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Thread: Sheila Cloney (Fethard-on-sea case mother) dies!!!

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    Politics.ie Member spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Sheila Cloney (Fethard-on-sea case mother) dies!!!

    Woman at centre of infamous Fethard-on-Sea boycott dies - The Irish Times - Tue, Jun 30, 2009


    Some may know the story!

    I hope many do!

    A brave and principled lady who had to bear the most enormous pressure to do what she thought was right by her children!


    RIP

    <Mod> This thread has been merged with "Iconic Fethard-on-sea case mother, dies." </Mod>
    Last edited by stringjack; 30th June 2009 at 02:19 PM. Reason: Merged thread.
    When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity.

    ALBERT EINSTEIN

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    Stood up to Catholic bigotory at a time when it wasn't the thing to do,derserves respect.

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    Politics.ie Newbie parakeet's Avatar
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    A woman who was driven to flee this country, because of the evil Catholic bigotry and intolerance, which was then all pervasive.

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    Nice bit in the article about the support he received from the old IRA " who had fallen out with the clergy "
    What a difference from the ethnic cleansers who operated along the border in the '80's.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lapsedmethodist View Post
    Nice bit in the article about the support he received from the old IRA " who had fallen out with the clergy "
    What a difference from the ethnic cleansers who operated along the border in the '80's.
    Indeed, some of the people from the Old IRA were honourable decent people, particularly those who wanted a different Ireland from what we got, and not just the same order, but with a homegrown elite.

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    Default What a load of rubbish -- revisionism



    In May 1957, Fethard-on-Sea found itself embroiled in controversy related to the ''Ne Temere'' decree. A local Catholic curate Father Stafford and some of the parishioners started a sectarian boycott of Protestant-owned local businesses, claiming others in the Protestant community were complicit in the kidnapping of Catholic schoolchildren by their mother (Tom Kelly did in fact supply her with the necessary funds to travel North), and vowing to sustain the campaign until the children were returned; a Protestant music teacher lost 12 of her 13 pupils, and the Catholic teacher of the local Protestant school was forced to resign. The boycott was in response to the actions of a Protestant woman, Sheila Kelly Cloney. Mrs. Cloney had left both her Catholic husband and the village, taking her two daughters, rather than sending them to the local National (Catholic) School, as was the wish of the father.

    Seán Michael Cloney was himself an early victim of the Boycott Committee, due to non-compliance.

    The kidnapping was condemned by the local Church of Ireland rector, Rev ACP Fisher and Bishop McPhair. The boycott received national and international coverage through the summer, Remarks by Professor Brian Farrell at the Launch of the Parliamentary Archive on the Internet on 5 July 2001 before ending that autumn, following a reconcilliation mediated in Dublin through Mrs. Cloney's father, Tom Kelly and parties acting on behalf of Mr. Cloney.[url]http://www.ucd.ie/archives/html/collections/fisher-rev.htm]

    A movie, ''A Love Divided'' (1999) was made about the Cloney family, starring Irish actress Orla Brady as Sheila Cloney. Certain scenes, such as those of the burning of Tom Kelly's (Sheila Kelly Cloney's Protestant father) farm and of violence involving firearms were fabrications and historical misrepresentation, according to Eileen Kehoe, one of the couple's daughters .
    Quote Originally Posted by Eileen Kehoe
    "The country's response to the film has been overwhelming. My father was pleased to see it before he died,"

    "He did make some public comment about where the film had misrepresented some historical points such as the burning of my grandfather Tom Kelly's farm and the physical violence involving sticks and guns. These events did not happen."

    "After the boycott when we returned to Fethard not a word was said about it,"

    "Everyone smiled at each other and were as courteous as ever.
    Also, the film depicted the active support of the local Bishop Dr James Staunton, for the boycott. Dr. Staunton declined to condemn it but never gave his assent to the boycott (as demonstrated in the film). However, preaching to a congregation in Wexford that included John Cardinal D’Alton and six other bishops, Bishop Michael Browne of Galway endorsed the sectarian boycott. He described it as “a peaceful and moderate protest” in response to what “seems to be a concerted campaign to entice or kidnap Catholic children and deprive them of their faith”.

