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When the crown undertook any prosecution of Orangemen in the North, the proceeding never had the cordial co-operation of the Catholics. It was believed that a principal officer who conducted these proceedings, was a dignitary of the Orange institution; and when it was known that that body had their private signals, and that the members of it were individually influenced by some obligation, that the authority of the House of Commons could not wring from a dependent of the government (Sir A. B. King), was it unreasonable that the Catholics should have little confidence in proceedings conducted under the auspices of one of their chiefs ?
He did not mean to say but that the gentleman alluded to discharged his duty fairly and honestly ; but he was in such a situation as made it difficult not to lean to the party accused He did not make the assertion slightly, or without foundation, as it was grounded upon documentary evidence, which he should take care to have with him in proper order and arrangement to furnish to the aggregate meeting, and deposit with the secretary. There was the sanguinary affair at Maghera, where Campbell was shot, and at which his sister, who was to have been married in a few days, was present; but the sight of her brother being slaughtered, had such an effect upon her that she instantly became deranged, and has continued so. Here was the brother slain, the sister a' maniac, and yet the ruffian perpetrators remain unpunished ! While the Orangemen are calling out to the government for persecution against the un. fortunate Catholics, hallooed on by the Warder and the antidote, both of which, they boast, are supported by the contributions of Protestant clergy, while the Orange lodges are sedulous in supplying arms to those of their brethren who are unable to purchase them.
Under such circumstances, it was of consequence to have the plan of subscription already approved of by the Association, estabÎished as quickly as possible, in order to supply a fund for the conducting of those prosecutions, in the first instance. For that purpose it would be desirable to have the report, accompanying the plan of subscription, published, that it might get into every one's hand, and thereby promote the collection. In publishing the report he did not intend that it should be considered as adopted by the Catholic Association, but that the Catholics might have an opportunity of considering it. There were a few verbal alterations which he considered necessary, and they should be made.
The term, limited intellect, as applied to Mr. Goulburn, had been objected to ; but he (Mr. O'Connell) could not suppose the observation would be considered as applied to Mr. Goulburn in a mere personal sense ; it was used in allusion to his capabilities as a statesman. It was one of the cruelest consequences of Catholic degradation, that men speculated upon their advancement in office or enjoying the favour of government, by opposing Catholic claims; and so it was with Mr. Goulburn, who, when in the office of Colonial Secretary, had stood
up in the House of Commons, when the Catholic Relief Bill was there under discussion, to object to its provisions extending to the colonies of Great Britain, as if there were no such authority as a colonial legislature or a prerogative of dispensation in the king, to each of which such a provision must be subjected.
Though Mr. Secretary Goulburn betrayed upon that occasion his utter want of legislative and official information, yet he manifested hostility to the Catholics; and that was quite sufficient to obtain for him the favour of ministers. The secretaryship for Ireland followed ; and if he persevere, he may soon become a prime minister of England—talent not being now considered à necessary qualification for that office.
But Mr. Goulburn has, perhaps, rebutted the charge of limited intellect, in not only sustaining the Orangemen, but falling in love with the Dublin corporation, thereby evincing his discrimination in patronizing a body that has never done anything for the citizens of Dublin, but form processions for the amusement of schoolboys-raise the price of coals by excessive extortions and fees—increase the price of provisions by their market exactions and tolls—levy unauthorized contributions upon the people ;-in fine, an association for the encouragement of anti-national feeling--a cumbrous, expensive, unmanageable machine, that he defied any person to shew had ever effected any practical good for the citizens of Dublin, or the (Reintry generally.
MR. KIRWAN, in a short speech, seconded Mr. O'Connell's motion for printing the report, but objected strongly to several pass. Several other gentiemen spoke for and against.
MR. O'CONNELL defended the report. It was surely a strong argument in its favour, that after having been scrutinized with such criticism as to discover verbal improprieties, they were not able to produce nny specific objections to its principles. How
could the merits of the document be considered, unless it were first inade public? The objection reminded him of a club in London, called “the Odd Fellows,” in which, after a long debate as to the appointment of a treasurer, the secretary reminded them that before they appointed a treasurer, they should first have a treasury. The objection was so forcible, and betrayed so much common sense, that the Odd Fellows all gathered around the secretary, and gave him a good drubbing for being an odd fellow amongst them, as he was the only one that had common sense ; now, if Mr. O'Gorman was amongst the Odd Fellows, he would be quite at home. (Laughter and cheers.)
MR. (VGORMAN—I am pretty much so now.
The chairman was about putting the question, when Mr. N. MAHON entered the room, and upon learning the subject matter of debate, implored Mr. O'Corr well, that in mercy to the Catholic people, he would not press a measure that might involve the Catholics of Ireland. The whole tenor of the report, in his vpinion, was conceived in terms highly indiscreet. The allusions to the heirapparent were improper and injudicious.
