My grandfather was on the committee and a selector in the early 30s, and, although there was a heavy Freemason, and therefore anti-Catholic, influence at the time, he would have struggled to hide that his second son became a Franciscan priest.
The old man reckons that a bloke called Frank Reid was the main Mason influence and always wanted Catholics out of the team no matter, like Jack Jones, how they’d played.
I think most of the conflict disappeared after the death of Dr Mannix. He was an extremely divisive figure, and no wonder the Protestant elite didn’t trust him, or his acolytes.
By the time the likes of Madden, Foulds, the Danihers arrived, and that Allan Hird Snr was president, every vestige was gone.
And despite what youngsters think, it was a really big deal up to the 60s. By the time I started work, it was all over.
Funnily the way you could tell if someone was RC was the way they pronounced aitches as haitches, because that was the Irish way. We were always taught to pronounce it aitch to avoid the conflict.