ANTRIM— The Member for West Belfast Mr. Joseph Devlin, M.P., who accompanied Mr. John E. Redmond, to the "United States, and remained there for some time after the Leader of. the Irish Parliamentary Party, had a great reception on his return to Ireland. He was -the recipient of addresses at Queenstown and Limerick Junction, and was to be entertained at a banquet in Belfast. Rathlin Island Rev. E. V. MacGowan, Adm., Rathlin Island, was re- _ ( ceived in private audience by the Holy Father the other day. His Holiness, who was greatly interested in Rathlin, presented Father MacGowan with rare and costly vestments for his church, and charged him with the duty of conveying the blessing of his Holiness to the islanders. The Duty of the Laity The Most Rev. Dr. Tohill, Bishop of Down and Connor, - presided at the quarterly general meeting of the Society ofSt. Vincent de Paul, held in St. Marys Hall, Belfast, on Sunday, December 13. In replying to an address presented by. the members, the Bishop said nowadays some people think and say that the clergy do not sufficiently - encourage the laity to take their due share in social work connected with the Church. For his part he most earn-\ estly invited Catholic laymen, especially the younger men' and those possessed of leisure, means, and education, to join •the ranks of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and to take charge of the whole social work in its entirety — the moral, charitable, and physical improvement of the poor of Belfast. The spiritual directors and the clergy, as far as • they had time and opportunities to co-operate, would gladly do so. Let them not fear to adapt their society to the changing circumstances of modern life and the new' demands that may be made upon them in the interests of the poor. ARMAGH— Dedication of an Altar An interesting religious ceremony took place in the new church of the Immaculate Conception, Monasterboice, on Sunday, Dpcembef 13; ' On that day the splendid high altar, the gift of a generous family, the Messrs. Brannigan, of Tymullen and Irishtown, was solemnly consecrated by the Most Rev. Dr. Mac Sherry, Bishop of Port Elizabeth and Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern Vicariate of South Africa, who is a native of County Armagh. CAV AN— Death of a Nobleman The death is reported of Lord Annesley at the age of 78 years. His Lordship entered the army in 1851," -and*r saw service in the Crimea. He represented Cavan in Parliament from 1857 to 1874, when he succeeded to, the title and the estates. Since then he has resided almost; con- " stantly at Castlewellan, and took considerable interest in the management of his estate. The gardens and grounds con--tain one of the largest collections of native and exotic rare trees and shrubs in the United Kingdom. CORK—A Prelate thanks the. Irish Party In a letter to Mr. John Redmond, M.P., thanking that gentleman for copies of the IrisE Land Bill and the Removal of Catholic Disabilities Bill, the Most Rev. Dr. Browne", Bishop of Cloyne, takes the opportunity of congratulating the Irish 'leader and the Irish Party upon their .recent splendid work -in 'the House of Commons, especially, on- their defence of the educational rights of Catholics under the discarded Primary Education Bill for England arid Wales. Their action was, his Lordship says, the most' "cogent reply to* their ungenerous critics. • A Centenarian ' ~. ;', A very remarkable East Cork farmer has just passed away in the person of James O'Sullivan, of Dungoiirney, Midleton. Deceased, who had. attained the extraordinary age of one hundred years, was considered the oldest inhabitant in the district. Early last year he appeared as plaintiff in a land settlement action before the Chancery judge in the Four Courts, Dublin. He was complimented. by judge and counsel on his extraordinary vitality and mental vigor. ' DUBLIN— A Philanthropist By the death of Mr. Charles Kennedy, Dublin has lost one of its most charitable citizens. Mr. Kennedy was widely known as an untiring philanthropist,, who was never appealed to for any good cause in vain. Death of a Religious In the Dominican Convent, Kingstown, on December 11, took place the death of Mother Imelda Maher. Mother
