Irish Confederation - The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

John Mitchel
Author’s Edition (undated)

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profits. American corn was only so much given as a handsome present to the merchants and speculators. That is, the English got it.

But, as I have said before, no Irishman begged the world for alms. The benevolence of Americans, and Australians, and Turks, and negro slaves, was excited by the appeals of the English press and English members of Parliament; and in Ireland many a cheek burned with shame and indignation at our country being thus held up to the world, by the people who were feeding on our vitals, as abject beggars of broken victuals. The Repeal Association, low as it had fallen, never sanctioned this mendicancy. The true nationalists of Ireland, who had been forced to leave that Association, and had formed another society, the "Irish Confederation," never ceased to expose the true nature of these British dealings—never ceased to repudiate and spit upon the British beggarly appeals; although they took care to express warm gratitude for the well-meant charity of foreign nations; and never ceased to proclaim that the sole and all-sufficient "relief measure" for the country would be, that the English should let us alone.

On the 16th of March, for example, a meeting of the citizens of Dublin, assembled by public requisition at the Music Hall, presided over by the Lord Mayor, expressly to consider the peril of the country, and petition Parliament for proper remedies. It was known that the conveners of the meeting contemplated nothing more than suggestions as to importing grain in ships of war, stopping distillation from grain, and other trifles. Richard O'Gorman was then a prominent member of the Irish Confederation; and, being a citizen of Dublin, he resolved to attend this meeting, and if nobody else should say the right word, say it himself. After some helpless talk about the "mistakes" and "infatuation" of Parliament, and suggestions for change in various details, O'Gorman rose, and in a powerful and indignant speech, moved this resolution:—

"That for purposes of temporary relief, as well as permanent improvement, the one great want and demand of Ireland is, that foreign legislators and foreign Ministers shall no longer interfere in the management of her affairs."

In his speech he charged the Government with being the "murderers of the people," and said:—

"Mr Fitzgibbon has suggested that the measures of Government may have been adopted under an infatuation. I believe there is no infatuation. I hold a very different opinion on the subject. I think the British Government are doing what they intend to do." ...continue reading »

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