#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 13°C Sunday 20 June 2021

'Say the daily rosary': This is the kind of fan mail you get when you're Taoiseach

Garret Fitzgerald got quite a bit when he signed the Anglo-Irish agreement.

WHEN TAOISEACH GARETH Fitzgerald signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement in late 1985, he predictably received praise and also the usual opprobrium.

He even received some cards of congratulations, some glowing in their praise, some predictably quaint and even some from far-flung places.

File Photo 30th Anniversary of the Signing of the Anglo-Irish Agreement this week Signing the Agreement in Hillsborough outside Belfast. Source: Eamonn Farrell

Here are some extracts of what was sent into the Taoiseach:

From Mr. & Mrs. Taylor, Staffordshire, UK:

Some time back, shortly after your new Archbishop was consecrated we wrote to him, to encourage him, that all Ireland say the Daily Rosary. This is the only chance to get the Most Holy Rosary, recited in Ireland, that is the only way, and then all your great efforts are bound to succeed.

From Freda Doherty, Cloonbrackna Avenue, Roscommon:

I could not help comparing the Treaty signed by Michael Collins RIP and the English Gov! The shrewd and ambitious Dev sent Michael and the others – telling them to get the best terms. He refused to go and went off to America!

Let me again wish you every success – you have courage and honour and may the Lord be with you.

Sincerely yours, Freda Doherty.
P.S: I wrote to you some years ago from Findland.

IMG_2130 Source: National Archives
P.A. Tinne, Cuilbeg, Claddaduff, Co. Galway:

As a British subject retired and permanently resident in your Republic I wish to tender to you and Mr. Barry my heartfelt congratulations on your achievements in yesterday’s agreement.

Sarah H. J. Poyntz, Ithaca, New York:

I am only sorry you did not have the support of Fianna Fáil and I have written to Mr. Haughey expressing my disappointment at his failure.

Mrs. Dwyer, Alhambra, California:

Dear Excellency, Rarely has the occasion arisen where I have the privilege and opportunity, to write to the Taoiseach of my country, Ireland!….The war-mongers, the critics, the ‘die hards’ with the “sell out” slogans will be on hand. I’m sure from what I read, they have already begun the usual tactics.

Dianne Feinstein, Mayor of San Francisco:

IMG_0446 Source: National Archives

Read: This is the most sarcastic letter ever written about butter to a Taoiseach

Read: This 8-year-old wrote to the Taoiseach in 1984 because RTÉ was ‘mean to block sunshine’

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

Read next: