Disarming Laws - The Last Conquest of Ireland (Perhaps)

John Mitchel
Author’s Edition (undated)

« previous page | book contents | start of this chapter | next page »

drilled police, cantoned in small police-barracks all over the country, in parties of from four to twelve. These were all picked men, well paid, partly by assessments on the counties, and partly by the treasury. A portion of them were mounted and trained to act as cavalry; and they had a complete code of signals, for communicating from station to station, by day and by night; with blue lights, red lights, and other apparatus. To this service was also attached a numerous corps of detective police, whose functions will be mentioned more fully hereafter.

Fourth.—A Revenue Police, and Coast-guard Service, with a large fleet of armed revenue cruisers.

Fifth.—The Church Establishment—which is, in truth, nothing but an apanage of the aristocracy, supplying lucrative situations to many younger sons. Catholics and Presbyterians are both obliged to pay for the support of this Church—not now by tithes, but in a way much more effectual, and impossible to resist or evade; namely, by a tithe rent-charge, payable in the first instance by the proprietor, and then levied by distraining on the tenant. This system, together with the land laws, placed all the peasantry in the power of their landlords—that is of the government.

Sixth.—The Presbyterian Church must also be counted amongst the forces of the government. During the insurrection of 1798 the northern insurgents had been Presbyterians, all at that time zealous republicans. After the "Union" the English government had taken the precaution to make a large grant for payment of the Presbyterian clergymen; after which, that body of divines was counted on as part of the general police of the island.

Seventh.—A Poor Law had been forced upon the country a few years before. The island was now studded with Union Workhouses, built like fortresses; and in each Union was a gang of well-paid officers, all humble servants of the government.

Eighth.—The system of making all education penal had been discontinued, but very carefully. There was now "National Education," under the management of a board of Commissioners appointed by government, the Chairman of which board was Dr Whately, Archbishop of Dublin—an Englishman. He took charge of preparing and revising the school-books which were to be used; and he took care to keep out of them any, even the remotest, allusion to the history of the country, and even such extracts from well-known authors as illustrate or celebrate the virtue of patriotism in any country. The 3000 national schoolteachers, paid by the government, were 3000 more servants of ...continue reading »

« previous page | book contents | start of this chapter | next page »

Page 19