Sayfadaki görseller
[ocr errors]


the present line of sovereigng. (Loud huzzas, which interrupted the learned gentleman for several moments.) The bigot who had been deprived of majesty, lost it, because he had dared to endeavour to enslave his people—to fetter them in the vilest bonds, and coerce the consciences of his subjects. (Cheers.) The magnanimous people ilung the great despot from his exalted station. They drove him from his throne, and placed King William on it, upon principles which I most heartily applaud. (Loud and reiterated bravos, the assembly waving their hats.) And these are real Jacobins who, adopting the principles of the justly-dethroned King James, would vainly attempt to trench on civil and religious liberty.

Sir, I would be among the first who, in honest sincerity, would drink the glorious memory of King William, if it was not tho custom in Ireland to affix ideas coupled with insults to ries."

I hope, sir, that this wretched country is about to look on a new day. With a climate like ours, shores indented by spacious harbours, every fleet that leaves our green island might be mado the conveyances of such plenty, the product of our fertile soil, 48 would be sufficient to feed half the world. But, sir, we are otherwise employed. Instead of availing themselves of the great blessings bestowed by a bountiful Providence, Irishmen are busy in the pursuit of " discord,” under the name of “religion,” and uomindful of the sacred instructions of their God, who said, " Be known as my disciples, if you love one another.” I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the reverend gentleman will excuse my preaching. (Huzzas.) I trust he will excuse my transient usurpation of his calling. He has said he was no barrister ; I am no clergyman. I have preached unanimity, however, and I would say to him—“Go thou and do likewise.” (Cheers.)

Lord Cloncurry was moved into the second chair, and the meeting separated in good humour, at an observation of his lordship's, relative to his different treatment that day, and on the last day he had been at a meeting there—the occasion when the then sherlik bad him removed by force.


April 25, 1823. Tai time was now at hand when the rec? Catholic Association-the association that in its organization, activity, and efficiency, so very far surpassed all the bodies that had gone before iting whether Catholic Boards, Catholic Committees, or whatever their designations was to be called into existence.

Little did the government imagine what an engine was about to be set at work." Catho Bc agitation seemed to them, at that moment, to be sunk below contempt. The divisions of the vet, the continued disappointments of hope, in particular, the utter annihilation of the sanguine, and apparently most assured hope, the king's visit and fair speeches had excited; the impunity, absolute and unbroken, which was given to the wildest Orango excesscs, had the most depressing and deadening influence upon the spirits of the Catho 'ics, and few, very few, indeed, anticipated the extraordinary moral resurrection that wa Aow about to take place.

The first public symptom of what was coming was a mceting not regularly conveno nor by any means well attendede at Dempsey's rooms in Sackville-street, upon Friday, the 25th April

At this meeting, Mr. O'Connell thus shadowed out the great project upon which he had resolved to enter :


MR. O'CONNELL rose to second the motion of Mr. O'Connor, He observed that much had been said in former times about the heat and intemperance of Catholic "leaders,” as they were called, but sure he was that no intemperance could have placed Catholic affairs in a more melancholy condition than that to which they were reduced at present. (Hear, hear.)

If the Catholics looked back for years, he would confidently say, they would find that they had not the guilt even of a mistake to answer for. They were, in fact, accused of no misconduct. If their names were mentioned in parliament, it was for the purpose of bestowing some approbation upon them. Yet what was the reward of their conduct ? A state of things more degrading, if not more hopeless, than anything that has yet been witnessed in Ireland. (Loud cries of hear, hear.)

“ Under these circumstances, two or three measures appeared to him expedient, or indeed indispensable. First, some persons

, must take the trouble of managing the affairs of the Catholica The people owe it to the country and to themselves, that if their cause retrogrades, it shall not be, at least, through utter and shameful negligence. They do not deserve, and they should not, allow, the blame to rest for one moment upon themselves. (Cheers.) The Orangemen are sufficiently active : no man could accuse them of allowing opportunities to pass unused ; they were ever found ready, not only to use them, but to abuse them to the uttermost, whenever it was in their power. They have their "admirable organization,” as it has been called, their presses here and in London, their lodges, their enormous revenues drawn through pensions and places from the pockets of the people ; and they have the undisguised sanction and enccuragement of pine-tenths—no, but ninety-nine hundredths—of the persons filling the most prominent departments connected with the go vernment of the country. (Loud cheers.)


* In this state of things it would certainly seem 'strange if there was no body of confidential persons to whom the people of Ireland could look, even for counsel-none to whom they ould turn in their distresses and maddening sufferings, and crave sympathy and what aid there might be means of giving. It was dangerous to leave the people without some body of rosognized friends of theirs, to whom they could at least give vent to their complaints. (Hear, hear.) He (Mr. O'Connell) would, therefore, strongly recommend the formation of such a body of persons. Particular cases need not be referred to, but it would be useless to conceal, that if things went on in this country as they have recently done, Catholic life or property, would not, in a little time, be commonly safe, even in the capital itself. (Hear, hear.)

The learned gentleman next proceeded to point out the necessity of calling an aggregate meeting, as another measure rendered indispensable by the character of the times, and also to show the expediency of a representation TO THE KING.

There was a fourth duty which he considered imperative on the body, and that was, an expression of the ardent and unqualified gratitude with which the entire conduct of Mr. Plunket, since his accession to office, has filled the breasts of the Catholic people. (Loud cheers.)

Meetings were now coming thick ; 80, without delaying with commentaries, we hasten to record them, and show how the foundation was laid for the great edifice that was about to be ruised in the sacred name of liberty, civil and religious.

On Wednesday, the 30th April, Dempsey's Rooms saw another gathering of the chief Catholics, to arrange as to the resolutions which were to be brought forward at the intended Catholic aggregate meeting.

