History plays strange tricks with its war heroes. But few of them survive to enjoy the peace their prowess has won. Militarism still wreaks havoc and refuses to adapt to any known order of events.
It’s devastating, cataclysmic. Yet Collins was not a militarist. His death was brought about by this fact. He had fought England with lion-hearted bravery, and the conditions under which this hideous war was being fought tested the head of intelligence more than any mere physical bravery in the field.
Yet he bore it all with native gaiety; 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 countryside were cut off, when his colleagues were in prison or on the other side of the seas, when he, with a bounty on his head, was hunted night and day, he kept alive the spirit of victoire ; and today the English ‘Daily Telegraph’ is compelled to describe him as ‘the most implacable and dangerous enemy we have ever had’.
Knowing full well what the first peace kites sent by England meant, he let out the cry, “let’s get to work.”
“If he had been captured,” says the Telegraph, “the story would have happened in another channel.”
Over 160 students are applying diligently to Spiddal Irish College this year to study Irish. They are, for the most part, made up of teachers from various parts of the country and, under the tutelage of expert native Irish teachers, remarkable progress is evident.
An innovation that is sure to have a beneficial effect is in effect this year, prohibiting students from speaking English.
Last year, and in previous sessions, students in the beginner and intermediate classes were, at their convenience, allowed to speak English, but in the current session it is completely removed, and only the mother tongue is heard .
Practical application is an essential element in the acquisition of any language, and the banning of Bearla in Irish colleges will have a beneficial reaction.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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