The Anti-Jazz Campaign July 11, 2011Posted by irishelectionliterature in Ireland.
Tags: Irish History
A great article in The Irish Story on The Anti Jazz Campaign of the 1930s in Ireland.
On New Year’s Day 1934 over three thousand people from South Leitrim and surrounding areas marched through Mohill to begin the Anti – Jazz campaign. The procession was accompanied by five bands and the demonstrators carried banners inscribed with slogans such as ‘Down with Jazz’ and ‘Out with Paganism.’
Fr. Conefrey was asked to chair the February meeting of the South Leitrim Executive of the Gaelic League held in Ballinamore. He thanked all the people who had sent messages of support to the campaign, particularly the Irish National Teachers Organisation, ‘who are willing to do everything possible both for Church and State.’ Conefrey responded to those who asked ‘what is jazz’ by stating that, ‘the Anti – Jazz Campaign excludes no dance that is in keeping with public Christian decency.’ He described jazz as, ‘something that should not as much be mentioned among us and is borrowed from the language of the savages of Africa and its object is to destroy virtue in the human soul.’
Conefrey declared that some of the worst offenders were the Gardaí, who were regularly holding all night jazz dances, ‘even since the Anti – Jazz campaign started,’ and, in most cases, bars were open and the, ‘people attending them are blinded with drink.’ He called this a disgrace and de Valera should, ‘be ashamed of his face to stand by and allow this conduct to be carried on.’ Conefrey called on the Minister of Justice to take action and introduce céilís in every barracks in the country.
There is also a Radio Documentary on RTE about The Anti Jazz Campaign (thanks ejennin)