Belting the Irish State with US Croziers. Theatre, Tourism, UN Policy and Church-State Relations, 1957-58 (NIRSA) Working Paper Series 54
Murray, Peter (2009) Belting the Irish State with US Croziers. Theatre, Tourism, UN Policy and Church-State Relations, 1957-58 (NIRSA) Working Paper Series 54. NIRSA - National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis .
In February 1958, the Irish Catholic Hierarchy sent a letter to its US counterpart. The letter stated that the UN policy of the Irish government `did not represent the feelings of Irish Catholics’. It also called on the US bishops ` make their influence effectively felt’ by Irish representatives in the United States in relation to two plays in the programme of the 1958 Dublin Theatre Festival which the Archbishop of Dublin regarded as objectionable. This was to be done by, in effect, threatening to encourage a US tourist boycott of Ireland. On neither of these matters had the Irish hierarchy made representations to the Irish government. This paper reproduces the letter, sets out the context in which it was sent, examines the response to it by churchmen in the USA and the role this played in bringing about the postponement of the Theatre Festival. Irish diplomatic and ministerial reaction to the discovery of what the Irish hierarchy had done is also discussed.
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