A Millstreet Miscellany (4)


This is the hundredth publication by this society. This includes everything from books to pamphlets to leaflets and various editions of some publications.

We want to thank all those who have helped, and continue to help, with our work. We also appreciate the financial help given at the beginning by IRD Duhallow. This bit of ‘pump priming’ was in keeping with IRD’s raison d’etre and I think we have justified their confidence in us.

Of course, we never expected to produce so much material and it may be useful to try to explain briefly why and how we did so.

First of all, the history of this area and North Cork generally has proved to be much more interesting and varied than we ever suspected.

Secondly, our publishing coincided with the flowering of the revisionist school of history which has now come to dominate academia and the media This type of history writing is negative towards our history – at best – and self-hating more often than not. We attract people with the very opposite inclinations. Almost inevitably therefore, we became a target for this new school and had to defend the history of the area as we saw it.

This made us deal with people and issues we never dreamt we would ever have had to concern ourselves with – such as Elizabeth Bowen and her espionage activities during WW II.

Thirdly and most importantly we have worked well because our work is not a commercial enterprise. All the work is done on a voluntary basis – apart from the printers. This makes us immune to financial concerns which is particularly useful in a recession. Neither have we made ourselves dependent on funding or sponsors on which so many other publishers seem to depend and without which they become paralysed.

We make as many as possible of our publication available free of charge on the internet and would like to make them all free eventually if we could cope with the technicalities of doing so.

No doubt some of our critics suspect that all this cannot be as it seems or as I have described it and that there are some ulterior means and motives behind us.

I would remind them of the story of Cresimus in Roman times. He was a small farmer who consistently outdid all his much larger neighbouring farmers in the quality and quantity of his produce.

They suspected he must have been indulging in some form of the black arts and accused him of sorcery, (it would probably be called corruption today), and they had him hauled before the court to defend himself.

To counter the charge he turned up with his fine strong daughter, his well kept agricultural tools, his sleek and well-fed oxen and explained:

” These are my magic arts, O Romans, but there are others which I cannot exhibit – my sleepless hours, my watchings and the sweats I have endured.” He was acquitted.

We have had it much easier than Cresimus because we do not have to compete in the market place. We are simply indifferent to it.

All we do is a labour of love and our success may well have helped prove the old adage that love conquers all – as another Roman put it.

Jack Lane

October 2010