History plays strange tricks on its war heroes. But few of them survive to enjoy the peace their prowess has earned. Militarism always takes its toll and refuses to fit into any known order of events.
It’s devastating, cataclysmic. However, Collins was not a militarist. His death was caused by this fact. He had fought England with the courage of a lion’s heart, and the conditions in which that awful war had been fought put a greater strain on the Chief of Intelligence than any mere physical bravery in the field.
However, he endured it all with innate joy; for he had the heart of a Celtic boy and the courage of the noblest of our race. When communications with his comrades in the field were cut off, when his companions were in jail or across the sea, when he, with a price on his head, was persecuted night and day, he kept alive the spirit that achieved the victory; and today the English “Daily Telegraph” is forced to describe him as “the most implacable and dangerous enemy we ever had.”
Knowing what the first peace kites launched by England meant, he shouted “get to work”.
“If he had been caught,” says the Telegraph, “history would have followed a different channel.”
Over 160 students are applying diligently at Spiddal Irish College this year to the study of Irish. They are mostly made up of teachers from various parts of the country and, under the tutelage of expert native Irish teachers, there is remarkable progress.
An innovation that is bound to have a salutary effect is in operation this year whereby students are prohibited from speaking English.
Last year, and in previous sessions, students in the beginner and intermediate classes were allowed, at their own convenience, to speak English, but in the current session it is dispensed with entirely and nothing but the native language is heard. . .
Practical application is an essential element in the acquisition of any language, and the banning of Béarla in Irish Schools will have an advantageous reaction.
For more information, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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