From An Claidheamh Soluis, August 8, 1908.
Most Dublin Leaguers will recollect that the Language Procession was the event which marked the coming of the League from out the Catacombs. Previously we had lived and made converts, and done good by stealth. Then suddenly we marched out to the sound of pipes and the beat of the drum, and lo! we were a force to be reckoned with in the social and political life of the country. We spoke, and it was no longer in a whisper. We spoke and our voice was heeded. We realised to the surprise of many that the populace was with us. Looking back it just seems to me that the populace has not done over much for us. Perhaps they have not been given the chance. That is how the matter seems to me. We have forgotten our propagandist methods. We have dropped our great Dublin meetings. The projected meetings in the Irish-speaking districts have fallen through. Irish-Ireland Lectures of interest to the outsider are rarely heard of. No wonder the outside public have grown cold—no one will deny they have. They need constant rousing, constant appeals from press and platform.
The League needs more publicity, to use an ‘Americanism.’ You may doubt that our position is so comparatively weak. Take pencil and paper and write down the names of all the professional and monied persons in your neighbourhood who are convinced of the necessity for the revival of Irish. You won’t fill much paper. You may have a difficulty in deciding the amount of practical support to be reasonably expected from a particular individual. Keep your eyes open. Observe how he bestows his patronage and monetary support on the local bazaar, the annual ball, the agricultural show, the boat club, the races. If the national language evidently takes a second place in his calculations to any of these, that man has not been effectively dealt with by the League. I fear the ‘daoine mora’ throughout the country are let down too lightly. Can we boast of the active support of the bishops in our campaign against the enemies of the spiritual life of the nation? I fear not. Neither have we amongst our active workers many members of the legal or medical professions. I don’t know that we have the strong farmers either. North County Dublin presents sufficiently numerous examples.
On one point I do not wish to be misunderstood. I do not expect a busy doctor to renew his school days in the classes of the League. But I do expect from him a bigger subscription than he would hand as a Christmas gift to his parlour maid. The money question is more than all other questions affected by the vigour and publicity of our actions. The art of obtaining money from those who have it is worthy of study. A man will give less to a collector at his own door on a dark March evening than he would dare to offer in the light of day, and in the presence of a ‘large and enthusiastic meeting.’ Method means money, and money is of vital importance to the League, notwithstanding the fact that it is a difficult subject to write articles about. A little more ‘go,’ a little less timidity and diplomacy, and a great deal more faith in our own strength—that sums up what I mean by publicity. I recommend its constant practice to all League bodies great and small. Publicity begets courage and determination and enthusiasm in the masses, and the League needs a revival of courage and determination and enthusiasm.