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In showing to what uses the money thus collected was applied, Mr. Goulburn expatiated chiefly on the interference of the Association with the course of justice; and, without dwelling on the evils which arose in minor courts from this cause, he called the attention of the House to what had taken place before the higher tribunals. About the end of last July, a statement was made that a most brutal and wanton murder had been perpetrated by a Protestant on a Roman Catholic; and a letter was published in some of the Irish papers, calling on the Catholic Association to interfere. The subject having been brought before the Association, Mr. J. D. Mullen moved for the appointment of a committee to investigate the circumstances of the case; with authority to adopt such measures as circumstances might require. On Saturday, the 31st of July, the report of the committee was read, detailing the supposed circumstances, and stating that those circumstances called for the interference of the Association! Mr. Cavanagh was in consequence appointed by the Association to conduct the prosecution. Here, then, was a man charged with murder going to trial with a declaration from the body representing the whole Catholic population, that they had investigated the facts, and that the result was, their con

viction that the murder had been committed, and that the individual so charged ought to be prosecuted by the Association. But, let the proceeding be pursued further. When the trial came on, a host of evidence swore to the infliction of a great many wounds on the deceased, and to the manifestation of the most horrid cruelty. Witness after witness declared upon oath, that the prisoner jumped on the throat of the deceased, kicked him in the spine, broke his ribs, &c. What was the fact? The surgeons who had examined the body, and who were brought forward by the prosecution, proved to the satisfaction of the court, that there was not a word of truth in all this previous evidence, and that the body had suffered no such violence. It appeared, that the deceased person died in consequence of an accidental fall over a short post, which broke one of the small vertebræ of the back; and eventually the prisoner was acquitted. When the verdict of not guilty was pronounced, the judge even considered it his duty to address the prisoner to the following effect:-"I do not think it would be right to discharge you without expressing my entire satisfaction at your conduct. It is in evidence that you endeavoured to preserve the peace from being disturbed, and your efforts entitle you to great approbation." Yet this individual, not only innocent, but meritorious, had been denounced a fortnight before by the Association as having, he being an Orangeman, murdered a Roman Catholic.

In January last, it was announced to the Catholic Association, by one of their agents, that a private in the 25th regiment had been discovered in the act of seducing se

veral Catholics to take an oath, the obligation of which was, to kill all the Protestants, all the soldiers, and all the Orangemen ; his object being, of course, to lay informations against them after having thus inveigled them. The Association issued a declaration, that the soldier was evidently a ruffian, who deserved the punishment of transportation, but that, unless the Association sent down an agent, the fellow might escape; and this declaration was read by the priests in all the chapels. The Catholic Association accordingly employed an agent to prosecute the soldier: and in the meantime, search was actually made for his wife, and for other branches of his family, in order to compel them to leave the country. The case came on before a bench of magistrates consisting of no fewer than forty-three individuals. The evidence, how ever, adduced on the part of the prosecution, developed so much inconsistency and contradiction, that the forty-three magistrates decided unanimously, that there was no foundation for the charge. The Association engaged in a similar transaction with reference to a member of the police, the object of which was to render that body odious. In short, the whole tendency of their proceedings was to excite, in any case in which Catholics and Protestants were concerned, all the acrimony of party feeling.

Mr. Goulburn proceeded next to consider the conduct and exertions of the Catholic Association in the month of December last. In that month, they put forth a document entitled "Address of the Catholic Association to the People of Ireland," which concluded with this memorable pas

sage: "In the name, then, of common sense, which forbids you to seek foolish resources; by the hate you bear the Orangemen, who are your natural enemies; by the confidence you repose in the Catholic Association, who are your natural and zealous friends; by the respect and affection you entertain for your clergy, who alone visit with comfort your beds of sickness and desolation: by all these powerful motives, and still more by the affectionate reverence you bear for the gracious monarch, who deigns to think of your sufferings with a view to your relief; and, above all, and infinitely beyond all, in the name of religion, and of the living God, we conjure you to abstain from all secret and

illegal societies, and Whiteboydisturbances and outrages."

