The October meeting of delegates and alternates to the United Irish Counties Association proved a wel come departure from the hitherto dilatory discursiveness of past experience. For one reason, President Paul O’Dwyer was on the job literally and figuratively, and used his gavel with positiveness and precision, and for a second reason, there was a commendable absence of those technical equivocations that have been so mentally harassing. The roll call gave twenty-six counties answering, the delegates and alternates numbering about seventy-six.
We were delighted to see the veteran Patrick Boylan of Monaghan able to attend, being now almost fully recovered from a severe Illness. Pat is practically the last line of the old guard that brought to the counsels and activities of the U. I. O. A. much of the prominence and influence it *enjoyed in the 42d street period. Need it be said that his return was welcomed by general handshaking and expressions of his, future health. Men of his calibre do not come into Irish organizations over night, and their usefulness and sincerity are not measured by time. May your years be many.
We learned with much interest there is a probability that former President Matthew J. Troy will receive from Mayor LaGuardia an appointment to the vacancy on the Domestic Relations bench. Matt is certainly one man that we would like to see so honored. His training and experience are eminently suitable to such position. From personal knowledge of his ability to adjust difficulties, his qualifications are splendid. Here is one case, in our opinion, by which the Mayor can positively show that his statements are sincere in that his appointments are deserved and worthwhile. If capacity and suitability count, here is your man, Mr. Mayor!
The radio is supposed to provide intelligent entertainment that will appeal to and Interest both low-brow and high-brow. One of the Kerry delegates took exception to “stage- Irish” frivolities that have recently been on the air, and in answer to an Inquiry specifically mentioned Station WFAB as a purveyor of eccentricities that do not appeal to the Irish mind. The complaint was taken under advisement.
Brooklynites will not be able to attend the Irish ball in that borough thls year. The undertaking has not been quite so successful as hoped, and the consensus of opinion was that all efforts should be directed to making the Manhattan venture bigger and better. One delegate was shocked that $750 should be charged for a Brooklyn hall, and another believed that the K. C. Building at Prospect Park could be secured for $275. Delegate Hlckey caused a ripple of merriment when he declared that as a price $750 was “Irrelevant, immaterial, inconsistent and Illogical” at this depressive period.
Because of his being called to engage In a higher sphere of commercial activities, the delegates learned with regret that Christopher J. Murray, who has been directing the Welfare Bureau for many months, will be unable to give the unlimited attention he heretofore has been gratuitiously contributing. Mr. Murray’s activities have been splendid, and while never reaching to the successful heights he worked so hard to achieve, the net result nevertheless has been very gratifying. There were many suggestions before the meeting by which to mark the delegates* appreciation of Mr. Murray’s services, and a committee will report later In the matter.
Dr. Joseph P. Brennan and Dick O’Brien developed an Interesting discussion in expressing their belief that the Welfare Bureau should be abandoned because it did not Justify the expectations put forward at the time of its inception. In the matter of unemployment, it was declared to be “a flop.” The president quickly sought the viewpoints of other counties, and these proved not alone diverting, but highly convincing. As an example, President McGinn of Monaghan told where at least 20 of his members had secured work through the bureau. John F. Maher supplemented with more than 250 men and women being assisted in getting first or final papers as citizens, while municipal Jobs were arranged for others. Other delegates advised that as an economic adjunct the bureau was most serviceable for committee meetings, and there were still others who endorsed it as an information center. Finally, the atmosphere of doubt was dispelled, and a committee of seven will report at a later date in harmonizing the factual material. The bureau will continue to function.
Delegate Sisk, who was appointed chairman of a special auditing committee at a recent gathering, was ready with a “report,” but gave the delegates some facts to ponder as to the apathy and laxity of delegates who accept appointments with no desire to function. He had called several meetings of the auditors, with results either nil or plus one. Nothing daunted, Mr. Sisk rallied a few compatriots and went through the procedure of auditing the hooks for the period March to August, 1934. He very properly asked the delegates’ sanction to his action, and this was promptly voted. The analysis showed a healthy balance in the banks, ev erything during the period being properly presented, and Treasurer Joe Brennan riding on a high wave of popular endorsement. The auditors were cordially thanked. We rather liked the action of Mr. Sisk, and believe If it is generally followed when committee members fall to act It will have a good result. Too often have those “window dressing” and “decorative” members been placed on committees in the past, with the obvious result that business has been hampered and the interest of workers impaired.
Chairman O’Connor of the Pels Committee gave a progressive report concerning its recent work, from which it would appear that the Feis will be “in the red” some dollars. This is to be sincerely regretted, because the committee itself appeared to have worked energetically to bring about a successful financial accomplishment. The undertaking was onerous from the beginning, and there developed a sinister Indifference to its furtherance on the part of city newspapers. The Irish editors and newspapers aided very materially and cordially, but—Believe It or Not —not everyone of Irish birth or descent reads Irish newspapers; neither do they attend Irish affairs. It is safe to say that only those who read the Irish papers attend a Feis.
One of the featured diversions just now is the identity of one R. Desmond Flyn, secretary. Secretary Flyn has been sending typed communications to certain United Irish Counties’ Association delegates, in which forceful language is applied to “stupid, obsolete and fossilized county units.” Secretary Flyn may be sincere In asking a merging of all county activities under one “highly progressive organization,” but it is obvious that he is unfamiliar with related matters when he intimates that “all funds now held by the in dividual county associations” be turned into one treasury. With all the law and lawyers we have in New York such a desideratum could-1 not be accomplished In a hundred years. Our own theory is that Secretary Flyn is “young,” with little experi ence in Irish affairs. Alexander Pope, in 1711, wrote of the fallacy of a little learning. The communication we have seen is a sequence to many other similar propositions in the past by well-meaning but uninitiated and impractical dreamers.