The Wearing of the Green
A.M. Sullivan

Part 1 out of 2

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Martin Pettit and PG Distributed

[Transcriber's note: The spelling inconsistencies of the original are
retained in this etext.]





* * * * *

Let the echoes fall unbroken;
Let our tears in silence flow;
For each word thus nobly spoken,
Let us yield a nation's woe;
Yet, while weeping, sternly keeping
Wary watch upon the foe.

_Poem in the_ "NATION."






* * * * *

The news of the Manchester executions on the morning of Saturday, 23rd
November, 1867, fell upon Ireland with sudden and dismal disillusion.

In time to come, when the generation now living shall have passed away,
men will probably find it difficult to fully realize or understand the
state of stupor and amazement which ensued in this country on the first
tidings of that event; seeing, as it may be said, that the victims had
lain for weeks under sentence of death, to be executed on this date. Yet
surprise indubitably was the first and most overpowering emotion; for,
in truth, no one up to that hour had really credited that England would
take the lives of those three men on a verdict already publicly admitted
and proclaimed to have been a blunder. Now, however, came the news that
all was over--that the deed was done--and soon there was seen such an
upheaving of national emotion as had not been witnessed in Ireland for a
century. The public conscience, utterly shocked, revolted against the
dreadful act perpetrated in the outraged name of justice. A great billow
of grief rose and surged from end to end of the land. Political
distinctions disappeared or were forgotten. The Manchester Victims--the
Manchester Martyrs, they were already called--belonged to the Fenian
organization; a conspiracy which the wisest and truest patriots of
Ireland had condemned and resisted; yet men who had been prominent in
withstanding, on national grounds, that hopeless and disastrous
scheme--priests and laymen--were now amongst the foremost and the
boldest in denouncing at every peril the savage act of vengeance
perpetrated at Manchester. The Catholic clergy were the first to give
articulate expression to the national emotion. The executions took place
on Saturday; before night the telegraph had spread the news through the
island; and on the next morning, being Sunday, from a thousand altars
the sad event was announced to the assembled worshippers, and prayers
were publicly offered for the souls of the victims. When the news was
announced, a moan of sorrowful surprise burst from the congregation,
followed by the wailing and sobbing of women; and when the priest, his
own voice broken with emotion, asked all to join with him in praying the
Merciful God to grant those young victims a place beside His throne, the
assemblage with one voice responded, praying and weeping aloud!

The manner in which the national feeling was demonstrated on this
occasion was one peculiarly characteristic of a nation in which the
sentiments of religion and patriotism are so closely blended. No stormy
"indignation meetings" were held; no tumult, no violence, no cries for
vengeance arose. In all probability--nay, to a certainty--all this would
have happened, and these ebullitions of popular passion would have been
heard, had the victims not passed into eternity. But now, they were gone
where prayer alone could follow; and in the presence of this solemn fact
the religious sentiment overbore all others with the Irish people. Cries
of anger, imprecations, and threats of vengeance, could not avail the
dead; but happily religion gave a vent to the pent-up feelings of the
living. By prayer and mourning they could at once, most fitly and most
successfully, demonstrate their horror of the guilty deed, and their
sympathy with the innocent victims.

Requiem Masses forthwith were announced and celebrated in several
churches; and were attended by crowds everywhere too vast for the sacred
edifices to contain. The churches in several instances were draped with
black, and the ceremonies conducted with more than ordinary solemnity.
In every case, however, the authorities of the Catholic church were
careful to ensure that the sacred functions were sought and attended for
spiritual considerations, not used merely for illegitimate political
purposes; and wherever it was apprehended that the holy rites were in
danger of such use, the masses were said privately.

