I’ve long been a fan of The Bell, which ran from 1940-1954, a fantastic monthly magazine under the editorship of the great Sean Ó Faoláin and then Peadar O’Donnell.
The magazine featured Flann O’Brien, Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Ernie O’Malley, Patrick Kavanagh and many other excellent writers among its contributers, and was an outspoken voice of liberal criticism of the state and the strict censorship regime in this country.
One of its frequent features under Ó Faoláin’s editorial period was entitled Mise Éire. This feature offered book vouchers to members of the public who could send it the best humourous clippings or quotations from public life, in the form of a newspaper report or politicians statement which may have gone under the radar. It wasn’t a constant feature in the magazine, appearing on occasion with varying numbers of clippings. Below are some of my favourite clippings from Mise Éire 1942 and 1943 features, which I stumbled across while researching something else entirely. Always the way.
“If the average young Irishman and woman knew better how to spend their leisure time this would certainly be a happier and possibly a much more thickly populated nation”
-The Irish Press, 17/8/1942
“In a few words the work before our young men today is to establish a Model Christian State: to bring the whole world under the spiritual control of Ireland: to make ourselves mistress of the Atlantic as Japan wishes to make herself mistress of the Pacific, except that we shall also be masters of the Pacific….Anyway, with the help of God we can settle the fate of the world for another 2000 years.”
– Aiseirghe (fascist newspaper) May 1942.
“The growth of crime in England is due to the unfettered reading in that country.”
-Senator Goulding on the censorship debate, 18/11/1942.
“Gombeen men are now a thing of the past, thanks to good government.”
– The Irish Press, May 1st 1943.
(The below observation was sent to ‘Mise Éire’ by a reader, commenting on the Countess Markievicz memorial in Stephens’ Green. This is a literal translation of the memorial)
“Bean chalma chróda a throid i gcat ar son na h-Éireann…um Cháise imbliadhain an Tighearna a 1916”
“A brave, valiant woman who fought in a cat for Ireland about cheese in the year of the Lord, 1916.”