MR. O'CONNELL replied. Who, he asked, would devote their time and attention to the Association, if their measures were to be thwarted by such childish opposition ? Had the Association yet effected one political good ? It was time they should commence. There was now the opportunity, and it should not be lost through neglecting the means ; if they had subscriptions, they could apply them advantageously ; if they had them not, it would be owing to their not informing the people of the necessities and the benefits of such a fund. This was the object in publishing the report, without waiting for its adoption.
With respect to the mention of the Duke of York, did not the Orangemen boast, that his royal bighness was the declared and avowed opponent of the Catholic people? Were the Catholics to be like woodcocks, hiding their heads in bushes, thinking that when their heads were covered, they could not be seen? What would they gain by disguising the truth? or were they likely to retard their emancipation by speaking out boldly and candidly? The reverse was his opinion, for the royal personage would then see how sorely and keenly the Irish people felt his supposed hostility to their cause. The prize was too valuable ; be would not risk losing the brightest ornament in the British diadem. He could not afford to lose the loyal attachment of seven millions of Irish subjects, by alienating their affections, which they were ready to pledge him if he but ful
lowed the genuine principles of liberal poliey professed by our revered monarch.
He should recollect that one Duke of York lost England by attempting to coerce the religious feelings of the people, by his bigotry and illiberality. The feelings of the Irish were no less sensitive, and the example might extend beyond the channel People would not be deluded by his royal highness attending a charity dinner. Such an occurrence could not be supposed to operate as an effectual antidote—the poison of the Orange boast of his avowed hostility to Catholic Ireland. There was nothing to be obtained by affecting an unworthy, cringing posture, when the principles of public liberty were trampled under foot by Continental despots, upheld by British ministers. If the Ca. tholics should not obtain emancipation, surely it would be a gratification that their oppressors should not enjoy their domi. nion unalloyed by apprehensions.
Mr. STEPHEN COPPINGER thought that adopting the resolutions relative to the subscriptions was useless, if they were not followed by the report, professing and demonstrating the purposes for which it was intended.
Were the report printed, he had little doubt the subscription would immediately follow.
MR. A. BROWNE thought the meeting was taken by surprise. There was no notice of the motion given.
MR. N. Mahon was yet to learn that emancipation would be obtained by idle words and empty threats. It was idle to talk of discussing the report whra it had effected the mischief.
Upon a division, there appeared in favour of the printing, twenty-one. lagainst it four.
Mr. O'Gorman said these were sufficient for a majority, but the half of those who voted had not paid their subscription for the present year.
After thanks to the chairman, the meeting adjourned.
str. O'Connell brought forward the resolutions to be moved at the aggregats meeting:
“1st. Resolved—“Thanks to Nicholas Purcell O'Gorman, secretary.
“2nd. Resolved—“That it is with great grief, bitter disappointment, and much indignation, we contemplate the continue ance of the most unjust and oppressive code of laws, by the emiciating cruelty of which we still remain an inferior and excluded class in our native land.
" 3rd. Resolved— That the penal code was enacted withcut
any necessary or justifiable motive whatsoever, and simply because the framers of it had the power and mercenary malignity to pass the same into law ; and that it was so enacted in direct and open violation of a solemn and recorded treaty, and manifest derogation of the rights of liberty of conscience.
« 4th. Resolved—That the Irish parliament has frequently and publicly recognized the constant allegiance and fidelity of the Catholic people of Ireland, notwithstanding the continued infliction of the penal code ; and such allegiance and fidelity have been solemnly put on record with the recital of various statutes enacted by our parliament.
“ 5th. Resolved—“That during the reign of our late most gracious sovereign King George III., many laws were passed beneficial to the Catholics ; but no redress whatsoever has been hitherto extended to us during the reign of our present respected monarch, notwithstanding the public exhibition of his most gracious sentiments in our favour-sentiments which we ought to, and do cherish with the greater veneration and gratitude, inasmuch as they are at variance with the avowed hostile opi. nions of the heir presumptive to the British throne.
“6th Resolved – That our Irish Protestant brethren, having become sensible of the injustice of the penal code, and of the grievous wrong done to us, and great injury inflicted on themselves, thereby passed several statutes for our relief-statutes which were the more precious to us, as they recognized that sacred principle for which we contend, namely, that of liberty of conscience.
“7th. Resolved—That no statute was passed purporting to be for our relief, since the enactment of the baneful measure of the Union ; neither was any concession made to us since that unhappy event, save and except one law, which, without appearing to effect any thing, has, by its indirect and consequential operation, opened the highest grades in the army and navy to the Catholics. An act, however, not passed until long after the conclusion of the war, during which war Irish and British Catholics were excluded from military rank, whilst German Catholics, aliens to the land, and strangers to our laws, were allowed to exercise, and did actually exercise, military com mands in the very heart of England.
“8th. Resolved—“That we are thoroughly convinced, that had not the fatal measure of the Union taken place, the Protestants of Ireland, by their and our representations in parliament, would have long since conceded to us that equalization of civil