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in her interests, and that a printer shall no longer tremble when he sells a newspaper, lest legal ingenuity and pliant juries should discover some constructive libel.

Neither should the Catholius be disheartened because the fatal policy still exists of introducing into the formation of an Irish

government a species of tesselated pavement, composed of orange, · white, and black. I have no doubt that Mr. Goulburn is more

the victim of prejudice than illiberal by tuition. But if otherwise, what did his opposition avail when opposed to the first talents in the world ? I never understood that his were of a nigher order than his political principles.

There is also much to cheer us in England. Mr. Canning did not certainly come to Ireland for the pleasure of the prospect, or the amusement of a voyage in a steam-packet. have been his object, it is certain he can rely upon his own strength, aided by such colleagues as Robinson and Huskinson, who are our decided friends, to carry his views into execution; and I cannot forget that we have a prospect of Mr. Peel's hostility being considerably mitigated. He proposed in last session a bill that when carried into effect will give him a claim to the title of benefactor of Ireland. It is a bill framed for the purpose of giving justice to the Catholics in civil casos, at least when tried by juries; and therefore when he is manifesting a disposition of that kind, it is but fair to hope for better things from him.

Then if we look to the Lords, the mitigated tone of Lord Liverpool's opposition and his increasing anxiety to advance the Catholic Relief Bills of last sessions, and his having succeeded in carrying one of them, may be evidence of his disposition, if not to go the whole way, at least not to offer any effectual opposition. Lord Eldon, to be sure, is the decided enemy of the Catholics. because his party desires it, but he even would not be at a loss for an excuse to vote for emancipation.

I believe, Sir, I have now adduced reasonable grounds for hope for our future success, and with the attention of Europe called to our condition, and the contrast between the liberality of Protestant and Catholic governments so forcibly shown, is England, after all, so secure that she can fearlessly continue to be unjust to Ireland ? The moment might arrive when those institutions, and that form of government which we venerate, would be assailed in a contest between the oppressors and the oppressed, and the ministry of England would not be statesmen if they did not see und guard against such a fatality ; let them do away with that code by which Catholics are slaves to Orange despotism, and the


resources of the country would increase with its tranquillity, hy which the expense of a standing army of 30,000 would be saved to the country, and what would 100,000 troops avail in Ireland if there was a domestic inclination to favour a foreign power ? Let the laws of England be framed with a parental feeling towards Ireland, and she will manifest her gratitude by the return of filial affection, and her attachment to the throne. [Here there was an interruption for some time, in consequence of the vehement and animated cheers of the meeting] Yes, Sir, it delights my heart to perceive that the feeling is still as ardent for our Sovereign, as when, unprotected by bayonets, he threw himself upon the loyalty and attachment of Irishmen, at a moment when dissatisfaction reigned in England. He, unattended by an array of red coats, was not mistaken in trusting to the fidelity of those who could scarcely afford to be clad in frieze jackets in Ireland. (Loud cheers.) He made the noble experiment, and the result convinced ministers that his Majesty knew his Irish people.

It now, Sir, remains for us to hope that, with the aid of our considerable pecuniary resources, the surpassing advantage of entire unanimity amongst ourselves, the interest our case has excited in England, and amongst the people of Europe; the support which the justice of our claims has at last obtained for us in both houses of parliament, besides the commanding influence of the press ; and though last, still highest in order, the personal favour and good wishes of our gracious sovereign ; our firmness being equal to our moderation, and both being comhined in a constitutional exertion for the single and most righteous object of unfettering the worship of the Deity-it is impossible, Sir, but that we must succeed! (Great cheering.)



MR. O'CONNELL rose to present the draft of a petition to parliament, on church rates, and addressing the meeting, said, that in order to demonstrate that the meetings of the Association were under no pretence, but that of obtaining relief from penal grievances, through the intervention of parliamentary relief

they had proposed the drafts of several petitions upon Catholic grievances.

The first petition he would submit to the consideration of the meeting was one of considerable interest to the country parts of Ireland. Although the mischiefs complained of are not in their nature calculated to make an impression in Dublin, Dublin had its own local grievances, which should not be left un. told. Nothing more naturally creates dissatisfaction (Mr. O'Connell observed), in the minds of the Irish peasantry, than the mode of collecting church rates, and the purposes to which those rates are applied.

The origin of the claim for church rates it is necessary to trace in its progress, in order to know where to apply the remedy sought for. The origin of building churchés hides itself in the antiquity of the Christian religion, and it is only to the disposition of ecclesiastical revenues, or the spirit of charity, that the building of those splendid monuments of ancient piety, which, even in their ruins, are the most noble ornaments of the country, can be traced. After having been built, however, they were repaired and supported from a portion of the ecclesiastical revenues ; for bishops, by the old law, were bound to apply one. fourth of their revenues to that purpose, and rectors took their tithes under the same obligation ; though, in our times, they are taken solely for the benefit of the person, who throws the entire expense of building and repairing upon the impoverished peasant.

