On International Translators Day, the Irish Translators Association defends its sponsorship of FreemasonryOn International Translators Day (the feast of St Jerome September 30th), An Cumann Aistritheoirí agus Teangairí na hÉireann – the Irish Translators and Interpreters Association defends its sponsorship of Freemasonry
In May of this year, I mailed the national translators association of which I'm a member to protest their support and sponsorship of a European Literature Night event in Dublin; not, as readers can imagine because I'm against European Literature Nights, but because this particular event was being held at the Headquarters of the Freemasons in Ireland in Molesworth Street
Freemasons – any chance of them openly crossing political boundaries?
European Literature Night events running on the 15th of May ran with the catchphrase - “Words on the Street … will take you on a journey across the cultural landscape in an evening of celebrity readings of work by contemporary European authors – in stunning and unusual locations around the Nassau Street area of Dublin.”
The problem for me was that one of these locations was the Freemasons Hall, which is the heart of an organisation in Ireland that is not only a continued bastion of colonial rule but also an organisation whose members rarely declare themselves – particularly within the police and legal professions North and South. Moreover, the Masonic Fraternity in Ireland has strong links with the sectarian Orange Order, which still refuses in most places to discuss their contentious marches with “the Irish”.
Middle-class Dublin sanitises the Freemasons
Leave aside the question of what Dublin City Council was doing choosing the Masonic Hall as a suitable venue for a cross cultural UNESCO event (for that is somebody else’s battle), what was my translators association doing promoting such an event at such a venue?
Thus I wrote a complaint to the ITIA in that same week of May. This complaint was simply ignored. However, come September this year when our annual subscriptions are due, I mailed the subscriptions secretary demanding a reply.
St Jerome 347–420, patron saint of translators, turning in his Scriptorium
On this day of all days, International Translators day after the feast of St Jerome translator of the Bible to the Vulgate, the chairperson of the ITIA Mary Phelan has written to confirm not only her personal support for this “Masonic” event but also that of the ITIA.
I enclose Mary’s reply below, but let me be absolutely clear that the Freemasons of Ireland are not just any charitable organisation and cannot in my view be treated as a normal part of civic society. Quite the opposite.
Though highly vulgar, Freemasons do not do the Vulgate. They are strictly Empire.
Mí Meán Fomhair 2014
Chairperson of the ITIA Mary Phelan's reply