presented a Petition from the lord mayor, sheriffs, commons, and citizens of the city of Dublin, in common council assembled, 10th April 1812, setting forth, "That the lord mayor, sheriffs, commons, and citizens, of the city of Dublin, whose loyalty to their most gracious sovereign, and his royal ancestors, monarchs of these realms, has ever been firm and unequivocal, 401 beg leave to approach the House, in perfect confidence of its fixed determination to maintain unimpaired the Protestant constitution in Church and State; and that, reposing in full security on this confidence, the common council have not for some time past appeared as Petitioners before the House, notwithstanding the repeated demands of the Roman Catholics, but now, when it is publicly asserted that the Protestants of Ireland are favourable to such demands, and when every power of artifice and intimidation is employed to give colour to such assertion, the Petitioners should feel that they shrunk from their duty if they did not now declare, that in their opinion the concessions already made to the Roman Catholics are such as, if exercised with gratitude to the state, and for the tranquillity of the country, would be most amply sufficient to make the situation of the Roman Catholics happy under the present Protestant establishment; and praying the House to persevere in maintaining the constitution unimpaired in Church and State."
§ Ordered to lie upon the table.
§ Sir John Newport.
—I much regret. Sir, that I did not enter the House a few minutes earlier, whilst the Petition just read was under cognizance of the House, that I might have enabled this House, by a statement of circumstances which occurred in that very assembly of the corporation of Dublin which framed that Petition, duly to estimate its value, and that of the meeting whose sentiments it conveys. It was there proposed to grant the freedom of the city of Dublin to major O'Donoghoe, in consideration of the signal valour and ability which that gallant officer had displayed in the defence of Tariffa, against an infinitely superior French force. His eminent services in that defence were proved by his being entrusted with the dispatches, which bore testimony to his distinguished gallantry. The majority of that corporate assembly gave a decided negative to the freedom, which was expressly refused to major O'Donoghoe be because he was a Roman Catholic! How striking is the display of loyal attachment to the constitution, in thus withholding from the brave defenders of their country their well-earned rewards!