HC Deb 19 July 1833 vol 19 cc1029-31
Mr. O'Connell

, seeing the right hon. Gentleman, the Secretary for Ireland, in his place, begged to know whether he had any objection to lay before the House copies of the correspondence that took place between the Irish Government and certain Magistrates of Enniskillen, in reference to the celebration of the 12th of July? It appeared, at least, from the newspapers, that those Magistrates were involved in the preparatory steps taken for the celebration of that anniversary. It was therefore necessary that the House should be aware of what the conduct of those Magistrates really was. Blood had been shed—and he wished to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether the Roman Catholics were involved in the transaction. No difference existed now, in the eye of the law, between Roman Catholics and Protestants; and if the former misconducted themselves, they ought to be punished with the utmost rigour.

Mr. Littleton

had no objection to the production of the documents, but as the correspondence was still going on, he would suggest the propriety of postponing the Motion until the documents should be complete. With respect to the conduct of the Roman Catholics, under the provocation they received, he had no hesitation in stating, that nothing could be more exemplary than the conduct of the Roman Catholic population of the north of Ireland—and that, they received, on the occasion alluded to the most unjustifiable, unmanly, and unchristian like provocation from the orangemen.

Colonel Perceval

said, the right hon. Gentleman might have taken a lesson from the right hon. Gentleman, the Under Secretary for the Home Department, who a few minutes before declined to give any opinion in reference to a transaction that was then in course of investigation by a Jury. As an Orangeman, no person more sincerely deplored the results of the proceedings in Cavan than he did, and he must add, that if his Majesty's Government had but manifested any desire to rely upon the exertions of those who were supposed to have influence with the Orangemen, and had not, by insulting letters goaded them on, no opportunity, he was confident, would have been afforded of drawing down upon them the premature censure of the right hon. Gentleman. Before the day on which the unfortunate processions had taken place, he left nothing undone, so far as his influence as an individual could go, to prevent them from occurring—and he made no doubt, that the exertions of those to whom the Orangemen looked up, and on whom they relied, would have been effectual, were it not that the insulting letters of Sir William Gosset had goaded them on. He could not help taking that opportunity of referring to the Party Processions' Bill of last Session. It was now the law of the land, and it was his duty to carry it into effect; but the mode in which it was past was calculated to aggravate the feelings of the Orangemen. He was told by the then Secretary for Ireland, and the Solicitor General, that the Bill would not be brought before the House that Session. He would not have left London if the Secretary had not told him, that upon his shoulders must rest the responsibility of the Bill not passing that Session. The Orangemen, under these circumstances, thought they were taken unawares, and the Bill was passed in the absence of their friends. These processions, he repeated, would not have taken place, but for the insulting letters of Lord Anglesey's mouthpiece—for he had himself declared, that there was no such person as Sir William Gosset. On the application of a private individual, a Doctor O'Reilly, troops were marched into the district, though the Lord Lieutenant of the county had declared, that the police would be adequate to maintain the peace. He objected most strongly to the Government passing over the recommendation of the head of the country, the Lord Lieutenant, and attending to the recommendation of a private individual. The hon. and gallant Member concluded by moving for copies of the correspondence alluded to.

Mr. O'Dwyer

cautioned the House against taking the gallant Colonel as a fair specimen of the Orangemen of Ireland. If they at all resembled him, the atrocious murders which had recently been perpetrated never would have been committed. The speech of the right hon. Secretary would do more to pacify Ireland than fifty Coercion Bills.

Papers ordered.