A 200 FOOT STEEPLE was perhaps the only distinguishing characteristic of the little town of Freiberg, situated some 150 miles north-east of Vienna in what is now Czechoslovakia. It was here on the 6th of May in 1856 that Sigmund Freud was born, the first child of the second wife of an unsuccessful wool merchant who, it is said, resembled Garibaldi.
SINCE OCTOBER 1968 there has been a great deal of-usually loosetalk about the Irish problem in British politics. The essence of that talk has been that, the problem of Home Rule and independence for Ireland having been a wrecking agent in British politics for nearly half a century from the time Gladstone fell on the Home Rule issue in 1886, the Civil Rights crisis of the 1960s might yet provide the material for yet another Anglo-Irish explosion in our own time, the consequences of which none of us could foresee, but which would certainly be appalling.
WHEN CAPT. O'NEILL called the General Election for February 24th it was not to trounce the parliamentary opposition, but rather to assert the dominance of himself and his class within the Unionist party. The previous election had taken place in 1965 and another was not legally due until 1970. The Unionist party held 37 of the 52 seats on the dissolution, the remainder was divided as follows: 9 Nationalists, 2 Northern Ireland Labour, 2 Republican Labour, 1 Liberal and One National Democrat.
ON REACHING DERRY a large reception was held for the marchers outside the Guild Hall. Later that evening riots broke out between Derry youths and the police and during the night a large force of reportedly drunken R,U.C, men entered the Bogside area and indiscriminately smashed windows and assaulted bystanders, There was widespread protest at this apparently unprovoked attack on the Bogside by the R.U.C. and despite demands for an independent inquiry a special Police inquiry was set up under Inspector Bailie to investigate allegations concerned with the R,U.C.
ON OCTOBER THE 9TH students of Queen's University Belfast staged a sit down outside the Guildhall in Derry to protest against the police brutality of October the 5th. This was in effect the beginning of the Peoples' Democracy as a loosly-knit movement. The Government showed immediate concern by sending two senior Civil Servants to a mass meeting of the students. It was evident that the Government was not happy about the nonsectarian stance of the students.
ARE CATHOLICS really discriminated against in the North. If so, who carries out the policy, and how? What is the evidence to support the often repeated Catholic accusation that they get a raw deal in housing, jobs and political representation? Intra-communal discrimination is manifest in disparities of income; inequality of employment opportunities; different unemployment and emigration rates; allociation of housing and the share out of political representation.
ONCE UNIONISM had secured constitutional power and finally survived the threat of the Boundary Commission it rapidly extended its power over the Protestant population of the Six Counties. It utilised all its resources to crush all other organisations with any power and any manifestation of discontent among the Protestant working classes. It did this primarily by institutionalising sectarianism.
GLADSTONE REFERRED to Ireland in his private papers as " Ireland, Ireland island in the West, that coming storm." For the English, Ireland has been the source of intermittent gales for five centuries and now again Britain is watching the massing of clouds and the rumbling of thunder. Ireland has been the primary source of political discontent and trouble since the reign of Henry VII. It has been the area where the imperialism and exploitation of the growing power of Great Britain has been at its most marked and most savage.
What is probably a unique event in the annals of ecclesiastical diplomacy took place last month. Last month, without wanting to, George Otto Simms became the head of a Church. Perhaps only Pope John equalled this. Dr. Simms could, in charity, be called a modest, gentle, scholarly and timid man. He embodies the essence of Anglican spirituality. This spirit, like Dr. Simms, is fostered in a cloistered, academic atmosphere and thus is knowledgable, wise and lacking in social courage.
ON OCTOBER 11th, the second consultative assembly of the world's bishops meets in Rome. Once again the Synod will assemble under the presidency of Cardinal Conway, who will attempt to steer it safely through the troubled waters of episcopal discontent as he did so effectively last time. On that occasion the Curia hadarranged the agenda before the bishops Once again they have arranged the arrived.