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!! Connaught Journal; June 24, 1824 "Must have been an election year"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    THE CONNAUGHT JOURNAL Galway, Thursday, June 24, 1824 COUNTY GALWAY REPRESENTATIVES TO the FREEHOLDERS of the CO. of GALWAY, GENTLEMEN-At the hazard of being
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 4, 2004
      Galway, Thursday, June 24, 1824


      TO the FREEHOLDERS of the CO. of GALWAY,
      GENTLEMEN-At the hazard of being considered not only impertinent but
      importunate, I venture again to address you on the subject of County politics,
      earnestly entreating your attention to what I conceive to be your real interests
      and the interest of the County.
      The time is gone by when private friendships and private wishes could
      prevail over public duty without injury to the community. It is now absolutely
      necessary for the Friends of Liberty to stand to their colours, as well for the
      support of those who have long fought the good fight, as for the defence of the
      important outposts which have already been won, and which the enemy would spend
      millions to retake.
      England is at this moment bent upon doing good to Ireland, and would
      succeed in her consistent endeavours if the veil of prejudice, which has been so
      carefully spread before her eyes, could be effectually removed. It is melancholy
      to reflect how long she has been kept in ignorance of our real condition, and
      that her want of knowledge on so essential a subject, has been hitherto
      perpetuated by the assistance of Ireland's clerk ridden representation. It is by
      their aid that the friends of Exclusion have been enabled to obstruct the
      benevolent intentions of the good! and it is by their votes that the liberal and
      enlightened advocates of Emancipation and Reform have been substantially
      opposed. How long are we to stand by and suffer this depends upon individual
      exertion- and individual exertion is now, more than ever, imperatively called
      for in the County of Galway.
      The friends of Mr. Daly do not ?eruple to assert that his late canvass has
      been eminently successful, and that he has all the Gentlemen with him. On the
      probabilities in his favor they reason thus: "Mr Daly has secured the high
      Protestant interests of Garbally, Gort, Clonbrock, Castlekelly, &c, &c together
      with the hitherto doubtful legions of Tyrone, and the whole phalanx of the * * *
      Catholics, including (proh puder) the Kilcornan powers. He can therefore secure
      his return by subsidizing the ragged regiments of Cunnemara, and by making Mr.
      Martin the Ministerial Member for Galway Town. Nothing can stand against such an
      alliance, and the only doubt of its being effected is the possibility of a
      better offer being made from the other side!!
      Mr. Lambert of Cregclare, is said not to have been quite so successful in
      the canvass, which has been lately commenced, because it has been carried on by
      proxy, under the auspices and protection of a Peer.- In order to become a Member
      of Parliament, it is reported, that Mr. Lambert gives up his Cromwellian
      prejudices (which still existed at the time of the Protestant Petition in favor
      of Emancipation) and sports himself a liberal independent; while he is to draw
      on the Portumna Bank for his expences, and to confine his ideas of
      representation to the notions of the Noble Friend who is to procure his
      triumphant return. That Friend, if it has not been already done, is to arrange a
      coalition with Colonel Martin, and hocus pocus. Mr. Thomas Martin, becomes a
      candidate for the town of Galway on the Anti-Daly interest. Colonel Martin, Mr.
      Martin and Mr. Lambert are thus to be elected to fill up the obedient ranks of
      Ministerial parasites, and we, the independent Electors of Galway County, and
      Galway Town, are to be effectually humbugged.
      Gentlemen Freeholders of the County- Will you quietly sit down under the
      imputation of being the mere puppets of this or that Nobleman or Gentleman,
      whatever may be his property or his pretensions? Will you suffer yourselves to
      be ticketed like the goods of a cheap shop selling off at prime cost, while the
      individual price of each of your Patrician Families is estimated and exposed in
      the every day conversation of your Proprietors? Ye who are as yet unconscious of
      your extreme degradation- ye who have never read and who have never heard how,
      in the reign of Charles the first, the Gentry and the Priesthood of the County
      of Galway alone stood firm against the tyrannical proceedings of Lord Stafford,
      I beseech you, think of what your ancestors once were, before you abandon the
      cause of justice and plunge deeper into the mire of corruption! The County of
      Galway is already a bye word in society, and one of our Members the laughing
      stock of the world! Little can we, who live far from the gay Metropolis, whose
      utmost scope of vision scarcely ever reaches beyond the fair green of
