21 AUGUST 1936, Page 3

By-Elections in Ireland

The results of the two important by-elections held in Galway and Wexford this week show that Fianna Fail, Mr. de Valera's party, is in no danger of losing support. In Galway, Fianna Fail had a 7,000 majority, in Wexford a 6,500 majority, over Fine Gael, Mr. Cosgrave's party. After the loss of a recent by-election in Dublin, and the suppression of the Irish Republican Army last month, it had been thought that Mr. de Valera's popularity might be on the decline. But Mr. de Valera, as usual, seems to have calculated well ; in both Wexford and Galway the Republicans gained surprisingly few votes ; the aged Count Plunkett in Galway secured only .3,000. And Fine Gad appears to have no policy positive or con- structive enough to distinguish it from Fianna. Fail. Irishmen certainly do not seem conscious that Mr. de Valera's Government has brought upon them the dire consequences threatened by the late Dominions Secretary. The success of Fianna Fail may have one consequence which both Englishmen and Irishmen should welcome. The elections took place without disturbance, and in an atmosphere which, together with their results, may persuade Mr. de Valera that it is worth his while to produce his new Constitution and hold a General Election before Christmas. If he does, the Free State will have made another step forward in the development of its political institutiOns.