This address, so anti-christian in its language and sentiments, was ordered to be sent into the different parishes in the country, and read by each priest from the altar. This was very generally done; and, if any argument were wanted to prove the extent and power of the Association, it was furnished by the fact, that they found a ready acquiescence on the parts of a great proportion of the Roman Catholic clergy in thus denouncing their Protestant breth

ren.

In this way, the declaration was given to the Catholic people, and it was left to produce its natural effects on the minds of the ignorant and illiterate. Was it to be wondered at, that a society so formed, and so acting, should create anxiety and alarm? Was it possible that his majesty's government could avoid calling upon parliament to prevent the danger likely to arise from such proceedings?

With reference to other societies

than the Catholic Association, Mr. Goulburn stated, that the bill passed in 1823 had, in some parts of Ireland, attained its object. In many districts, the societies which it was meant to suppress had not re-modelled themselves so as to elude the bill, but had altogether abstained from meeting. Those societies, which did re-model themselves, had substituted for their illegal oaths, the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; and a written certificate of such oaths having been sworn before a magistrate, was necessary to the admission of any member. Even those societies, however, he was anxious to suppress. Mr. Goulburn concluded by stating the objects of the proposed bill. These would be, to prevent the permanence of the sittings of any association, or the appointment of committees beyond a certain time, and also to put a stop to any levy of money for the purpose of redressing private or public grievances. It would further render illegal all societies which were affiliated; which corresponded with other societies; which excluded persons on the ground of any particular religious faith; or in which any oaths were taken other than those directed by law. There would of course be exceptions in favour of meetings on the subject of trade, agriculture, charity, and others of a similar description. The parties charged with belonging to any prohibited societies would be proceeded against by indictment alone; so that, in the event of any vexatious prosecution, the attorney-general might have an opportunity of interfering.

Mr. J. Smith was the first member who spoke against the motion; and he was followed on the same side by Mr. Abercromby. The

reasoning of these gentlemen was at least very simple, if it was not very conclusive. "The Catholic Association has done nothing illegal: therefore no act ought to be passed to check its operations.All the evils of Ireland spring from the refusal of concession to the Catholics; the Association is the natural result of that refusal: the government of Ireland is bad in principle and practice, and consequently a body acting as a sort of antagonist to that government must be good." These proposi

tions varied in phrase, constituted the speeches of Mr. Smith and Mr. Abercromby; but the latter gentleman diluted them more largely than the former with the usual common places on the condition of Ireland. "For years," said he, "the finger of scorn and contempt had been every where raised against his majesty's ministers, for their conduct towards Ireland; but they had been reviled in vain, and upon them the lesson of experience seemed to have been lost."

Sir Henry Parnell spoke on the same side, and entered more accurately into the question. He contended that Mr. Goulbourn had not given a fair account of the mode of collecting the rent. The course actually adopted was this. When the inhabitants of a parish wish to contribute to the rent, a meeting of the parish is summoned; at the meeting a chairman is appointed, frequently, though not always, the priest. Resolutions are proposed approving of the collecting of the rent, and a committee is appointed, with a secretary and a treasurer, to manage the collections: but in no case, out of some hundreds which he had read, had he ever found the priest appointed to act as treasurer.

In

point of fact, the priest has no more concern in the business than any other person, and either supports or opposes the plan, as he thinks proper. It ought to be observed however, that this statement of sir Henry Parnell, even if correct, does not contradict any one of the important points on which Mr. Goulburn had relied.

Sir Henry Parnell further insisted, that the purposes for which the Catholic rent was collected, were clear and defined. The Association had itself stated them to be 1st, To forward petitions to parliament: 2nd, To procure legal redress for all such Catholics, assailed or injured by Orange violence, as were unable to obtain it for themselves: 3rd, To encourage and support a liberal and enlightened press, as well in Dublin as in London; a press that would readily report the arguments of our enemies, and expose the falsehood of the calumnies upon us and our religion: 4th, To procure for the various schools in the country cheap publications: 5th, To afford aid to Irish Catholics in America, to attain religious instruction: 6th, To afford aid to the English Catholics for the same object. A committee of twenty-one persons was to superintend and manage the expenditure of the subscription money; and no monies were to be expended without an express vote of the Association upon a notice regularly given. The honourable baronet gave also a detail of some instances, in which he conceived that the interference of the Association in judicial proceedings had been beneficial; and he ascribed the alarms which existed in Ireland at the end of last year, to the proceedings of the Bible and Hibernian school societies.