Maher's religious life extended over fifty-six years. She was a sister of Mother de Rici, late Prioress, Cabrar A French Visitor M. Rene Bazin, Professor in the Catholic University of Angers, delivered, an . interesting address to the students of University College, Dublin, on December 10. He was introduced by Very Rev. W. Delany, S.J., who described him as one of the foremost" writers ■in France, and" said his works breathed nothing but the, highest and purest sentiment. In the- course of his- address' M. Bazin asked Irishmen not, to think harshly of France. They were far from hor, he said, but near to her in heart and.sympathy. He -urged them not to believe all the evil they heard of her. She was not irreligious; her religion was oppressed, but it was .not on that account weak. A Narrow-minded Society Mrs. J. R. Green, a brilliant Irish lady, daughter of a late prominent Protestant clergyman, widow of a great English historian, and herself the writer of . remarkable contributions to English historical literature, recently published a sketch of- Ireland during the ' Dark Ages.' It was a marvellous volume — a triumph of honest research and patriotic industry (says the Irish Weekly). Mrs. Green proved conclusively that the semi-barbaric and almost wholly stagnant and ' illiterate ' Ireland of ""the fourteenth, fifteenth, . and sixteenth centuries, with which the world had been familiarised for generations by ' histories ' of those times gleaned from English sources of mis-information, had no existence in fact,- and that this country was really a prosperous land outside the narrow area of British influence — • well tilled, possessed of thriving industries and manufactures, an extensive and far-reaching trade with foreign nations, and a population versed in the arts of peace and war alike. . No one has ventured to combat Mrs. Green's assertions and conclusions; but the Royal Dublin Society have, by the yote of a majority of the members, refused the hospitality of their library to her book. The members of the society guilty of this miserable and bigoted action are wealthy persons: presumably graduates of Trinity or of the old 'Queen's Colleges' in many cases. If some "enemy of Ireland wrote a book alleging that the- people of the. country were elementary savages four hundred ' years ago, the society — to whose upkeep the Irish," people contribute very largely — would have given" "the printed libel a prominent place on their shelves. Yet they ban the most valuable historical work on Irish history published, since the days of Keating and ;the Four Masters. , GALWAY— Advantages of the Port Mr. Charles Devlin, Canadian Minister, in the course of an interview recently, said Galway is the only natural - Irish -port of the All-Red route. . _ - - LIMERICK— The Revival of Irish Industries An important meeting was held in Limerick recently to further t"he Industrial Revival in Ireland. Lord, Dunraven was the k principal speaker, but the meeting had no partisan limitations, the speakers including Dr. Windle,. the Principal of the Queen's College in Cork; Mr. T. F. Gill, -Sir Alexander Shaw, and Alderman Joyce, M.P. Lord Dunraven, in his address, said it was the bounden duty of the Irish people to help each other in the industrial movement. Although Ireland was, and always would remain,- an agricultural country, they should, nevertheless,, build on" that foundation other industries that would absorb energy and intelligence. The -industries of the country had been killed and crushed out, , ahdjiobody but the people could revive them. ' *• ' ' ' ..^ . MEATH— Stopping a Hunt The Meath Hunt is composed of a number of landlords in County Meath, the head of the Hunt, being Lord Fin- - gall, a Catholic nobleman. The members of the Hunt also include some landlords and their families (one in par- - ticular) who have taken strong and prominent part against ', the tenantry in its efforts to_ acquire by purchase the- land its members till. Much of the land over which the Hui t takes place is now the property of. the tenants, who h&ve . bought it out from the landlords. Therefore it rests with - the tenants 'to say whether or not they shall permit hunting over their ground. They have' intimated to Lord Fingall that while-he, and the members of the Hunt generally, will be made perfectly welcome to hunt over the land be? longing to the peasant proprietors, there are some members of the Hunt to whom that privilege cannot be accorded on account of those members' having made themselves conspicuous by their opposition to. popular demands. The , parish priest of Kilbeg, in a letter to Lord Fingall, says that he considers the resolution of the people to be quite logical and reasonable. SLIdO— A Novel Case A novel case in connection with the Old Age Pensions, and one which will scarcely find a parellel in Ireland, haa
