From The Shan Van Vocht, 1 November, 1898.
A CORRESPONDENT sends us the following: –
I was more than pleased to see in the August issue of the “Shan Van Vocht” a communication from that veteran Gael, Mr. Michael Cusack, on his “t’ Sean Bean Bocht dilis” – the Gaelic Athletic Association. It has been a cherished hope with me to see the G.A.A. spread over Ulster as it has throughout the rest of Ireland, and I feel assured that it only needs a little energy on the part of its officers to elicit the support of all true Irishmen in the North. I am satisfied that when the Gael of Ulster is called upon to rally to the standard of the Association he will not fail to respond heartily.
The high aims conceived by the founder of the G.A.A. may not have been rigidly adhered to, and their pure aspirations cherished; but even as it is the G.A.A. is a bulwark of robust Nationality, and an inestimable boon to the youth of Erin whose taste for manly sport would, failing the establishment of the national organisation, have driven them into the West British athletic camp, with ruinous results to the racial character and patriotism.
Every project, every move made to draw our Gaelic youth from the slough of political and social despond, everything tending to unite them for the preservation and perpetuation of the National language, music, and games, deserves the warm support of all patriotic Irishmen. Were the hopes of the founder of the G.A.A. realised, the language, the music, and the customs of our forefathers would have found new life, new hope, and new inspiration in the Gaelic athletic ranks.
Ulster claims a place second to none in the history of our National struggle. Let her not then be a sluggard and asleep when there is work to do in combating West British influence. The G.A.A. makes brothers and good healthy Irishmen, and makes excellent soldiers too. Long ago the “wielders of the camain” showed amongst the “Wild Geese” as the best wielders of the sword. The practice is commendable, and may, perhaps, prove useful still. Thiggin thu?
PATRICK J. DOLIN, Secretary Celtic H.C., Dublin.