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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 182.1.
PXTRAORDINARY MEETING OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION
PURSUANT TO PUBLIC NOTICE ON REQUISITION.
COUNSELLOR CORLEY took the Chair. Mr. Conway acted as Secretary
MR. O'CONNELL stated that in consequence of the exposé of the Orange system, as given by him a few days since, the Orangemen had found it necessary to change their sign of recognition, and have adopted what they term a distress sign, which is made by holding the left hand a little distance from the face, the back outwards, and knocking it quickly three times against the palm of the right hand.
When they change their present sign of recognition, he (Mr. 'O’C.) would be able to inform the Association of it.-Great laughter and applause.)
A letter was then read from Lord Donoughmore, expressing his readiness to communi. cate with the Catholic body, under the designation of the “Catholic Association," or any other name they should assume, and thanking them for allowing him to transfer their petition to the Marquis of Lansdowne, his health preventing his going to London to present it in person.
THE LATE FERMANAGH RIO.3.
MR. O'CONNELL presented the report from Mr. Cavanagh, who was the attorney that had been appointed to attend Counsellor Kernan, at the wish of the Association, in his labours for procuring and arranging evidence for the inquiry before Mr. Blackburne.
· After some other observations, Mr. O'Connell said, that there was no man who more readily sacrificed his own interests, by a candid and unreserved disapproval of the measures of govern. ment when they merited censure ; but it gave him greater pleasure, whenever he was enabled to announce any proceeding of public utility emanating from the government; and certainly no act of any administration had given such complete satisfaction, or tended so much to establish public confidence, and create respect for the laws, in the minds of the Irish people, particularly the peasantry, as that of Marquis Wellesley sending down Mr. Blackburne to conduct the Fermanagh inquiry.
That gentleman's conduct was most satisfactory to the public,
serviceable to the government, and creditable to himself; and ne (Mr. O’C.) hoped, from the information which would be furnished by the learned gentleman, the Marquis Wellesley would be induced not to confine the inquiry to the 16th May, but to obtain correct and official information respecting the other daily outrages committed by Orangemen in the North of Ireland.
He would now give notice that he would, upon the next day of meeting, move for a committee to prepare an address to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant, praying him to extend the in quiry which had been instituted as to the circumstances of the Fermanagh outrage, into the occurrences of other days, in addition to those of the 16th of May.
CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION, SATURDAY, JUNE 11.
MR. O'CONNELL gave notice of a motion for appointing a committee to prepare an address to the people upon the subject of Ribbonism.
He (Mr. O'C.) was not at all afraid of the Catholic Association being put down by Parliament, nor by Orangemen; nor was he in the least apprehensive or displeased at the puny efforts of the Orange press, under the direction of its ludicrous and de. graded managers. Its imbecile attempts at satire, or wit, only occasioned a feeling of pity and contempt. When it attempted to be serious, it only dished up a meal of deliberate calumnious falsehoods.
He was not apprehensive that any act of Parliament could be made to reach them ; but, if there should, the Catholic Association will acquiesce in it; for though the Catholics would ameliorate the laws, they have no disposition to break, but to obey them. But should government proceed that length, they must abolish the right of petitioning altogether. If they prohibit the Association from meeting at stated periods for the purpose of preparing petitions, they can regulate their proceedings accordingly; and unless they strip the people at once of the right of petitioning, they could not prevent the Catholics holding aggregaie meetings every fortnight in chapels ; and they will hardly proceed to such a monstrous violation of the constitution as to prevent people assembling in and out of a house for the purpose of seeking legislative redress.
But the best security against such a measure is its application to that darling of ministers, “ The Constitutional Association.” The Catholic Association, therefore, had not to dread either force, violence, or law.
But there was a description of persons more dangerous to the existence of the Association than any he had mentioned. He had good reason to know that there are soveral persons, in the pay of the police, now actively employed, and that some of these miscreants--who, with a horrid depravity, do not hesitate to abuse the most holy sacrament by partaking of it with the intention of making it a means the more effectually to betray —are working with a deep and malignant villany to prevail upon the wretched peasantry to continue and revive the system of Ribbonism.
They say to the peasantry, government is not anxious to put you down, and they entice the deluded people into a belief that such is the feeling of government, from their having refused Counsellor Bennett's proposal made from the people, to send in their arms, and take the oath of allegiance, upon receiving a general pardon. This circumstance gives colour to their argument, and they succeed in imposing upon the credulous and discontented, because miserable, peasant.
