Cork County election July 1841 Daniel O’Connell’s acceptance speech

This is from The Times on Wednesday the 21st July 1841. It was fiercely pro-Tory, and very anti-Whig, anti-Catholic, and very anti-Daniel O’Connell, and, as they report in the first paragraph, he doesn’t like them either.


After the High Sheriff had declared Messrs O’Connell and Roche duly elected, Mr. O’Connell proceeded to the Chamber of Commerce, where he addressed an immense mob of the shoeless and shirtless, in a speech rampant with bigotry and intolerance. The poor old man’s brain is evidently bewildered by the series of defeats he has sustained during the last few days. After indulging in some of his stale Billingsgate against The Times, and moaning over the results of the late Ministerial appeal to the people, he proceeds to say-

” I would go 10 miles to see any one who is such a blockhead or so stupid as now to expect justice from England, after the present exhibition. ( Hear, hear,” and laughter.) What justice can we expect from her, when nine-tenths of the present Parliament are the sworn enemies of Ireland! (Hear.) Oh yes, there is one hope, and that is, hope nothing from England. (Laughter.) Rally, then, with me for the repeal (Deafening shouts of applause, and cries of ” We will.”) Let every man be a Repealer. (Renewed cries of “We will.”) Let every man enrol his name as an associate of the Repeal Association. (“We will, we will.”) The time is coming when no man should speak to another who is not a Repealer, and no woman should speak to the man who is not a Repealer. (Cheers) The downfall of the church and the fixity of tenure robbery are to be forthwith accomplished. We will pay no more parsons. (Cheers.) Let every man who is resolved not to pay the parson any more hold up his hand. (Here such a multitude of hands appeared in the air as would make it appear that every person present had three or four hands each.) I’ll tell you what I’ll do, after such a display of hands as that, I’ll consent that all those now before me who did not hold up their hands shall pay two parsons each. (Great laughter.) I am determined not to be compelled to pay for the support of any clergy. (Hear.) I don’t want any law-payment for my own clergy, and they are the better paid, because they earn it honestly. (Cheers and laughter.) The next feature in my present agitation shall be the security of tenure to the farmer. (Continued cheering.) I shall apply in the next Parliament for leave to bring in a bill by which to provide that any farmer who has not a lease shall be allowed by his landlord what he may have expended on his farm, should he be put out of possession. (Loud cheer). I am the representative of a great agricultural county, and I shall make it a provision in my bill that all grand jury cess shall be paid out of the general Treasury. (Cheers.) The Tories have said that I am not a friend to the farmer; will any of them join me in this bill? (Laughter, and cries of ” I’ll engage they won’t.”).”

Physical force, commended by this most notorious of cowards, would only be a matter for jest, were the language uttered in any other assembly than that of the savage hordes fresh reeking from their excesses at Kinsale, Mallow, and city and county of Cork generally.

” I have published all through Europe and America that a Scotchman was compelled to admit that we (Irishmen) were, blessed be Heaven, the first among nations for physical strength, though I am so old myself now, I don’t care for my share of the compliment (laughter); but, old as I am, I am yet young and strong enough for your enemies. (Loud cheers, and cries of ” God preserve you !”) And shall such a people be slaves, or crouch to a tyrant ? (Tremendous shouts of ” No never, never !”) To such tyrants as this faction to which Leader belongs? (Groans.) Ah, the renegade ! (Renewed groans.) He puts me in mind of a beautiful beagle I once had that was in pup. (Laughter.) I was very anxious about her, for she was of the genuine Irish breed; but I dreamed one night that she had pupped, and instead of bringing forth her own species, I thought she had nothing but a rat (loud laughter), and that is exactly Leader’s case.” As usual, he rests his chief reliance for carrying out his seditious designs on the numerical strength and organization of that compact body yclept (sic) [an archaic word meaning – by the name of]  the teetotallers. “How many teetotallers have I here ? ” (he asks). (Here a vast number of the immense crowd held up their hands amidst loud cheering.) Oh ! that is a grand display indeed, and I bow to the majesty and dignity of your virtue. (Cheers.) I, too, have become a teetotaller (cheers), not because I followed the example of the rich, and the great, and the aristocratic, for they did not set it, but I did so from a feeling of respect and gratitude to the poor people. (Loud cheering.) It was they taught me that great, that grand virtue, and here I stand the pupil of the poor and humble portion of my countrymen. (Renewed cheers.) Well, I have shown you, first, that you are the first amongst nations for moral as well as physical strength, for unflinching fidelity to your religion, for every noble quality that can make a people great, for habits of temperance, with all their concomitant virtues, and oh ! with all these, will any man tell me that you ever will consent to be slaves ? (Tremendous plaudits.) Peel – Stanley – Tories of England – we defy you – we despise and abominate you. (Shouts of applause.) You shall not -must not – dare not trample upon the liberties of the Irish people. (Renewed cheering.) But the faction must be met. I want a weapon to meet them with; arm me with it; join me in the cry for Repeal. (Great cheers, and cries of ” We will.”) Having the high honour of representing the county of Cork, I feel myself expanding from my natural dimensions into a moral and political gigantic height, and from that eminence I now denounce Peel and Stanley, and every slave who does not become a Repealer. (Great cheering.) And I pledge myself that I will not in future support any Administration that may be formed, however liberal, that will not leave the Repeal an open question. (Loud cheers.) Repealers must be admitted to be loyal subjects, and I will support no Administration that dares to disparage a Repealer.” (Loud applause.)

And finally, the family bit.

As before, Dan the man  is the father-in-law of Charles O’Connell who is 5x great aunt Mary Grehan’s 1st cousin 1x removed.

Edmond Burke Roche is slightly more complicated. He is the 1st cousin 1x removed of General Edmund Roche whose wife Anna Austin was Charles Cooper Penrose-Fitzgerald’s aunt. Charles C P-F’s wife was Henrietta Hewson which made her a 2nd cousin of 3x great aunt Mary O’Bryen. 

Edmond Burke Roche also has the distinction of being Prince Harry’s great, great, great grandfather. 

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