The following is the brief account of the main part of it, as given in the journals of the day, with the requisition on which the aggregate meeting was summoned.

After Sir Edward Bellew had been moved to the chair, and had briefly alluded to the business that had brought them together, and Mr. Shiel·had also spoken upon the subject, Mr. O'Connell was called cpon. Among a variety of other remarks,

MR. O'CONNELL observed that he came forwari with the utmost deference to tender his advice. It was a time when all who considered they could offer anything of benefit to the comnon interest, were bound, in conscience and duty, to come for. Ird. As for himself, his first and last recommendation to his afflicted countrymen would be, to take the management of their own affairs, and to proceed in that management with firmness and unanimity. (Cheers.)

Ther saw the wretched condition to which their cause hac been reduced. No one ought to be surprised at it: there was

[ocr errors]

nothing out of the ordinary course of things in it: it was just that condition to wbich must be reduced the concerns of any inen, or set of men, deluded enough to put their trust in the agency of others. (Hear, hear.)

As to firmness and unanimity, if ever these qualities were desirable, were necessary in the affairs of an unfortunate people, assuredly this is the time when there is the utmost need of their exhibition and maintenance. The Catholics had opposed to them a faction as weak in intellect certainly as it was despicable in principle; but despicable as it was, simple contempt of it was not safe. It was formidable, most formidable, not of itself, but inasmuch as it was backed and supported by power. (Hear, hear, hear.) However contemptible the faction was in numerical strength, no one would dispute that it had not only arranged itself in the most envenomed hostility against every thing that could be called liberal in principle, and that was deemed essential to popular right; but had been hitherto able to sustain itself, though opposed by the sovereign authority itself. (Hear, hear.)

He thought it the duty of the aggregate meeting to pass, on behalf of Mr. Plunket, a resolution declaratory of their gratitude and entire confidence, and that it should be couched in as ardent and unqualified terms as the language could afford. (Loud applause.) He looked upon Mr. Plunket as having been made a perfect martyr to his public duty. He was now

actually standing the brunt of a persecution, more audacious, more persevering, and more inveterately malignant than any other person, public or private, even in this country of persecution, had ever before to encounter. (Cries of hear, bear.)

If Mr. Plunket is suffering, has suffered, or is doomed to remain a lasting object of factious rancour, it is because he has endeavoured to break the chains of his Catholic countrymen. (Hear, hear.) Did he only consent to deşert his duty like others, to basely betray the cause he had pledged himself so devotedly to serve, there is no one who would stand higher in the estimation of faction than Mr. Plunket.

After inveighing in very animated terms against the conduct of those who described Mr. Plunket as a tyrant, and stating the case in which the late Attorney-General filed an er-officio iuformation after the bills had been ignored (the case of the bottlethrowers), he proceeded to remark, that if a lawless press traduced him publicly and privately-he would repeat, that if (as the fact was) Mr. Plunket were now persecuted in all ways,

with a

savage malignity for which there is no parallel in the history of party in this or any other country, it was because he had not abandoned his duty towards the sacred cause of religious freedom.

When Mr. O'Connell had concluded, a committee of eleven was appointed to prepare the resolutions and the address. The gentlemen named were, Sir E. Bellew, Daniel D'Connell, John Howly, Eneas M'Donnell, Cornelius Lyne, Hugh O'Connor, A. Strong il ussey, Lawrence Clinch, T. M'Donuell, Purcell O'Gorman, and William Murphy.



“ April, 1893.


“We, the undersigned, request that you will, on the earliest day that may be convenient, call an aggregate meeting of the Catholics of Ireland, in Dubilin, to take into consideration such constitutional measures as ought to be adopted in the present unprecedented posture of Catholic affairs. Netterville Lawrence Finn.

Mark Malone.
Thomas Furlong.

Edward Conlan.
Thos. Esmonde, Bart. William Shine.

Peter Chamberlaine
Sir E. Bellew.
S. Young

Robert Walsh.
John Burke, Bart Joseph Plunket.

Andrew Ennis.
Gonville Ffrench.
James Keating.

Patrick Keelv.
Cornelius Lync.

Robert James Staunton. George O'Nill.
Kean Mahony.
Hugh O'Connor.

Jolin Ennis.
John Murphy.
Val. O'Connor.

Iługh M‘Donald.
Edward White.

N. Power, co. Waterford. John Walsh.
Michael Corcoran.
Patrick Costello.

Hugh O'Loghlen.
Richard Corvallis. J. M‘Namara, co. Clare. Francis M'Donnell.
David Lynch.
John Howly, jun.

Charles Cavanagh.
Thomas Fitzgeralih O'Conor Don.

Stephen Woulse.
William Forde.
Patrick Grehan.

John Power
Michael Hughes.

Michael O'Loghnan. Maurice O'Connell, Dar. John Burke. John Fox.

rynane. Edward Hogan. James Corballis.

Daniel O'Connell. J. P. Nugent.

Richard O'Gorman. John O'Connell, Grena Roger Hayes.

John Mac Laughlin. Killarney.
William Murphy. John Joseph Scanlan. Richard Shiel.
John Donohue.
Pierce Ronayne.

Elias Corbally.
William Conlan.
Daniel Ferrall.

Michael Roche. l'atrick Oliver Plunket. Michael O'Brien.

Jonathan Lynch.
Bryan Cogan.

James J. Callanan. Henry Lambert.
Thos. M'Donndl.
Anthony Browne.

J. P. Corballis. l'atrick Scanlan.

Thomas Chamberlaine. Eneas M'Donnell dolu Fitzpatrick. Christopher M'Donnell. Thomas C. Dist., D' Trey Ayre.

Michael Sweetmon. James O'Shaughnessy 11:onias Talbot.

John Burka,


« ÖncekiDevam »