Clann na Poblachta

 Extracts from Memoir  L.Ó Nualláin
Post-war dissatisfaction with Government. 

When World War II came to a close in mid-summer 1945, a wave of relief swept over Ireland.  We had experienced minor discomforts compared with the people of Britain and other countries in Europe. True we had a rationing of consumer goods such as tea, sugar, butter, white bread and scarcities of parafin oil, petrol, coal and domestic gas in Dublin. All those restrictions brought about a discontent among many individuals and families, a measure of discontent that was levelled at the people in authority, government departments, local authorities, and above all, with the government of the day, which was headed by Eamonn DeValera, the Taoiseach at the time. That atmosphere of discontent with the people in authority generally, produced a growing desire for expectations of changes during the two years 1946 and 1947.
Clann na Poblachta
 In October 1946, at the Mansion House, Kildare Street, I attended one of the earlier public meetings then being held by a newly-formed politicial party, that is, Clann na Poblachta.  Similar meetings were being organised throughout the country at that time by the founders of the party, to explain their objectives and policies.  I found myself much in agreement with a number of their ideas as put forward by the platform speakers.  I decided that I would join the party if, or when, I would be in a position to leave the Civil Service. (This happened in 1947 when Labhras started work in the Institute for Industrial Research and Standards)
T
orchlit procession and “Put Them Out”
One of the more exciting Clann meetings which I attended was that which was held towards the end of the election campaign, at the corner of Sundrive Road and Crumlin Road.  I was one of the hundreds of Clann members and their supporters who had assembled at the junction of Harold’s Cross Road and the Canal Road.  Headed by a brass band, we marched along by the Canal Road between Harold’s Cross Road to Dolphins Barn, into the Crumlin Road and on to the corner of Sundrive Road.  It was a torchlight procession, in which each one of us held aloft a burning torch made of a sod of turf, soaked in kerosene.  It was probably one of the last of such torchlight processions seen in Dublin city. Such torchlight processions were a feature of election meetings in the rural areas of Ireland over generations, going back to the days of the Land League and of the Irish Nationalist party in the 1880’s and 1890s, and indeed, into the early decades of the present century.
  ©   L. Ó Nualláin

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