Les Relations des Jésuites contiennent 6 tomes et défont le mythe du bon Sauvage de Jean-Jacques Rousseau, et aussi des légendes indiennes pour réclamer des territoires, ainsi que la fameuse «spiritualité amérindienne».

dimanche, avril 29, 2007


Page 8 of the Summary reads. 'In 1989, the Co-ordinator of the Celtic Studies Program [Professor Ann Dooley] was invited by the Canadian Association of Irish Studies to organize their annual conference at the College. She reports: 'Professor O'Driscoll was disappointed by this and wrote some letters to persons in authority in the University to protest my work stating that I was not an appropriate representative of Ireland because of my known sympathies with 'Republican' views of the North of Ireland. In all my years of service to the Irish community at the University this slanderous innuendo angered me the most. I consider this to be inappropriate behaviour of a colleague for which no apology was ever given, but perhaps I have an overly idealistic view of the respect which colleagues owe each other.'

Source: Colleague for whom I had arranged appointment in the University. Time: 1989.

Response: I wanted a different kind of Conference from the one Dr. Dooley was envisioning. I wanted one embracing Northern Ireland and Britain as well as the Republic, and at the time could have got both the Prime Minister of Ireland (Garrett Fitzgerald) and the Chairman of the New Ireland Forum (Colm O hEocha who had arranged the accord between Fitzgerald and Republic of Ireland. I suggested a collaboration: She rejected it. It was then decided to submit her proposal to an independent arbitrator, Professor Cecil Houston of Erindale College at the University of Toronto. He wrote as follows to Celtic Arts, one of the sponsoring bodies:

'I was quite disappointed by the narrowness of the presentation by Ms. Dooley. While she was a very effective advocate of her own position, she left me with no confidence that the CAIS [Canadian Association for Irish Studies, which I had founded at St. Michael's in 1968] would be anything other than a narrowly ranging in-house affair. I have an image of tried and true academics and artists celebrating the major part of Irish society but neglecting the minorities.'

Professor Houston then goes on to develop his point: 'The critical divisions and discontinuities rep)resentedby 1690 seem to have disappeared in Ms. Dooley's notions of an Ireland trying to redefine itself, but those notions come (close to being based on a mythical racial monolith. Her view too that the northerners question of receding into the background is perhaps wishful. Much as an ostrich would like the northerners to disappear, the event is not in the cards of the IRA, the nationalists, the unionists, the ecumenicals, the Catholics or any other group represented in the mosaic north of the border.'

Professor Houston turns then to what was to be the focus of the Conference, 1690-1990, which I first mentioned my 1,000-page book, The Irish in Canada. Professor Houston writes:

'It seems to me that if a conference has as its subtitle 1690-1990, then it should confront 1690 or at least its legacy which has evolved in the twentieth century. Ms. Dooley had all the right jargon and dropped lots of important names. She did not drop important names of 1690-1990 - Brian Friel, Nicholas Canny, A.T.Q. Stewart, Frank McGuinness, Tom Paulin, and Padraic O'Malley.

'I don't know if a compromise that includes a greater and more diverse agenda is possible. I tend to think not. Compromise is a Canadian thing. Holding ground is more likely the Irish response' (Archives of Celtic Arts, letter from Cecil Houston, 26 April 1989).

Once again we see that when one has access to the original documents a different picture emerges firom what the 'Summary' suggests: one will never get the full trutth by listening only to the first person who is in a position to tell.

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