arisen in Kilfree, near Gurteen, tiounty SiigO, wliere five members of one family, living in— one houses have been passed for the full sum of 5s por week. There are three brothers and two sisters, and their total - ages make a grand total of 380 years. - WATERFORD— Dedication of a Church The Most Rev. Dr. Sheehan, on Sunday, December 13, dedicated for the Franciscan Fathers the Church of Our Lady, Waterford. There was a large attendance, as might be expected, for the Franciscan Fathers are highly esteemed \>y the people of the Urbs hitdcta,. The Mayor of the city, attired in his robes' of State,^ accompanied, by several members of the Corporation, attended High Mass, which "was celebrated by Very Rev. Father Gannon, Provincial of the Order, Limerick. """" GENERAL Sir Horace Plunkett's Views . A speech on Irish land purchase was delivered last week at Birmingham by Sir Horace Plunkett, president of the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, and formerly vicepresident of the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. Sir Horace urged the completion of' the land purchase scheme, and declared that if Ireland was decently governed during the next twenty years the money advanced would be absolutely secure. He added that a thousand societies of farmers, with a hundred thousand members, had been formed in Ireland since 1889, and the turnover greatly exceeded two millions. Land Purchase In reply to a question in the House, the Chief Secretary said that according to the last annual report of the Land Commission there had been, up to the 31st March last, 369,483 cases in which fair rents had been fixed for a first statutory term. The total former rental dealt with was £7,334,438, and the judicial rental was £5,815,931. In 131,637 of these cases a fair rent was subsequently fixed for a second statutory term, a first term rental of £2,635,354 being reduced to £1,902,501. - Thus the former rental of £7,334,438 is now represented by £5,353,078. Lands of a rental of approximately £5,000,000 had been sold or were pending for sale under the Land Purchase Acts on the 31st October last, on which date advances had been made in respect of 143,641 holdings, and applications for advances* were pending in respect of 173,343 holdings. I am not in a position to say what may be- the rental of the agricultural part of Ireland still to be sold under the Land Purchase Acts, nor can I say whether twothirds of the farms in Ireland are held by tenants who do not pay more than £12 a year rent, but the general census report for the year 1901' shows that 68 per cent, of the total number of agricultural holdings in Ireland do not exceed £15 in rateable value, and that 56 per cent, do not exceed £10 in rateable value. The Chief Secretary for Ireland Mr. Birrell, the" Chief "Secretary for Ireland, in the course of a speech at the annual dinner of the London Magistrates' Club, said that he had been, ever since he joined the Government, unfortunately, a man of strife and contention. That had not been from any desire of his own, for naturally he believed he would get on with, his fellow-men as well as most people;- but the particular office which he held at the present moment was one which must be, to whoever occupied it — he cared not to what party he belonged — a very vulnerable office. He had known many Chief Secretaries for Ireland, and he never 'knew one yet of whom a great many things could not be said, and with truth. All he had got to do was to some extent to harden his heart and pursue his course indifferent to criticism, except so far as it was really based upon some very grave and substantial allegation. One could not hope to govern Ireland — or what was called governing Ireland — without coming into violent contact with a very considerable portion, an animated portion, of the population. They would- say things about you and against you, and circulate reports about you with fervor and faith. .All that one could do was to remember that he had got a very tough job and a very long road to hold. The people of this country must still exercise patience and forbearance, remembering that for a good. T many of the things they themselves were as much to blarneys anybody else. He certainly should be very much disappointed if before two decades had passed Ireland was not, from one end to the other, a contented and, to a considerable extent, a prosperous portion of the United Kingdom. But nobody who came into his position could hope to escape attack. He did not think he should ever occupy another position so troublesome and so difficult as the two offices that he had been connected with, but still, he hoped that when the time came for him to retire from parliamentary turmoil he might be able to carry away with him a happy temper and a deep-rooted conviction that on the whole this country was going to pull through every difficulty. __.