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Mr. O'Connell then moved that a petition be presented to parliament, praying the entire repeal of the Tithe Commutation Bill.

A Protestant gentleman (a Mr. Kelly) here addressed the meeting upon the same subject, and was received with the greatest attention.

Mr. O'CONNELL roso to avail himself of his privilege of reply, and after a high eulogium upon the entiments of the last speaker, and congratulating the Association upon the presence of a gentleman of his ability and liberality, he assured the gentleman that it was not his intention to censure the Protestant clergy generally ; for he (Mr. O'Connell) had amongst them several worthy, liberal, kind-hearted, and learned friends, for whom he entertained a sincere affection, and he had also several relations Protestant clergymen, whose conduct and principles he knew and respected too highly to include them in general

censure.

When he (Mr. O'Connell) expressed his disapprobation of any Protestant clergyman, he alluded to those whose conduct was known to the public, and by whom they would not be mistaken. With respect to the petition, the gentleman was mistaken if he supposed the Association composer of citizens only. They were prevented by legislative enactments from assuming a delegated character ; but the Association consisted of most respectable gentlemen from every county in the kingdom, who ali suffered from the Tithe Bill; and though many citizens were present, yet, like himself, they were tithe payers. As the Association was formed for the management of Catholic affairs, he conceived tithes a peculiar Catholic grievance, and therefore could not think of withdrawing the motion.

CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION—24TH JAx., 1824.

COUNSELLOR FITZSIMON in the Chair.

Artka this Mr. O'Connell proceeded to England to bring home his family, and thus was not present at the three first meetings of the Catholic Association in the year 1824.

Upon Saturday, the 24th of January, however, here appeared in that body, to resume his portionthe lion's share-of the agitation.

MR. KIRWAN rose to propose a motion of which he had given the proper notice. It was to the following effect, viz. : that letters should be written to all the Roman Catholic peers, sons of peers, baronets, &c., &c., requesting of theru to become members of the Catholic Association

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Mr. Kırwax spoke at considerable length to this motion, and when he bad sat dow

MR. O'CONNELL, moved as an amendment, that a committed of nine should be appointed to devise the best mode of enlarging the Association.

He (Mr. O'Connell) did not approve of the mode suggested, of writing letters. The answers should be read, and it would give an opportunity to any gentleman who might differ in opinion with them, to say anything disparaging he pleased, either to gratify peculiar whim or prejudice, or perhaps neither, but merely in submission to the opinion of some interested friend, anxious to create allies to the Warder and Antidote ; and these last would, no doubt, turn their assistance to account, and use those answers to the disadvantage of the Catholic Association. Thus many persons would be prevented from expressing their approbation of it, not wishing to have their families and friends traduced by the vituperated press.

He (Mr. O'Connell) differed from Mr. Kirwan in his opinion, as to the attendance of members of respectability. He remembered that during the existence of the Catholic Board, when it comprised eight hundred members, there was not a better, nor generally so good an attendance as appear at the meetings of the Association; and though he (Mr. O'Connell) had the experience of a score years in Catholic affairs, he had no recollection of more numerous attendances. The Association had certainly taken no pains to extend itself, for which it deserved censure. Every parish ought and should be visited, and inquiries made as to who would become members; or better modes might be adoptad, but certainly none so injudicious or mischievous as raising dissensions amongst themselves, and consequent exposure and misrepresentation. There were difficult times before them. Tory and Orange malignity was industriously exciting in England prejudice in the doubtful, and active hostility in those who, though averse to Catholic claims, were heretofore satisfied with leaving them to the management of more ultra opponents; and it behoved the Catholics in defence of their interests to be watchful, and not intentionally supply their enemies with weapons of offence.

The Catholics should promote that union amongst themselves, which they had been endeavouring so long and so ineffectually to establish amongst their countrymen generally : but there was now something wanting amongst the Catholics, equally as requisite as union of sentiment. They should not cease to keep

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up a necessary fund for proceeding with such measures as might be found expedient for the attainment of their emancipation; and every Catholic in Ireland should be called upon to contribute a monthly sum from one penny up to two shillings, the utmost to which any person should be expected to subscribe By a general effort of that kind, the people of England would see that Catholic millions felt a deep interest in the cause, and that it was not confined, as is supposed, to those styled “agitators,” though, in point of law, the Association cannot represent the people, yet, as they represent the public voice, because able to guide public opinion, they would had they such a fund as was proposed) easily detect those itinerant fomentors of discon. tent, who are at present distributed through the country by the enemies of Ireland, seeking to entrap the unwary, simple, credulous, starving peasant, into some conspiracy or secret association. Thus did the Catholic Board, under Lord Whitworth, when they succeeded in bringing the case so home to several individuals, that many members of the Board went to the castle, and the information and evidence were so powerfully convincing, that Mr. Saurin was obliged to order the persons to be arrested and sent to Newgate ; but they were allowed to depart without any further inquiry, or bringing them before the tribunals; and being at large, were at liberty to renew their work of blood, and pounce like vultures upon the persecuted peasantry, who easily became a prey to their vile treachery. The value of such a fund had been already felt, as, in proportion to its influence, the disturbances through the country had ceased to be extensive. If the committee were appointed, all those matters for the extension of the Association could be considered, and Mr. Kirwan would have the opportunity of pushing his own views.

