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helpless and a hopeless course, and although I shall not advise you to throw the sword or the pike into the scale of reform, I will be ever ready to exert all that I may possibly possess of inAuence—if any I do possess— to induce you to join in a peaceable and constitutional pursuit of that reform without which we must, if we are now rejected, ever despair of emancipation.

“In the meantime, let us make one last effort-let it be uni. versal, unanimous, single. And let us hope that the prayer of our respectful and dutiful petition will be attended to, and that the British legislature will see the wisdom of conciliating the

eople of Ireland, of gratifying the people of England, and reciprocating the sentiments and examples of Christian charity held out to them by Catholic legislators and Catholic nations. “ I am, fellow-countrymen, your faithful and obedient Servant,

“ DANIEL O'CONNELL. * Merrion square, October 22nd, 1819."

“CATHOLIC SUB-SHERIFFS.
(FREEMAN, 24TH FEBRUARY, 1820.)

Wo have been favoured with the following opinion, given on a subject of such importance, that we deem no apology necessary for its publication :

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OPINION OF DANIEL O'CONNELL, ESQ. “This is a subject which I have considered attentively; and my own opinion is distinctly formed on it. But that opinion must be taken subject to what I call the practical qualification after mentioned.

The quære put to me has a double aspect ; and, in truth, involves two questions. The first is, whether a Catholic is incapable of being sub-sheriff? The second is, whether there be any penalty attached to his acting as such ?

“I shall begin with the latter, because that may be disposed of at once. There is not any penalty whatsoever imposed on a Catholic for acting as, or being sub-sheriff.

" This is a point on which no lawyers can differ, and it is highly important in deciding the other question.

“With regard to the first, I am of opinion that a Catholic is capable of being sub-sheriff.

* This, however, being a point upon which difference of opinion does subsist, and, in truth, one in which the contrary opinion to

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mine has been generally entertained, I deem it right to give the reasons wbich induce me to form my judgment on the subject.

“It is very important to ci'serve that the general principle on which the penal laws against Catholics created exclusion was, by interposing oaths as qualifications, which no Catholic could, with a safe conscience, take. It was not an exclusion to the Catholic directly, and as such it was a consequential exclusion which those statutes created—an exclusion in consequence of not taking those oaths.

“ The Catholics, therefore, would not have been excluded any more than the Protestant, by the direct operation of the general penal laws. Both were liable to the same penalty for not qualifying; and both were rendered equally secure from the effect of incurring such penalty by the annual indemnity act.

“ Thus far the matter is plain under the general penal statutes, and if the question rested on the general law alone, there could be no doubt.

“But there is a particular statute on this subject--namely, the Ist of Geo. I. c. 20 ; the section is the 4th.

“ I admit that such section does, at first sight appear decisive against a Catholic being sub-sheriff ; and it is the apparent force of that enactment, and the general spirit of bigotry in which the penal code was adıninistered, which have caused the idea to be universally received that a Catholic cannot be sub-sheriff. It remains to be seen whether the idea be well-founded. The statute in question was passed to compel convert Protestants to educate their children in the Protestant religion, considering none other as legal Protestants. Such is the effect of the 2nd and 3rd sections of the act. Then the 4th section commences with a proviso and enactment, that no person shall be capable of being sub-sheriff

, or sheriff's clerk, who shall not have been for five years before a Protestant according to that act. Now, the meaning of such enactment appears clearly to point out a particular class of Protestants, who are excluded; and this is placed, in my humble opinion, beyond cavil by the remaining part of the sentence, for che entire section is but one sentence, which says—And that all and every person or persons of'ending herein shall be subject”-to what punishment? Why, to be considered as a Papist.

“ It seems, therefore, to my mind, quite plain that the act cannot create that as a crime in a Papist, as to which every person who should commit it was to be punished by being constituted by law a Papist.

“ The construction of the section, therefore, is, that it created

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an incapacity in, and inflicted a penalty on, il particular description of Protestants; but that it was not meant or intended to operate against, and has provided no kind of punishment for Papists offending therein.

“ The truth is, that abominable code was dictated by a virulent, but a muddy spirit of bigotry ; its enactments were, in very many instances, excessively slovenly; and there exist not a few instances in which the legislature, in its contemptuous hatred for Catholics, took for granted that they were incapable of employments, although no such incapacity really existed. The case of Catholic schools is a familiar instance.

“ The statute of 1793 does not alter, or affect to alter, the law as against the Catholics. Indeed, it would operate decidedly in their favour in this particular, according to the grammatical construction of the premisal in that statute. See the 9th section of the 33rd Geo. III. c. 21. That section uses the disjunctive, OR, as to all the excluded offices, until it comes to the office of second and third sergeants. It then takes up the or again, till it comes to the generals on the staff, and it uses and as to sheriffs and sub-sheriffs. Now, if grammar be preserved, it is the cumulation of those offices which is prohibited, and the individual office is not within the exclusion, unless in a penal and disabling section, AND shall be read precisely as if it were or, and that, too, where there is good sense in leaving it in its conjunctive meaning, and where the legislature, in the same sentence, has repeatcdly used the disjunctive, or, in its natural and appropriate meaning. But in forming my opinion on the general topic, I think it right at present not to lay any stress on the statute of 1793.

