it to him before, react to the Irish situation by instinct rather than by study. He gave me back all my own points, that is to say yours, and assented to them; he said they were important; and I get the impression that there will nevermore be question or fear of a purely foreign Nuncio being appointed to Dublin.

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