The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

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derates went down to Waterford, to conduct Meagher's election, as they had gone to Galway before, to oppose Monahan's; and again they were defeated more signally than in Galway. In vain the candidate, in vehement and impassioned language, appealed to the national spirit and patriotism of the people. The people ardently responded to his appeal. They would have given their blood for him; but they had no votes. The electoral body of Waterford was very limited—was, in fact, small enough to be reached and penetrated by the touch and the savour of official gold; and Barron was returned by a large majority.

Frankly, and at once, the Confederation accepted the only policy thereafter possible, and acknowledged the meaning of the European revolutions. On the 15th of March, O'Brien moved an address of congratulation to the victorious French people, and ended his speech with these words—

"It would be recollected that a short time ago he thought it his duty to deprecate all attempts to turn the attention of the people to military affairs, because it seemed to him that, in the then condition of the country, the only effect of leading the people's mind to what was called 'a guerilla warfare' would be to encourage some of the misguided peasantry to the commission of murder (hear, hear). Therefore it was that he declared he should not be a party to giving such a recommendation; but the state of affairs was totally different now, and he had no hesitation in declaring that he thought the minds of intelligent young men should be turned to the consideration of such questions as: how strong places can be captured, and weak ones defended;—how supplies of food and ammunition can be cut off from an enemy;—and how they can be secured to a friendly force (loud cries of hear). The time has also come when every lover of his country should come forward openly, and proclaim his willingness to be enrolled as a member of a national guard (hear, and loud cheers). No man, however, should tender his name as a member of that national guard unless he was prepared to do two things—one, to preserve the state from anarchy; the other, to be ready to die for the defence of his country."

Two days after this meeting was St Patrick's Day. A meeting of the citizens of Dublin was announced for that anniverary, to adopt a similar address, from Dublin to Paris, but was adjourned for two or three days, to allow time for negotiations to unite all Repealers of the two parties in the demonstration. Lord Clarendon, doubtless underthe advice of his privy-councillor of the World, thought it would be a good opportunity to strike terror by a military display. He pretended to apprehend that St Patrick's Day would be selected for the first day of Dublin barricades; and the troops were kept under arms—the cavalry with horses ready saddled in all the barracks, waiting for the ...continue reading »

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Page 166

The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

by John Mitchel


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