HC Deb 01 June 1836 vol 33 cc1237-8
Mr. William Roche

, in presenting a petition from the city of Limerick, said, that it was signed by no less than nine thousand citizens, and expressed in terms strong and emphatic, yet not too strong or energetic for the painful necessity of the occasion, their indignant feelings on the injustice and degradation attempted to be put upon the people of Ireland by being pronounced, not in this house, but in another place, unworthy or incapable of enjoying those free municipal institutions which had been recently conferred upon the people of England and Scotland, and from which the people of England and Scotland had, even already, experienced considerable advantages. The people of Limerick and of Ireland felt that, like individuals, if nations tamely submitted to humiliation, the insult was sure to be repeated, until at length every scintilla of national right and national dignity would be trampled in the dust. Ireland associated herself with this country on terms of perfect equality and reciprocity. She had performed her share of the compact fairly, fully, and honourably, and she, therefore, claimed from this country, as the other contracting party, the same share of faithful and honourable bearing. If she obtained it all would be right, but if she did not, it was an universally admitted maxim that the violation of a compact by one party liberated the obligations of the other. It was, there fore, that the petitioners implored the House to stand firm in the maintenance of perfect justice to Ireland, and thereby to ward off the fearful consequences that might result from discontent and collision; for Ireland, while willing and ready to abide by every covenant in her engagement, was resolved not to yield up a particle of her rights or her honour. In looking to the tranquillity and prosperity of Ireland, the petitioners could not pass by that interminable source of discord, strife, and bloodshed—the tithe system; but as that topic was appointed for discussion this evening, he forbore any present comments upon it.

Petition laid on the Table.

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