Plays of Changing Ireland

Plays of Changing Ireland

Plays of Changing Ireland

Plays of Changing Ireland

Excerpt

IRELAND is changing. Rebellion and civil strife have left their marks on it, and the new nation has shared with the rest of the world the Great War's heritage of social, economic, and political upheaval. Prophets of disaster point to the slow economic degradation enveloping an agricultural people whose richest market has been cut off; optimists call attention to the growth of manufacture and the world's smallest national indebtedness as proof of a future filled with promise. But whatever time may bring, the present is full of signs and portents of change, many of which serve to corroborate the impression that Ireland is still the unpredictable Sanger household in an orderly and conventionally respectable national neighborhood. General O'Duffy's blue-shirted Fascists have marched on Dublin and faded away; Communists shower leaflets on the newly-arrived American Minister; a new constitution is being written; and President De Valera pauses between two important political courses: whether to preserve the substance of freedom granted by the Free State Treaty or to push on to complete separation from the British Commonwealth. The Irish Republican Army, still unoutlawed by the Government, continues to arm and drill its men, and has recently offered to lead the cause of Labor in a fight against vested interests. Its potentiality is yet to be tested. Perhaps in spite of the boiling political pot, Ireland keeps striding along with the modern world in other fields. Dr. Drumm has invented a storage battery which, if successful, will revolutionize railway and motor transportation. And then there is the most significant presage of all, -- there are turbines and dynamos where the River Shannon flows. Now cheap power and light can be sent across the Island, paving the way for an expansion of industry unthinkable before German engineers had harnessed the stream that has been universally celebrated in song and story. The capital itself was noisy enough seven years ago. Now it is bustling as well; and radios and moving pictures are helping to smooth away those...

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