The Breastplate

 
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LORICA

'The Breastplate'  Editorial Written By Owen Quinn - 1961

The launching of a magazine is somewhat intoxicating. Pioneers, however, we cannot properly claim to be. Sounder-than-rumour has it that the heady stuff of earlier Academy magazines enlivened the times. But if one door is shut by Providence, a massive gate is often opened to make up for it. Thus the same historical fact which deprives this paper of some of the panache associated with innovators, confers on it the romantic mystique of the phoenix - an Irish symbolic bird if ever there was one. The Breastplate, then, is rearing itself up out of the ashes of precursors. We hope it will sing
gan fhuigheall, gan easbhaidh, gan locht fénics eile lan d’éifeacht
and that our bird may never come to nest in death or flames.


Speculation on the uses of a school magazine can hardly be separated from consideration of the general benefits to be derived from attendance at a college of the Academy’s kind. The more obvious advantages come to mind immediately. The Academy equips its pupils to wrest from modern economic circumstances a decent livelihood later in life; independently of bread and butter, the subjects taught here drill and excise the wits of students and so build them up intellectually; most important of all, the Academy gives its boys something to lean on as they take their first steps towards integrating religion with other aspects of living.

But the school is less frequently given credit for being a nursemaid protecting its children for a few extra years from the community in its harsher and more impersonal forms - the State, for instance - from all the things that are Caesar’s, and from the heartless business machine’s insatiable appetite for anonymous cogs. These advantages are augmented and intensified by the very existence of The Breastplate.

Further, it is another tie binding more closely and reinforcing the Academy community and everybody connected with it. Again, as a provider of worthwhile information The Breastplate may be seen as a forward step in the direction of a telephone directory, while as a platform for airing views it looks to Hyde Park Corner! But the magazine has its less obvious uses. Do not overlook that short flights in a school magazine perform this less obtrusive function, that they deprive print of the cachet of the unfamiliar. Editors know how the mere expectation of seeing his name in print upsets the novice writer, so much so that he tries too desperately hard, loses his sense of proportion, and fails to do himself justice. The Breastplate should reduce vulnerability in this sense.

The request for contributions was responded to, to an overwhelming extent. Enough material was submitted to stuff a couple of Breastplates to bursting-point. For this, and for the enthusiasm it implies, praise is due to the Academy teachers of Irish and English: Dr. MacLarnon, Master Ryan and Father McInteggart. Contributors, whose work does not appear in this number, are assured it will be included, "le congnamh Dé," in forthcoming issues. Finally, the appearance of the magazine comparatively early this month is due to Miss Kathleen Devlin s heroic efforts in the fields of typewriting end pagination.

Lorica

 

 

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