“I have already said that I gave this opinion, subject to a practical qualification. It is this—The spirit of the penal laws has survived the existence of the greater part of them ; and although that spirit is much mitigated, it still exist's in body and in pressure. The penal statutes are, therefore, less likely to be fairly canvassed than any other; and without insinuating individual reproach, I must say, that in practice I should feel less confidence in a favourable construction upon

this than upon any other subject.

6. There can be no doubt that a Catholic can be sheriff's clerk, and can assist the sneriff in every particular, as such ; leaving between such sheriff's clerk and a regular sub-sheriff little dis. tinction, save in name.

" DANJEL O'CONNELL. * 23rd February, 1820, Merrion square."

SPEECH AT THE ROYAL EXCHANGE MEETING,

RELATIVE TO THE DUBLIN ELECTION.

TUESDAY, JUNE, 1318, 1820.

We are met on this melancholy occasion to celebrate the obsequies of the greatest man Ireland ever knew. The widowed land of his birth, in mourning over his remains, feels it is a nation's sorrow, and turns with the anxiety of a parent to alleviate the grief of the orphan he has left. The virtues of that great patriot shone brilliant, pure, unsullied, ardent, unremitting, glowing. Oh! I should exhaust the dictionary three times told, ere I could enumerate the virtues of Grattan.

In 1778, when Ireland was shackled, he reared the standard of independence; and in 1782 he stood forward as the champion of his country, achieving gloriously her independence! Earnestly, unremittingly, did he labour for her—bitterly did he deplore her wrongs—and if man could have prevented her ruin—if man could have saved her, Grattan would have done it !

After the disastrous act of Union, which met his most resolute and most determined opposition, he did not suffer despair to creep over his heart, and induce him to abandon her, as was the case with too many others. No; he remained firm to his duty in the darkest adversity-he continued his unwearying advocacy of his country's rights. Of him it may be truly said in liis own words

“He watched by the cradle of his country's freedom_he followed her hearse !"

His life, to the very period of his latest breath, has been spent in her service—and he died, I may even say, a martyr in her cause.

Who shall now prate to me of religious animosity ? To any such I will answer, by pointing to the honoured tomb of Grattan, and, I will say—“There sleeps a man, a member of the Protestant community, who died in the cause of his Catholic fellow-countrymen !"

I have been told that they would even rob us of his remains -that the bones of Grattan are to rest in a foreign soil! Rest? No! the bones of Grattan would not rest any where but in their kindred earth. Gentlemen, I trust that we shall yet meet to interchange our sentiments of mixed affliction and admiration over a monument of brass and marble. aracted to the memory of the man whose epitaph is written in the hearts of his countrymen !

Gentlemen, I do not come here with a womanly feeling, merely to weep over our inisfortuue—though heaven is my witness, that my heart is heavy. I come not here to pay a vain tribute to the dead. To do justice to the name of Grattan, would require an eloquence equal to his own ; but I ask myself, I ask you, how we can best atone and compensate our country for the loss she has sustained ? It is by uniting as brothers and as Irishmen, in returning a representative for our city, not unworthy of filling the place of him who raised the standard of universal charity and Christian benevolence. Yet, in this hallowed mo'ment of sorrow, ere yet his sacred remains have been consigned to earth, the spirit of discord would light the torch of fanaticism, and set up the wild halloo of bigotry and persecution. “May

· God in heaven forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Gentlemen, will they call this religion—will they profane the sacred name of religion—the religion of Grattan—by such a presumptuous assertion, such an invidious distinction? They will not, they cannot.

No ; gentlemen, I trust for the sake of human nature, that filthy lucre is their object-personal pelf their motive. Mr. Chairman, we have a duty to perform ; two candidates

; offer themselves to our consideration-of one, perhaps, it is sufficient to say, that he is the son of Grattan. Of the otherwho is he? His name is Thomas Ellis !!

Well, gentlemen, where are the credentials of this man, who would presumptuously fill the greatest niche ever left vacant in the history of our country ? Of course, he is a man of eloquence, talent and knowledge, and has unremittingly attended to the wants and wishes of Ireland. He has, I believe, practised at the bar, but we have never seen a volume of his speeches, like the eloquent Phillips, nor have we ever heard of his talents, and I suppose it was in his room, two-pair of stairs backwards, in the Four Courts, that he has studied the prosperity of Ireland!

Well, gentlemen, has he knowledge ? Alas! here we find him equally deficient. Oh! but we require too much. If. then,

neither eloquence, talent, patriotism, nor knowledge, per haps he has leisure? No! the duties of his situation, for which he gave TEN THOUSAND POUNDS, require his constant and unre. mitting attention, and really it is but fair, that he should ren ceive some interest for his money. But, gentlemen, what does

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