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Friday, May 16, 2008

Shunnings and Bannings 

John Cronin mentions something interesting in “Liam O’Flaherty and Dúil” (New Hibernia Review 7, 1 (Spring 2003), 48, might have to pay for it or something) : an article by Brian Ó Conchubhair (“Liam Ó Flaithearta agus Scríobh na Gaeilge: Ceist Airgid nó Cinneadh Chonradh na Gaeilge?” New Hibernia Review, 4, 2 (Summer, 2000), 116–140) about Liam O'Flaherty and his use of Irish and, incidentally, his relationship with the Gaelic League's magazine Fáinne an Lae.

...O'Flaherty was speedily but surreptitiously banned from publishing in that journal. This process of silent but effective exclusion stemmed, according to Ó Conchubhair, from O’Flaherty’s public flouting of the orthodox Catholic proprieties of Ireland’s new order.O’Flaherty’s affair with Margaret Barrington, wife of Professor Edmund Curtis, his eventual marriage to her, and then the birth of their daughter, Pegeen, were unacceptable to Pádraic Ó Domhnalláin, editor of Fáinne an Lae, and the Gaelic League now shunned O’Flaherty without publicly proclaiming its ban.

Of course the interesting thing is the “surreptitiously”. Not one to flinch from a controversy, O'Flaherty most likely didn't care to inflame the matter out of regard for others involved. I believe this sort of thing happens quite often, church or no church, in publishing circles as well as any other. Wherever people join in doing something, you have to expect surreptitious ejections, expuences, and gainwitterings.



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