It has long been the practice, particularly with English intojerants, to abuse the ancient faith of the people of Ireland ; but he would ask, was there any principle of that faith which countenanced, in spirit or practice, the monopolising the entire of the ecclesiastical revenues, and left the building, repairs, and support of the church to be borne by the poor? Was not the present appropriation of tithes a practical contrast of both the liberality and charity of each. In England, however, the parishioners were not bound by law to build the churches, though they are to repair them.

But it occurred that in the progress of clerical usurpation, the building of churches was imposed on the laity for some time in England until, in the reign of King William, as reported in 1st Raymond, 512, the right of assessing the parish for building was contested, and it was decided that the building of churches was not a parochial charge—and from that day to the present it never was attempted in that country. The English are therefore exempted

from that grievance, which it becomes necessary for the Catholic people of Ireland to appeal against.

Whenever the parishioners of an English parish desire to build a church, they apply to parliament for a grant for that purpose, hy which their immediate object is not only attained, but the neighbourhood benefited by the expenditure of so much public money. But in Ireland the people have none of those advantages, except supplying the money to gratify an interested spirit of devotion, which expends a portion of their cruelly-extorted means in erecting edifices the most ludicrous and contemptible ---particularly those which have been got up by the late parliamentary grants, and which resemble more a sentry-box with a pig-sty annexed, rather than an edifice for public worship. It has been frequently observed by the well-protected, well-fed Englishman, that the Irish are ofa turbulent disposition. But he (Mr. O'C. would ask their English censors what they would do, if, instead of being exempt from the charge for building churches, they were liable at the caprice of a very few individuals to build churches at an enormous rate, not for their own worship, but for that of two or three families

or persons of a dissenting sect in their parishes, and afterwards be heavily assessed, and subject to' vexatious imposition to keep them in repair ? Would their turbulence be confined to manifesting their disapprobation of the injustice? (Hear, hear.)

The first step in Ireland towards the present system of churchrates was rather a moderate one. It was the Act of the 2nd Geo. I. chap. 14, now about one hundred and ten years old. By that act the lord lieutenant and privy council, consisting of at least six members, were empowered, on the petition of any parish, to authorise the levying of a sufficient sum from off that parish for the building of a church in such parish ; and the lord lieutenant and privy council were also authorised to hear evidence into the expediency of such a measure, if such a precaution were represented as necessary. Now there was nothing objectionable in that enactment, nor would the Catholics petition against such a reasonable provision.

The next legislative measure upon this subject was the 11th Geo. I. chap. 6, an amendment to the act last cited, which altered the requisition from the parish to that of the majority of the Protestants, so that, by this law, if (as was the case in some parishes he knew) there were five Protestants in the parish, and three of them conspired to distress and harass their neighbours, they were legally authorised to do 80; however, that hardship



was still considerably mitigated by the right of appealing to the lord lieutenant and privy council.

In the same spirit of growing intolerance, the 12 Geo. I. was enacted, leaving Catholics the right at common law of appealing to the superior tribunals against any informality or illegaliiy of the assessments for repairing, but depriving them of the right of voting at vestries for the repairs of churches. Upon this point a very general mistake prevailed as to Catholics being obliged to withdraw from vestries during the discussion upon the subject of repairs; they have not only a right to attend, but to speak upon the subject, but not, however, to rate.

The 11 Geo. III. chap. 16, allowed bishops to divide parishes for the better convenience of divine worship; but that scarcely did anything. However, in the melancholy year when the independence of Ireland was extinguished by Castlereagh, something in the manner that he extinguished himself (hisses fro:0 outside the bar,)-an act was passed, which Mr. ex-Judge Daly had the reputation of drawing, and he (Mr. O'C.) verily believed that learned personage was entitled to the reputation, for a more clumsy act of parliament was never printed—it was from the pen of a lawyer who, in the days of Ireland's disaster having no business, got a seat in parliament, and after the Union was made a judge. (Hear.)

The intention of the framer of this bill was to give the same power for building churches as was already possessed for repairing them, but owing to the looseness and clumsiness of the wording of the act, it was found inefficient for the purposes for which it was intended. It was truly melancholy to think how the law was changed since the Union ; indeed it was rather natural to expect that in a foreign senate neither our rights would be fairly discussed, nor our interests heeded. And we had the authority of Mr. Peel for stating, that during niceteen years the most vital questions on Irish affairs were discussed in such thin houses, that if the members were counted during the progress of business, they must have almost uniformly adjourned for want of à sufficient number. Two acts were passed which materially altered the law upon the subject of church-rates--the 43 and 49 Geo. III.; and we would have thought there had been abun. dance of legislation for the purposes of oppression, but Mr. Goulburn was not, however, of that opinion, for he brought in an act by which, if two Protestants in a parish ask for a church, the Icicerable peasantry, notwithstanding the monstrous injustice of

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