    Sheila Cloney took the children with her to Belfast and made contact with her husband through the means of a solicitor, as depicted in the film. In the film, an aggressive Mr. Cloney (played by actor Liam Cunnigham) immediately rejects any overtures or compromises. The solicitor (Desmond Boal) suggested a reconciliation was possible, provided Seán Cloney accept her terms, never revealed in the film. They were, that her husband sell the farm and emigrate (with herself and the children) to Australia or Canada The Mayo News - Fethard boycott recalled and that '''he accept that the children be raised as Protestants''' Fethardism - TIME. He refused.

    Desmond Boal, who later co-founded the Democratic Unionist Party with Ian Paisley, took up Sheila Cloney’s case.

    Mrs. Cloney received support from none other than Rev. Ian K. Paisley.

    Contrary to what was depicted in the motion picture, the Catholic school teacher employed by the Protestants was not ordered out of the school by her (Catholic) Parish Priest: she herself was the subject of a boycott by the local Protestant parents of pupils National archives Finding aid: Women in 20th-Century Ireland, 1922-1966: Sources from the Department of the Taoiseach (Browse records).

    One of the movie's writers, Gerry Gregg, was an ardent Communist and former member of The Workers Party of Ireland, noted for his antagonism towards the Catholic Church and Irish Republicanism.

    Citations
    (1) from article "Love Conquers All" Sunday Mirror, 5 December 1999 by Amanda Dioherty
    Sean Cloney, who remained a devout Catholic but stern critic of the Church's hierarchy, died last month from pneumonia. But his daughter, Eileen Kehoe, revealed that he was delighted to see the film screened before he died.

    "The country's response to the film has been overwhelming. My father was pleased to see it before he died," she said. "He did make some public comment about where the film had misrepresented some historical points such as the burning of my grandfather Tom Kelly's farm and the physical violence involving sticks and guns. These events did not happen."

    Eileen returned to the town with her parents and sister Mary when the boycott ended. She lives in a comfortable bungalow across the road from the farm where she grew up. Her husband Bill Kehoe, a world champion tug of war team member, runs the 125-acre Cloney farm.

    "After the boycott when we returned to Fethard not a word was said about it," she said. "Everyone smiled at each other and were as courteous as ever.

    (2) from (UK) Independent, 22 October 1999 by Alan Murdoch

    Catholic clergy in the south-east backed the boycott; Dr James Staunton, the hardline local bishop, declined to criticise it.
    As national and international press highlighted the controversy, it was seized on by a young Northern Ireland Presbyterian, Ian Paisley [!!], for whom it confirmed his prejudices about the fate of Protestantism in a wider Catholic society. Irish Catholics further afield did not generally support the boycott. The Taoiseach, Eamon de Valera, a devout Catholic and instigator of the Constitution, called the boycott "ill-conceived, ill-considered, and futile" in July 1957. His words fell on deaf ears.

    (3) from The Mayo News, 23 May 2007, "Fethard Boycott Recalled" by Fr Kevin Hegarty

    In late April Sheila left home, without informing her husband, and went to Belfast with the two girls. Some days later a Belfast barrister, Desmond Toal, went to Fethard-on-Sea to inform Se?n Cloney of the whereabouts of his wife and children. He also told him she was prepared to return to him only if he sold the farm and emigrated. Se?n refused and began legal proceedings for the return of his children.

    (4) from Time Magazine 19 August 1957

    One day last April, while Sean worked in his fields, Sheila bundled their two children into the car and drove off. Later, a Belfast barrister turned up at Dungulph Castle with Sheila's terms for coming back: Cloney must sell the farm, move to Canada or Australia, agree to let the children be raised as Protestants. Cloney got a conditional order for a writ of habeas corpus for his children's return, and waited.

    (5) Extract from National Archives, Record 18441 from Department of the Taoiseach
    Description:
    Newsclipping from the 'Irish Times', 27 May 1957, containing an article entitled 'Village boycott of school and shops'. The article relates to the boycotting by Catholics of Protestant shops in Fethard-on-Sea, County Wexford. Their actions resulted from a domestic dispute between Sheila Cloney, a Protestant, and her husband, Sean Cloney, a Catholic. 'The terms of settlement included his agreement that the two children be brought up in the Protestant faith, and that he consider changing his own religion'. The article states that a Protestant boycott of the local school's Catholic teacher was initiated in response to the action of the Catholic community. The concluding paragraph of the article outlines local opinion. 'A Catholic trader said he believed that if the children were not returned to their father the boycott might spread all over the diocese'.
    Last edited by Seán Mac Stiofán; 12th October 2009 at 04:10 AM.

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    Default Ohhhh

    I thought I would finish with this from the RTE website:

    Mrs Cloney, a Protestant, was not prepared to accept the consequences of the promise made by Seán prior to their marriage.