MR. SHEIL supported Mr. O'Connell's view of the case, and Mr. Kirwan was induced to give way and accede.

MR. O'CONNELL rose to propose a motion of which he had given notice. It was that an aggregate meeting should be held on the 13th of February. The notice he had given was, a resolution to hold an aggregate meeting on the 2nd of February, but he should beg leave to substitute the 13th of February, the day after term, for the day originally named.

First, he had to satisfy them that there ought to be a Catholic aggregate meeting ; and secondly, as to the change of the day. The necessity for holding an aggregate meeting, he conceived, was too obvious to require much consideration. They had pas.

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sed several petitions ; those petitions were but the petitions of individuals; then they require the sanction of the public voice. The Catholin question had at different periods various success ir parliament. Three times it passed the House of Commons, and at one time it was within one of having passed the House of Lords. The conduct of Sir Francis Burdett, on a late occasion, was actuated, as his conduct ever has been, by a hatred of treachery and trick.

He toolt a manly and open line of conduct, but though proper at the timo, its consequences were, perhaps, injurious.

The Catholic question should be kept before the public; the Orange newspapers might, of course, continue to fling their filth on them, so much was to be had in the market of corruption, that even carrion bore a high price. He believed, however, that at least nine-tenths of the conductors of the Orange press were, in point of law, and even in belief, as much a Catholic as he was himself. Some persons, he understood, had intimated that it would be advisable to select another advocate in the House of Commons, to'entrust their cause to : he hoped that their petition would never be taken from Mr. Plunkett, as long as that highly talented advocate choose to accept it. (Hear, hear.)

It had been suggested by Mr. Charles Butler, an English Catholic, that a petition for the repeal of the act which enforces the degrading oath which Protestants take, should be presented, and that the Catholics might be heard by counsel at the bar of the house.

MR. KIRWAN here observed, that no Irish advocate would be heard at the par of the house.

MR. O'CONNELL replied, that no such prohibition existed ; previous to the Union, no English advocate would be heard at the bar of the Irish house, nor Irish at the bar of the English house ; but since the Union, as the parliament consisted of the representatives of the United Kingdoms, that objection did not now exist.

MR. KIRWAN believed, that Mr. Whitestone, the Irish barrister, was refused the liberty of pleading a case before the English parliament; but that the Scotch advocates were entitled to the privilege.

MB. O'CONNELL and MR. SHEIL assured Mr. Kirwan he was mistaken; Mr. Whitestone was not refused, and the Irish advocates founded their claim on the same pretensions as the Scotch-that of the Union.

MR. O'CONNELL resumed.—The repeal of the Abjuration Oath would remove all the disqualifications under which the Catholics suffer, and the only question was, whether the rules of the house were against such mode of proceeding ; but that difficulty was removed by the opinion of the first living authority, Lord Colchester, to whom Mr. Butler applied upon the subject ; and though Lord Colchester was averse to the Catholic claims, yet he did not hesitate to pronounce that they were entitled to be heard by their counsel at the bar of the house.

The proceeding was not without precedent; the Abjuration Oath was established in direct violation of the treaty of Limerick, which covenanted that no test oaths should be administered but those in force in the reign of Charles II., and Sir Toby Butler and Sir Stephen Rice (both barristers) were heard at the bar of the house against those oaths.

As he (Mr. O'Connell) never did any thing but what he was defamed and abused for, he expected that in the present instance it would

be said, as had been by some of the friends (like the Carlov Post), that a lawyer was never honest in his political advice (laughter), and that, therefore, he (Mr. O'Connell) was recommending himself ; but he was eighteen years a politician, and had not yet received a bribe, save that from the Catholic people, which he should ever hold dear to his heart, and he would not be so presumptuous as to suggest himself as the advocate ; but if thn people appointed him, it would not be a money gain, but a very considerable pecuniary sacrifice, and one he would be most happy to make. (Hear, hear.) .

.) It had been said that this proceeding had been determined upon by some of their parliamentary friends, but he assured the Association, that none of those parliamentary gentlemen most interested in their cause, ever took upon themselves the responsibility of deciding upon any course for the adoption of the Catholics, but when consulted, they always gave their opinion and advice ; and he again assured the Association, that the recommendation of such a mode of proceeding had not originated with any member of parliament, but had the sanction of many whoso opinions deserved the greatest respect.

He would, previous to the intended aggregate meeting of thư 13th proximo, have an opportunity of consulting persons upoli whose discretion and high intelligence he felt he could entirely rely, and the Catholics generally would have an opportunity oli considering the measure against the day in question.

They would thus be enabled to decide entirely for themselves, as there was no wish to shift the responsibility of their proceed. ings upon any persons but them alves.

VOL. II.

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