      Ballinasloe- little can we estimate the injury that may be done, not only to the
      character, but to the credit of a County, by the follies or indiscretions of
      individuals. Yet, when we bitterly feel the consequences, it is high time for us
      to look about; and now that we are considered by our Patrons as infinitely
      degraded, it is our bounden duty to endeavour, by every means in our power, to
      regain our fallen honors, and restore them uninjured to our posterity.
      With such a cause we need not fear the alliances which are in
      contemplation. If Colonel Martin and Mr. Daly coalesce, two Candidates must be
      put forward to oppose them, and their powers must be weakened by a canvass from
      Chapel to Chapel. For Funds we have the Catholic Rents-for Canvassers, the same
      class of men who have been eminently successful in the Counties of Dublin,
      Leitrim and Sligo. If Mr. Lambert has not already deserted us- if he will engage
      to promote Reform- if he will pledge himself to cooperate with the Friends of
      Emancipation-if he will cordially assist in opposing Colonel Martin as well as
      Mr. Daly, there are reasons of expedience for his being one of those to be
      supported; but it is above all things necessary to the success of our opposition
      to the coalisions [sic] which are intended, that effectual political division
      should be sown in Cunnemara. For this purpose we must look either to Mr. Darcy
      or Mr. Blake- and it is now said the the latter is to be strenuously supported
      by the former. If such indeed be the case, it may, in some measure, account for
      Mr. Blake's presumption in becoming a Candidate-for it is evident that 800 or
      1000 votes from Cunnemara would greatly add to or diminish the powers of Colonel
      Martin, and that nay one opposing Colonel Martin must resort for them for the
      means of legally impeding the overbearing numbers that could otherwise be
      brought forward in his favour.
      To secure the Independence of the County in case of a coalition between Mr.
      Lambert and Col. Martin, nearly the same line of conduct ought to be pursued.
      The mere junction of their interests should put us on our guard, lest by
      assisting Mr. Lambert, under existing circumstances, we should forge chains for
      ourselves which it would be difficult hereafter to shake off.- Indeed, it is
      almost a matter of doubt whether it would not ultimately be for the benefit of
      the Catholic Cause and for the welfare of the County that Mr. Daly should be
      returned with an Independent Member, rather than Mr. Lambert and Col. Martin
      should ride rough-shod over us as the Nominees of Portumna and Ballinahinch. It
      would be an extremely idle occupation for us to employ ourselves in supporting
      INDIVIDUAL instead of COLLECTIVE interests, and in seeking to obtain a political
      good, we should continuously abstain from pledging ourselves to too powerful a
      friend. Even now, unless we are very wary, Galway is in imminent danger of
      imitating Mayo, and low as she is now, may sink still further in the estimation
      of an enlightened and reflecting Public. The assistance of great men should be
      thankfully accepted when they offer it as Candidates for popularity, but not if
      they pretend to be our masters-they may be treated with us allies, but not as
      the Proprietors of the Franchises, for which we are contending.
      With these points steadily in view, Freeholders of the County, I maintain
      that we have yet the power of emancipating ourselves, and that all we have to
      look for is a long pull, and a strong pull, and a pull altogether. If we are not
      incorrigibly corrupt, we cannot see the banner of Liberty wave in vain-if we are
      what the negociators [sic] are please to paint us, venal to a man, I am ?????
      good time in thus addressing you.--

      SIR- The statement which appeared in your Paper of the 17th Instant, under
      the signature of "A Catholic Freeholder," relative to my having canvassed the
      County without success, is erroneous.
      That the Representation of the County of Galway is the object of my
      ambition, I am ready to acknowledge, and to admit that I have casually spoken on
      the subject to about half a dozen Gentlemen; but my canvass is yet to commence.
      Whether that canvass is likely to be successful or not, must depend upon
      the progress of opinion during the next twelve months. If an exception is to be
      made in favour of Emancipation and Reform, I may yet hope for the assistance and
      support of a majority of the Freeholders; if otherwise, I shall probably be
      obliged to submit, in common with many others, to the necessity of being
      represented by those whom sentiments entirely differ from my own.
      Requesting the insertion of this Letter in your impartial Paper, I remain,
      Sir, you obedient humble servant,
      Renvyle, June 20, 1824

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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