    She removed their children from the jurisdiction rather than send them to the Catholic school.

    The issue led to what was known as the 'Fethard Boycott' and later became the subject of a film, 'A Love Divided'.


    'Remove', eh? Another euphemism for 'kidnap'. Interesting that this woman has been completely rehabilitated and lionized by the liberal left here in Ireland. Suppose I had a dispute with my wife over (?) our children education, I suppose people would fully appreciate (and support) my decision to leave with out children in the dead of night. It makes me a hero, actually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seán Mac Stiofán View Post
    I thought I would finish with this from the RTE website:

    Mrs Cloney, a Protestant, was not prepared to accept the consequences of the promise made by Seán prior to their marriage.

    She removed their children from the jurisdiction rather than send them to the Catholic school.

    The issue led to what was known as the 'Fethard Boycott' and later became the subject of a film, 'A Love Divided'.


    'Remove', eh? Another euphemism for 'kidnap'. Interesting that this woman has been completely rehabilitated and lionized by the liberal left here in Ireland. Suppose I had a dispute with my wife over (?) our children education, I suppose people would fully appreciate (and support) my decision to leave with out children in the dead of night. It makes me a hero, actually.
    How do you kidnap your own children when they are not the subject of a court order!

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    Quote Originally Posted by spidermom View Post
    Woman at centre of infamous Fethard-on-Sea boycott dies - The Irish Times - Tue, Jun 30, 2009


    Some may know the story!

    I hope many do!

    A brave and principled lady who had to bear the most enormous pressure to do what she thought was right by her children!


    RIP

    Dáil Éireann - Volume 163 - 04 July, 1957
    Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fethard-on-Sea Boycott.


    Dr. Browne
    asked the Taoiseach if he has received from, or on behalf of, any residents at Fethard-on-Sea representations respecting the boycott of a section of the population there, and if, in view of the grave and growing disquiet throughout Ireland, he proposes to make a statement in regard to the matter.

    Parliamentary Secretary to the Taoiseach (Donnchadh Ó Briain) (thar ceann an Taoisigh)
    : Certain representations have been made to me.

    I have made no public statement because I have clung to the hope that good sense and decent neighbourly feeling would, of themselves, bring this business to an end. I cannot say that I know every fact, but if, as Head of the Government, I must speak, I can only say, from what has appeared in public, that I regard this boycott as ill-conceived, ill considered and futile for the achievement of the purpose for which it seems to have been intended; that I regard it as unjust and cruel to confound the innocent with the guilty; that I repudiate any suggestion that this boycott is typical of the attitude or conduct of our people; that I am convinced that 90 per cent. of them look on this matter as I do; and that I beg of all who have regard for the fair name, good repute and well-being of our nation to use their influence to bring this deplorable affair to a speedy end.

    I would like to appeal also to any who might have influence with the absent wife to urge on her to respect her troth and her promise and to return with her children to her husband and her home.

    Mr. Corish:
    What steps has the Taoiseach taken to find out whether or not there is, in fact, a boycott? Will the Taoiseach endeavour to ensure that certain people will not conspire in this part of the country to kidnap Catholic children?

    The Taoiseach Eamon de Valera
    : I do not think I should add to the considered statement I have made. I am not accepting the statements of the Deputy.

    Deputies
    : Hear, hear!
    I watched with glee, while your kings and queens, fought for ten decades for the gods they made.

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    Cool

    I remember this case. The papers were full of it at the time and most of the reporting was from the slant of the Catholic orthodoxy then virtually unchallenged in Ireland.

    It was a time when a bossy, bigoted priest interfered in a family's internal affairs in a way that would immediately get him told to feck off with himself today. It was in the Diocese of Ferns, where investigative journalists would have found much bigger and horrifying stories to report - or cover up as they almost certainly would have done in the spirit of the times. Ferns was a centre of kiddly-fiddling - big time!

    Then, from the frying pan into the fire, the mother accepted the help of a group of dingbat religious fundamentalists of a different brand, with a certain Ian Paisley (still only Mr, as he hadn't yet bought his $360 doctorate from Bob Jones University - motto "Kill a commie for Christ!") playing a prominent role in stirring the sh1t.

    Whichever groups of opposing bigots you look at, the lesson you learn from both is the same: the sooner Ireland kicks the religion habit, the better!
    Last edited by reknaw; 30th June 2009 at 07:57 AM.

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