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Kinvara – 1916

Connacht Tribune July 1st 1916 p 4

Every man, woman and child in Kinvara parish and district, and most people throughout Co. Galway and the West, know that Kinvara Church and Convent have been searched by armed police. A great many well-informed people are aware that the Rev. Parish Priest, the Rev. T. Burke P.P. has made a strong protest to General Sir John Maxwell, the military governor of Ireland. The whole subject is talked of far and wide and the story suffers nothing in the telling. But the new censorship that is exercised today in Ireland, as if a war were actually proceeding within our shores, and the country had got out of hand, decrees that “no correspondence between General Sir John Maxwell and Father Thomas Burke, P.P. Kinvara, is to be published.” So with the shadow of blood on the Irish horizon and feeling and passion inflamed, we are back again to the old coercionist regime. We cannot help asking ourselves is this possible in the 20th century of have the military governors of this country, clothed in the “petty brief authority” that a fateful chance has given them, taken leave of their senses?
If those governors imagine that by suppressing in Ireland the plain, if painful truth, they are serving any good purpose in constitutional or military government they are making a colossal mistake. The affair at Kinvara has been grossly mishandled from the beginning and the characteristically Prussion attitude of the new censorship in Ireland does not improve but considerably aggravates a painful situation. Surely the military governors of this country ought to be able to defend their own attitude, and the attitude of their subordinates, without resorting to the equivocal expedient of a clumsy endeavour to conceal from the public all the facts! Even viewed from their own standpoint, the attitude of the censor in this respect is extremely stupid. It makes a mystery where none existed and renders the people suspicious of an authority that resorts to methods that are given so sinister an aspect. We publish elsewhere the protest made at the conference of priests held at Gort on the 6th of this month. Surely a body of clergymen are entitled to a full, frank and public explanation and apology from the Government for a proceeding that tends to bring the authority exercised in this country into contempt.

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