To give strength and persuasion to their seductive argument respecting the government, they say that the Catholic Association gives its countenance to that species of delinquencyRibbonism ; and that it is secretly favourable to it; and thus does the unfeeling 'policy of the government ever leave the Irish peasant the victim of blood-money miscreants, who, by the basest treachery, and most monstrous perjury, succeed in obtaining a comfortable provision for themselves, whilst they spread desolation, havoc, disgrace, and death, amongst a generous, brave, and warm-hearted people.
Wr. Mullen said there were two of those characters then in the room.
Mr. O'Connell, in continuation, said, the address should call upon the people, in the name of God and their country, to resist those seductions—to avoid the contamination of those tiends, who seek to plunge the country in the horrors of insurrection, ard who, no doubt, were now to set to work to overthrow the Catholic Association, which nothing could do but the taint of Ribbonism, creeping in amongst the collectors of the Catholic rent ; for the Association must, in some measure, share the
reproach of the principles and designs of such Ribbonmen as might mingle amongst the collectors.
There was no security against the oath of the approver-he might represent the Ribbonman's oath and designs in thɔ blackest and most dangerous colours—although there is not one member of the Catholic Association that would not turn out in arms against the perpetration of such deeds (hear, hear), and, therefore, the address should assure the peasantry of the Association's decided disapprobation and abhorrence of the principles of. Ribbonism, and that there are no greater enemies to Ireland than those who enter into such a system-a system which must deprive the people of that constitutional redress which they can have no doubt of obtaining through the exertions of the Catholic Association, if not brought into disreputo by those illegal combinations.
MR. O'Connell, pursuant to his notice, moved a resolution thanking Doctor Doyle for his letter upon the union of churches
He (Mr. O'C.) had, he said, peculiar pleasure in moving the motion, when so many circumstances concurred to ensure its passing with unanimity, for if any doubt bad heretofore existed as to the necessity of the motion, after Doctor Doyle's excellent letter of last night, such doubt must cease. The public, continued Mr. O'Connell
, are very properly and wisely precluded from observing upon the proceedings of Parliament, with which they are not supposed to be acquainted, and his (Mr. O'C.'s) observations would, therefore, only apply to what appeared in a newspaper, and not to what had occurred in the House of Lords.
One of the London newspapers contained an unmerited and unfounded reflection upon the character of that revered, learned, and excellent prelate, Doctor Doyle, to which was attached the title of a person who never signalized himself as a legislator, but as the pompous opposer of Catholic claims, and who, it is stated in the newspaper, had thought proper to style the writer of the admired letter upon the union of the churches, "sediLiously impertinent."
Guld any proposition be more amusing, than that, of con
paring such a man 'in the same order of nature with Doctor Doyle -a prelate whose exertions in the moral world, whose great and general utility to society, and whose powerful and commanding intellect, are, by his more candid opponents, allowed to be of the first order—a prelate disinterested, unpensioned, and aninfluenced by ambition or intrigue, who devotes his energies, talents, and life, to promote the happiness and union of mankind.
Powerless, indeed, must such taunts be when applied to Doctor Doyle, for, who is there forgets that pious and zealous prelate's pastoral address, written with the affection of a parent, and the talent of a philosopher ; that address, which extracted approbation even from those determined to hate the writer, and which was found to speak with such persuasive eloquence and sincerity of intention, which appealed so successfully, through the force of feeling and truth, to the reason, prejudices, and passions of the peasantry, that the Government thought it wise to distribute 300,000 copies, which did more to induce patience and tranquillity amongst the people, than twenty Insurrection Acts.
That address had been issued at a time when distraction and despair seemed to have made the land their own-when riot, outrage, and bioodshed were spreading upon every side, and when no one could tell, few ventured even to think, to what pitch the disturbances would have ultimately gone.
The effect of it was magical upon the unhappy and half-maddened people. A change cnsued such as no one had dared to hope for; and it appeared at once that the spring of insurrection was stemmed even at its
And why did Doctor Doyle write that address ? Was it to get place, or title, or pension? They had no value for such a joan. No ! he offered it as a gem of unbought loyalty from a Christian prelate, whose only reward was in seeing his countrymen good subjects and good Christians.
He (Mr. O'C.) was particularly induced to propose the vote of thanks to Doctor Doyle, as a publication from a most respectable quarter had been sent forth to the public (the Declarations of the Professors of the Royal College of St. Patrick, Maynooth, published in the Freeman's Journal of the 3rd instant).
Here Mr. O'C. highly eulogised, collectively and individually the several professors who signed the declaration, and assured the meeting he would not have the hardihood to set up his opi. nion against an association of such learning, talent, and piety as the professors of Maynooth ; but he would respectfully enter