And soon public feeling found yet another vent; a mode of manifesting
itself scarcely less edifying than the Requiem Masses; namely, funeral
processions. The brutal vengeance of the law consigned the bodies of
Allen, Larkin, and O'Brien to dishonoured graves; and forbade the
presence of sympathising friend or sorrowing relative who might drop a
tear above their mutilated remains. Their countrymen now, however,
determined that ample atonement should be made to the memory of the dead
for this denial of the decencies of sepulture. On Sunday, 1st December,
in Cork. Manchester, Mitchelstown, Middleton, Limerick, and Skibbereen,
funeral processions, at which thousands of persons attended, were held;
that in Cork being admittedly the most imposing, not only in point of
numbers, but in the character of the demonstration and the demeanour of
the people.

For more than twenty years Cork city has held an advanced position in
the Irish national struggle. In truth, it has been one of the great
strongholds of the national cause since 1848. Nowhere else did the
national spirit keep its hold so tenaciously and so extensively amidst
the people. In 1848 Cork city contained probably the most formidable
organization in the country; formidable, not merely in numbers, but in
the superior intelligence, earnestness, and determination of the men;
and even in the Fenian conspiracy, it is unquestionable that the
southern capital contributed to that movement men--chiefly belonging to
the mercantile and commercial classes--who, in personal worth and
standing, as well as in courage, intelligence, and patriotism, were the
flower of the organization. Finally, it must be said, that it was Cork
city by its funeral demonstration of the 1st December, that struck the
first great blow at the Manchester verdict, and set all Ireland in
motion. [Footnote: It may be truly said set the Irish race all over the
world in motion. There is probably no parallel in history for the
singular circumstance of these funeral processions being held by the
dispersed Irish in lands remote, apart, as pole from pole--in the old
hemisphere and in the new--in Europe, in America, in Australia;
prosecutions being set on foot by the English government to punish them
at both ends of the world--in Ireland and in New Zealand! In Hokatika
the Irish settlers--most patriotic of Ireland's exiles--organized a
highly impressive funeral demonstration. The government seized and
prosecuted its leaders, the Rev. Father Larkin, a Catholic clergyman,
and Mr. Wm. Manning, editor of the _Hokatika Celt_. A jury, terrified by
Fenian panic, brought them in "guilty," and the patriot priest and
journalist were consigned to a dungeon for the crime of mourning for the
dead and protesting against judicial murder.]

Meanwhile the Irish capital had moved, and was organizing a
demonstration destined to surpass all that had yet been witnessed. Early
in the second week of December, a committee was formed for the purpose
of organizing a funeral procession in Dublin, worthy of the national
metropolis. Dublin would have come forward sooner, but the question of
the _legality_ of the processions that were announced to come off the
previous week in Cork and other places, had been the subject of fierce
discussion in the government press; and the national leaders were
determined to avoid the slightest infringement of the law or the least
inroad on the public peace. It was only when, on the 3rd of December,
Lord Derby, the Prime Minister, replying in the House of Lords to Lord
Dufferin, declared the opinion of the crown that the projected
processions were not illegal, that the national party in Dublin decided
to form a committee and organize a procession. The following were Lord
Derby's words:--

"He could assure the noble lord that the government would continue to
carry out the law with firmness and impartiality. The Party
Processions Act, however, did not meet the case of the funeral
processions, the parties engaged in them having, by not displaying
banners or other emblems, kept within the law as far as his
information went."

Still more strong assurance was contained in the reply of the Irish
Chief Secretary, Lord Mayo, to a question put by Sir P. O'Brien in the
House of Commons. Lord Mayo publicly announced and promised that if any
new opinion as to the legality of the processions should be arrived
at--that is, should the crown see in them anything of illegality--_due
and timely notice would be given_ by proclamation, so that no one might
offend through ignorance. Here are his words:--

"It is the wish of the government to act strictly in accordance with
the law; _and of course ample notice will be given either by
proclamation or otherwise_."

The Dublin funeral committee thereupon at once issued the following
announcement, by placard and advertisement:--


In honour of the Irish Patriots
Executed at Manchester, 23rd November,
Will take place in Dublin
On Sunday next, the 8th inst.

