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of agitation was then advanced against them infinitely more strongly than it had ever been directed against him and his friends. So far as he was himself concerned, he treated with contempt this charge of agitation. The question was whether the increase of crime was caused by agitation or by misgovernment ? He would prove that the latter was the cause. Crime had not been increased by words, but by deeds. This was the question at issue between him and the noble Lord. The noble Lord, after having called him a “bird of prey," and after having made use of several similar metaphors, had, in the end, the singular modesty to request his co-operation in supporting certain measures. What co-operation could be expected from a bird of prey he certainly could not conceive. They had heard much of what was to be done for Ireland. The right hon. Secretary had been for two years in Ireland, and what had he done for that country? What measures had he given notice of to-night? Why, his rodomontade alteration in the Grand Jury Law, which he had introduced the Session before the last and another measure for increasing the constabulary force in Ireland. Those were the only subjects they had heard of. Now, really, whether he was a bird of prey or an agitator, he did not think it was worth while to call on him for his co-operation with reference to such measures. When the noble Lord had done as much for Scotland as he (Mr. O'Connell) had done for Ireland, then, perhaps, the noble lord would be justified in speaking so confidently. Did the noble Lord find his countrymen trampled under foot ? Did he raise them, by his exertions, from that state of degradation ? If he had done that, then he might have raised his voice as he had done. But, in the absence of any such claim, let him not, whatever his rank and station might be, assail men better than himself. What a curse it was for Ireland, that every popinjay you met in the streets, who was capable of uttering fifteen words, was sure to lard his speech by sarcasms against Ireland. The terms which the noble Lord applied to him he rejected with indignation and scorn. They proved the noble Lord's disposition to be injurious, but they proved nothing more. Looking back to his past career, he recollected the time when the reproaches directed against him that night were multiplied tenfold. The epithet "bird of prey," and other angry expressions, were light and idle compared with the
reproaches which were cast on him when he agitated the Catholic question. He agitated then efficiently; and the conduct of the King's Government that day would enable him to agitate still more effectively. The Government agitated for him. They were forcing Ireland into a situation from which it could only be relieved by due concession, or by a sanguinary convulsion.
In his opinion, then, the Repeal of the Union was necessary for the preservation of the Throne of the King and his successors—it was essentially necessary for the peace and the prosperity of Ireland ; and he thanked the repealers of Ireland for having, by their conduct, raised that question to the dignity and station which it at present held. It was the habit, last year, to sneer and laugh at that question-in short to talk of it as a subject that never would be agitated in that House. But now what was the case ? All parties in Ireland were merely reconciled by the conduct of the right hon. Secretary, and all men agreed that the question was one that demanded, and must have, a public, a distinct, and solemn discussion; and, moreover, that it was a question which was not to be put down by the force of the bayonet, but, if possible, by the moral force of proof, and that he was certain could not be adduced ; for those who supported repeal had right and justice on their side. He would now return to the original question. It was said that agitation had led to the present state of Ireland. He asserted that those who thus argued were totally wrong. He, on the contrary, would aver that agitation had reduced crime. The history of the country proved it, and it was a great pity that men could not read their own history correctly. If those who opposed his opinion were right, then agitation ought to be put down ; but if wrong, then justice should be done to Ireland. He claimed justice, and nothing but justice, for Ireland : but the ministers proclaimed civil war for Ireland—theirs was the system of bayonets and bullets. They called for additional force. In this mode of government there was no ingenuity, no talent, no new discovery; for 700 years England had governed Ireland in the same way.
