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Sligo Independent 15 October 1915
            BISHOP ELLIOTT.
      (From the "Daily Express")

Summoned when o’er his little field of labour
        Red sunset seemed to flame,
Toil-worn, obscure, unmindful of such favour
        To Bedell’s throne he came;
No courtier bland or pedant idly turning some
        page of cryptic lore,
But girded with a vest of zeal, and yearning to
        serve us more and more.

With force of sheer sincerity, commanding to
        kindness ever prone,
Humble and yet most masterful, oft standing
        Undauntedly alone
Till’ far beyond our narrow frontiers honoured
        God help him to fulfil
Sweet dreams for Zion long intently pondered
        And make her fairer still.

Heedless if others claimed the praise, his guerdon
        To rouse from lethargy,
And bear, where faith’s bright torch grew pale,
        the burden of immortality.
Keen watchman of our battlements oft warning
        With clear loud trumpet calls,
And e’en in lengthened old age nobly scorning
        To rest within the walls.

True shepherd of a scattered flock well tended
        Through many a cloudy day,
The savour of a life so richly blended
        Soon shall not pass away;
For though to thee no stone of sculptured glory
        In after years may rise,
Enshrined within, our hearts shall be the story
        Of thy self-sacrifice.

                                                    W. W. P.

The eastern and northern part of county Sligo, including Sligo town, belonged to the united Church of Ireland diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh.

The Rt Rev Alfred George Elliott (1828–1915) was Bishop of this diocese from 1897 until his death in 1915. He had been educated at Trinity College, Dublin, he was ordained in 1858 and his first post was a curacy at Bailieborough.

At the 1913 diocesan synod the Bishop attacked home rule saying "Our efforts to avert the danger have not succeeded. Its approach seems now so near that its shadow is already upon us. Unless it pleases heaven to interfere on our behalf, I see no possibility of averting the action of our rulers, Utopian in its conception, and bound to be calamitous in its consequence."

He then went on to speak at length of the suffering of loyalists under "Home Rule" during the reign of James II. This address led to much negative comment and criticism of the Bishop in the nationalist press.  

The rest of Sligo was part of the diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry. John Plunket, born in Bray and educated at Harrow and Cambridge, was elected bishop in April 1913. His statement that ‘happy relations’ existed between his people and their Catholic neighbours was given prominence in thee nationalist press and his attitude was contrasted with that of Bishop Elliott.

he Rt. Rev. William Bedell, D.D. (1571–1642), served as Lord Bishop of Kilmore. He was born in Essex and educated at Cambridge. During the Irish Rebellion of 1641 he was captured and tortured by the rebels. After being released he died as a result of his ill-treatement.


Sligo Independent 26 June 1915
The West’s Awake

The following lines, written by the Ven. Archdeacon McCormick, Collooney, have been culled from the Irish Times, and forwarded to us for publication. They are set specially to the air of “The West’s Awake,” and are addressed to the young farmers of Ireland: —

Awake! To arms! Confront the foe
(The slogan sounds; the war pipes blow),
And let the perjured Germans know
Gaels shall fight for right, come weal or woe.
Shall Flanders, soaked in blood and tears,
Appeal in vain to Irish ears?
Down spades and shoulder bandoliers;
The nation calls for volunteers.

Your brother’s blood for vengeance cries;
To you the remnant turn their eyes.
For khaki doff the homely frieze,
And share with them war’s wild emprise.
To keep the Huns from Erin’s Isle,
Who would your hearts and shrines defile,
Your women rape, your race exile—
Be this your task, nor heed their guile.

Where trumpets blare, ’mid cannon’s roar,
The wild geese flock now as of yore;
May heedful Heaven upon them pour
The help which faithful hearts implore.
Come, North and South, grip hand in hand—
One eager, armed, fraternal band—
Unfurl the flag and hurl the brand,
And save your common native land.


In his Sligo and Its Surroundings (1926) Tadhg Kilgannon described the Very Rev. Archdeacon McCormick as an "enthusiastic Gaelic scholar, who takes a keen interest in the language revival."

He served as Rector in Collooney for thirty six years and died there in 1936.
In 1934 he had a book of poetry entitled In the Glow of the Peat (and other verses) published by by A.H. Stockwell, London, under the Irish version of his name, Seoirse Maccormaic. Obituaries stressed his interest and involvement with the Irish language revival and Sligo Feis Cheoil.

This poem of his is another of those seeking to encourage the men of Connaught to enlist. It follows the usual pattern of such poetry, recruiting advertsiements and posters in citing the brutality of the "Huns" and the protection of their women, homes and religion as the reasong why an Irishman might enlist.

The phrase 'Mid cannons' roar
 in the last stanza is an unexpected and unintended echo of the Soldiers' Song, which was to become an anthem of Sinn Féin and the national anthem of the new state in 1926.  'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal is a line in Peadar Kearney's song which had been written in 1907.

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