Bishop calls for a boycott of the Standard

Published in 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 5 (Sept/Oct 2012), Volume 20

The headline of the offending article in the Waterford Standard, 26 October 1929. (National Library of Ireland)

The headline of the offending article in the Waterford Standard, 26 October 1929. (National Library of Ireland)

In a sermon, reported in the Standard, the bishop of Waterford, Bernard Hackett, advised his flock that:
‘While this outrage [Boyd’s forthright reporting of the Breen trial] remains un-atoned for, parents cannot be expected to admit the offending newspaper to their households with the implicit confidence which they may have hitherto entertained’.
The weight of the bishop’s perceived authority was illustrated in the trial, when Boyd was asked how he defended himself in the light of the bishop of Waterford’s condemnation of his actions. Boyd responded that the bishop of Waterford was as entitled to his opinion as he was. The judge, F.J. McCabe, interjected, asserting that ‘the defendant’s remarks regarding the bishop of Waterford’s letter were most improper and impertinent’.

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