In the time of Henry VIII, when only a portion of Ireland contained King's subjects, in the time of Elizabeth, when only part of the Irish were Queen's subjects—the government was carried on in the same way, and here he could not refrain from remarking that so very ignorant were Englishmen
in general of the history of the sister country, as it was sometimes styled, that he never yet met the Englishman who knew that it was not until the year 1614, in the reign of James I, that all the inhabitants of Ireland became King's subjects. Having thrown forth this observation, he would next remark that more blood had been shed in Ireland during the administration of the right hon. Secretary than during that of the Earl of Stafford. The peasantry were slain by day-assassinated by night-openly by soldiers and policemen in the dayat night murdered by the wretched outcast from society, the white boy—a man most commonly converted by misery and oppression into a monster. The wantoness with which life was every day sacrificed in Ireland was appalling. By a late post it appeared that a farmer in Wexford was shot by the police, in passing a river, because he refused to stop in obedience to their mandate. In Mayo, the other day, peasants were shot for looking hard at the police. In the Queen's County, a man was murdered for singing a song which sounded unpleasingly in the ears of the police. And there was the affair at Kanturk. Really, this was worth a moment's consideration from the House. Several parishes, it appeared, had assembled for the purpose of peaceably petitioning for relief from tithes. The right hon. gentleman had since put down all meetings consisting of more than one parish. Well, so be it; but, as usual, the police attended this meeting in coloured clothes, and mingled with the peasantry. The soldiers, too, were of course brought to the ground with guns loaded, bayonets fixed, and all things in a state of warlike preparation. Now markone of these disguised policemen threw a stone at the soldiers. Fortunately the people did not follow his example, and the military displayed that temper and forbearance, which, in the discharge of their arduous and afflicting duties in Ireland, had distinguished them so often. The man was seized—there were seven witnesses to prove that he had thrown the stone; but there was excessive difficulty in getting a magistrate to receive the depositions, and when the bill of indictment came before the Grand Jury of the country it was ignored. That was the way in which justice was administered in Ireland. Hear another story -A party of police went out lately-one of them was drunk. Hearing the approach of his officer, he went into a cabin, and said to the man and his wife, “For
God's sake, hide me; if my officer sees me in this state I shall be broken." The police were not in favour with the people ; still they could not find it in their hearts to refuse him; so the woman hid him in the bed with the children. The party of police called several times, asking for their comrade. The woman said she knew nothing about him. At length she took him out of the house, and, as the country thereabouts was rendered dangerous by the frequent eyes of coal-pits, she walked upwards of a mile and a half with him, to put him on a secure road, and carried his gun for him all the time. When she came home, however, she found another party of police in her house. They insisted that she had concealed the policeman, and finally seized and handcuffed the man and womanactually handcuffed her. There was no doubt here; yet there was no indignation expressed. A Mrs. Deacle was handcuffed, or said to have been handcuffed—he did not mean to say she was not-and that House, and indeed all England, were thrown into uproar by it; but the poor woman to whom he alluded was merely an Irishwoman. To proceed, there was some resistance offered by the people who witnessed these things, and there was, of course, another slaughter. He begged to tell the gentlemen of England this question was one of life and death. If they employed additional force—more military and police—they would only have more blood. In the case to which he had alluded, a Coroner's Jury brought in a verdict of wilful murder. Now he accused the right hon. Secretary of being a party to all the slaughter at the other side of the water; to that of Newtownbarry, for example. Here he would take for granted that the yeomanry were right; so be it ; still it was the right hon. gentleman and Government that put into the yeoman's hands those deadly weapons by which men, women, and children were slaughtered. The right hon. Secretary had turned Lord Anglesey into Tithe Proctor-General for Ireland. The gallant Governor and General had made a right glorious campaign ; he had conquered parish after parish, he had confiscated the petticoat of the old woman, and the porridge-pot of the young child; he had converted all the barracks into receptacles for tithes, the soldiers into drivers for them; he had scoured the country with cavalry and infantry, aye, and marines; and there certainly was no question that wherever he had thought proper to apply force he had been successful. Where, then, was the need of additional force in Ireland ? Additional force, he contended, would only be productive of additional crime. He now came back to the question, was crime the offspring of agitation or misgoverment ? It was proved by the parliamentary reports, and more especially by the last, that all those crimes were committed by the lowest class of the community, and that there was no connection between them and any feeling of a political nature—nay, more, he would defy any person to point out a time when there was political agitation in Ireland that was not comparatively free from crime. He would give them an instance of this fact. There was no period in which Whiteboyism was more rife in Ireland than in 1821 and 1822. The system had almost assumed the character of actual insurrection; the parties assembled on the hills, and committed murders in open day. There was no political agitation at the time. On the accession of George IV, and particularly after his visit to Ireland, relying on his supposed sentiment, the Catholics determined to wait until the Monarch expressed his own spontaneous sentiments on the subject of Catholic emancipation. They therefore abstained, at that time, from agitating the question. In what state was the country then ? There were eleven counties proclaimed under the Insurrection Act, and seven more were about to be placed in the same situation. But when the Catholic Association was formed, and when the principle of agitation had been in full force for ten months, then disturbance ceased, and every county in Ireland was quieted. That was a positive fact, and he challenged the gentlemen opposite to contradict it. Let those who cheered so loudly, when agitation was mentioned as the cause of insubordination, bear this point in mind—that crime was widely extended when there was no agitation, but that it was repressed when agitation prevailed. When he made this statement, was he speaking to the deaf adder ? was he addressing himself to men who would not listen ; or who, if they did listen, would not take a lesson from the past with respect to the course which they ought to pursue for the future? They might outvote him against Ireland, but they could not shake those truths. He was speaking for Ireland, for unhappy Ireland. They might sneer at, or taunt him as the agitator; but, conscious that he was performing a sacred duty, he could laugh at all