After a speech from Mr. Leslie Foster in support of the motion, and from Mr. John Williams against it, Mr. Secretary Peel rose. He first considered the Association as a body interfering with the administration of public justice. On this part of the argument he pressed the other side of the House very strongly with the opinions which their leading members had repeatedly and deliberately expressed in the discussions in a former session on the Constitutional Association. He further argued, that every Catholic, who had subscribed even one farthing to the Association, was disqualified from sitting as a juror on any prosecution which it might institute; for the very fact of his subscription was a proof of his unindifferency. Now the House had been told, that every peasant in Ireland was a member of the Catholic Association. If this were so, was not justice likely to be tainted in its administration, when nearly every person, who was qualified to sit upon a common jury, was disqualified by his own act? Did not such a system neutralize and render null the various benefits which parliament had recently conferred upon the Catholics of Ireland? Parliament had recently enabled them to act as jurors and grand jurors; and yet here was an act of their own body, which set them aside as jurors, if they had subscribed one farthing to the Catholic rent. Suppose that an offence, which involved a party question and excited party animosity, came on for trial; in what a situation. would the court be placed? How could a panel be formed of parties perfectly indifferent? The objection was not merely to the evil in any particular case, but to the

taint which was thus cast upon the administration of justice. In addition to the instances given by Mr. Goulburn of the mischievous interference of the Association in the administration of justice, Mr. Peel mentioned, that at a meeting of the Catholic Association on the preceding Wednesday, a report was made on the case of John Cahill, and a magistrate, the rev. Allan Cavendish. Here, then, was a body with large funds at its disposal, which it expended in instituting an inquiry previous to trial, and which brought in its report declaratory of the party's guilt or innocence, before it even placed him upon his defence. In the present instance, the committee had even done more than make a report declaring the guilt of Mr. Cavendish; for the conclusion they had come to was-that a memorial should be presented to the lord-lieutenant on the subject of that gentleman's improper and illegal conduct. Nay, more; the gentleman who brought in the report actually moved, that the action in the case of Cahill should be defended at the expense of the Association, and that a petition should be presented to parliament praying that Mr. Cavendish might be removed, as being an unfit person to act a as magistrate. The Association, if its aim were justice, might at least have postponed the petition to parliament till after the conclusion of the judicial inquiry. But no-at the self same moment the association published the memorial which they presented to the lord-lieutenant, and sent the magistrate to trial, not only with the disadvantage of a previous condemnation, but also with the disadvantage of having it known that a petition was to be presented

to parliament against him. He (Mr. Peel) had no means of knowing any thing of the merits of this transaction except from a letter of the earl of Donoughmore on the subject, which a gentleman had read to the Association. In that letter lord Donoughmore declared, that, as governor of the county, he had examined into the charges made against Mr. Cavendish, and had found them groundless; that he had transmitted fourteen folic pages of depositions, which he had taken during the examination, to the lord chancellor, who had not only acquitted Mr. Cavendish of the charges adduced against him, but had applauded his conduct on the very grounds intended to criminate him; and that he considered the further persecution of that gentleman to be an act of oppression on the part of the Association. Now, when such was the opinion of a nobleman who had always been friendly to the Catholics, was it possible that the gentlemen of Ireland would undertake the duties of the magistracy, if they were to be liable to such attacks in the performance of them?

Mr. Peel proceeded in the second place to examine the political nature of this Association. Here was a body, which had now been in existence for more than a year, under the pretence of preparing a Catholic petition to parliament. That body imitated, or, rather travestied, all the proceedings of that House-a matter of little importance in itself, but which, combined with others, assumed a certain degree of consequence. It separated in summer as the House of Commons did. It met again in the month of October, and it had been sitting ever since. It possessed also a complete organization throughout the

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