In a letter from our London correspondent, which appears in this issue, reference is made to a couple of plays which pretend to treat certain phases of Irish character. These plays bring into being a new “stage Irishman.” This mythical “gentleman” is far worse than the old “stage Irishman,” with his impossible simian countenance, his red nose, his “begobs” and “begorras” and his made-to-order jokes. The latter, being however absurd and ridiculous a mis-creation, was at any rate “clean” in his patter and in his characterisation. Not so the new “stage Irishman,” who is a repulsive and brutal type, a ruffian and a disgrace. And the worst of it is that he was created first by Irishmen.
Synge, for all his wonderful manner of making a new Kiltartan out of phrases made many of his characters outrageous. His own pessimism and irreligious characteristics are too often found in those characters.
Brinsley MacNamara and the insufferable James Joyce have, each in his own way, made Irish character repulsive and disgusting. We can hardly blame those responsible for the occasional appearance of the old stage Irishman – as the “Herald” in the case of a recent cartoon – when Irishmen themselves are found creating and exploiting that baseless monstrosity, the new and the worse, stage Irishman.
The North American Review, Vol. 214, No. 789 (August 1921) pp. 190 – 200
by Signe Toksvig
To get from Dublin to Coole Park, the home of Lady Gregory, one normally takes a train from Dublin to Athenry, and another from Athenry to Gort, the village nearest to Coole. But times were not exactly normal in Ireland when my husband and I visited it last summer, and when we got to Athenry we were confronted by the blank fact that for two months or so no trains had been running to Gort. Why? This was a rhetorical question. We knew very well that armed policemen must have been trying to travel on that train, and that the engineer had excused himself for an indefinite period, and that we had better find a Ford. We found one. It was very rickety and full of unwieldy first-aid-to-the-injured-auto things, but Gort was twenty miles away, and hope and beauty had long since left Athenry, and so we squeezed in and began to bump over stony Connaught.
The Monitor (Sydney) 17th November, 1826(abridged)
Our readers are aware that a Public School has been for a time kept under the patronage of Mr. Synge, of Dysart near the market town of Corofin. It is no less notorious that the School has met with considerable opposition from Mr. Murphy, the Priest of the Parish.
On Thursday night last, a party of diabolical miscreants assembled convenient to the place, and after firing several shots, and calling to the persons who resided in an adjoining house, not to stir out on pain of losing their lives, set fire to the school house.
Satisfied that their demoniac work of darkness was accomplished, they called to the persons in the house to come out and save themselves and their property as well as they could, as the flames were communicating to their dwelling. They then decamped.. We abstain from any further remarks on this subject, until we hear more about it.-Ennis Chronicle.