FACTs |3| Connaught’s Missing Year

John Moynes knows FACTs about Ireland. Little-known facts that you probably don’t know. Don’t feel bad. There’s no shame in knowing fewer FACTs than John Moynes who, as we have already established, knows lots of them. For instance, did you know that 1943 didn’t happen in Connaught.

The 1930s was a grim decade. As the world reeled from the twin blows of global economic meltdown and the unstoppable spread of jazz dancing, terrified voters across Europe abandoned democracy like a used glove, and turned to dictatorships. Political power, once safe in the hands of decent chaps, was seized by maniacs in fancy dress who ranted furiously about war. The die was cast, and in 1939 every country on the planet abandoned all sense of decency and descended into blatant rudeness.

Every country except one. In Ireland a special committee of experts was established to decide the country’s war policy. Eighteen months later the committee reported that while the war was perhaps the greatest threat to civilisation ever seen they could not recommend joining in until it was clear who had won. The government’s hands were tied, and thus started the period of history known all around the world as “The Emergency”.

The gentlemen of the Department of Time shortly after the announcement of Connaught's missing year - HeadStuff.org
The gentlemen of the Department of Time shortly after the announcement of Connaught’s missing year. via sydney.edu.au

The Emergency was a boom time for Ireland’s export industry as our main product, young people, were in demand right across North Africa, Europe, and even the Pacific and eventually Japan. Sacrifices were required in order to fulfil such a demand, and so it was decided to cancel the western province for 12 months to save money. The abolition of Connaught had long been advocated by modernists, but they faced stiff opposition from Big Turf. A year-long hiatus was the compromise reached by the Department of Time.

On the 7 May 1945 Admiral Karl Doenitz signed, on behalf of Germany, the forms required to end The Emergency. The forms were stamped by the Returning Officer and Victory in Europe was declared. No more more was spoken about the Western Hiatus until last Wednesday, when a case was taken to the European Court of Human Rights by a bewildered almanacist from Ballina. The court ruled that the missing year must be re-enacted in its entirety by 2025 or the entire decade will face a fine.

The re-enactment will be broadcast live on Youtube, presented by Derek Mooney.