INTRODUCING DORA – AND AN SOB vs OSB exchange – by Donal Kennedy


DORA – THE DEFENCE OF THE REALM ACT was passed by the British Parliament on 8 August 1914.

It was designed to control  UK ports, subject civilians to the rule of military courts, and to control the press.

The powers it gave the Government were extended. Allied with the Official Secrets Act, it in effect let Governments

do as they like. And like the Treason Felony Act of 1848 it is impossible to establish, which, if any, of its provisions have been repealed.

The Christian Brothers’ History of the Great War recorded the biggest surrender of British Troops up to that time.

 It happened in Mesopotamia,  when General Townshend surrendered 9,000 troops and many thousands of camp followers to the Ottoman Turks.

The day was Saturday 29 April 1916.

 On that very day, in DUBLIN, in order to save the lives of its civilian population, the undefeated Republican Insurgents

 obeyed the orders of their leaders to surrender. The leaders knew that they would be shot by their enemies. But they trusted their compatriots to endorse the prospectus they had set out in their Proclamation: Citizenship, votes for all men and women and a democratic Republic.

The Christian Brothers’ Account of the Great War has no mention of the 1916 Rising.

Nonetheless the Christian Brothers’  account of the War is one of the most impressive, fascinating and appalling works I have ever read. Virtually every war that is being waged or threatening today arises from it, and the refugees dying from the English Channel back to their places of origin are its victims,

One man with a complete understanding of DORA is the great English film-maker Ken Loach. DORA gets mentioned in the very first scene in “THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY” as the murdering soldiers kill a youth who gives his name in Irish,

Professor Roy Foster wrote a diatribe attacking  Loach and the film. Brian P, Murphy OSB, born and schooled by Jesuits in London, is  an historian and Benedictine Monk in Glenstal Abbey in Limerick. He analysed Foster’s diatribe line by line in the most polite way, and left it looking like a salami which had been pared, millimetre by millimetre. I doubt Foster had ever heard of DORA, or of Brian P. Murphy OSB. 

Father Murphy would probably have earned from Bernard Shaw the compliment the latter paid to the debating skills of Leon Trotsky – He would cut off his opponent’s head, and then hold it up by the ears to demonstrate that it had no brains in it.

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