* * * * *

The procession will assemble in Beresford-place, near the Custom
House, and will start from thence at the hour of twelve o'clock noon.

* * * * *

No flags, banners, or party emblems will be allowed.

* * * * *


Assemble in your thousands, and show by your numbers and your orderly
demeanour your sympathy with the fate of the executed patriots.

* * * * *


You are requested to lend the dignity of your presence to this
important National Demonstration.

By Order of the Committee.

JOHN MARTIN, Chairman.
J.C. WATERS, Hon. Secretary.
JAMES SCANLAN, Hon. Secretary.
J.J. LALOR, Hon. Secretary.
DONAL SULLIVAN, Up. Buckingham-street, Treasurer.

The appearance of the "funeral procession placards" all over the city on
Thursday, 5th December, increased the public excitement. No other topic
was discussed in any place of public resort, but the event forthcoming
on Sunday. The first evidence of what it was about to be, was the
appearance of the drapery establishments in the city on Saturday
morning; the windows, exteriorly and interiorly, being one mass of crape
and green ribbon--funeral knots, badges, scarfs, hat-bands, neckties,
&c., exposed for sale. Before noon most of the retail, and several of
the wholesale houses had their entire stock of green ribbon and crape
exhausted, it being computed that _nearly one hundred thousand yards_
had been sold up to midnight of Saturday! Meantime the committee sat _en
permanance_, zealously pushing their arrangements for the orderly and
successful carrying out of their great undertaking--appointing stewards,
marshals, &c.--in a word, completing the numerous details on the
perfection of which it greatly depended whether Sunday was to witness a
successful demonstration or a scene of disastrous disorder. On this, as
upon every occasion when a national demonstration was to be organized,
the trades of Dublin, Kingstown, and Dalkey, exhibited that spirit of
patriotism for which they have been proverbial in our generation. From
their ranks came the most efficient aids in every department of the
preparations. On Saturday evening the carpenters, in a body, immediately
after their day's work was over, instead of seeking home and rest,
refreshment or recreation after their week of toil, turned into the
_Nation_ office machine rooms, which they quickly improvised into a vast
workshop, and there, as volunteers, laboured away till near midnight,
manufacturing "wands" for the stewards of next morning's procession.

Sunday, 8th December, 1867, dawned through watery skies. From shortly
after day-break, rain, or rather half-melted sleet, continued to fall;
and many persons concluded that there would be no attempt to hold the
procession under such inclement weather. This circumstance was, no
doubt, a grievous discouragement, or rather a discomfort and an
inconvenience; but so far from preventing the procession, it was
destined to add a hundred-fold to the significance and importance of the
demonstration. Had the day been fine, tens of thousands of persons who
eventually only lined the streets, wearing the funeral emblems, would
have marched in the procession as they had originally intended; but
hostile critics would in this case have said that the fineness of the
day and the excitement of the pageant had merely caused a hundred
thousand persons to come out for a holiday. Now, however, the depth,
reality, and intensity of the popular feeling was about to be keenly
tested. The subjoined account of this memorable demonstration is
summarised from the Dublin daily papers of the next ensuing publication,
the report of the _Freeman's Journal_ being chiefly used:--

As early as ten o'clock crowds began to gather in Beresford-place,
and in an hour about ten thousand men were present. The morning had
succeeded to the hopeless humidity of the night, and the drizzling
rain fell with almost dispiteous persistence. The early trains from
Kingstown and Dalkey, and all the citerior townlands, brought large
numbers into Dublin; and Westland-row, Brunswick, D'Olier, and
Sackville-streets, streamed with masses of humanity. A great number
of the processionists met in Earlsfort-terrace, all round the
Exhibition, and at twelve o'clock some thousands had collected. It
was not easy to learn the object of this gathering; it may have been
a mistake, and most probably it was, as they fell in with the great
body in the course of half an hour. The space from the quays,
including the great sweep in front of the Custom-house, was swarming
with men, and women, and small children, and the big ungainly crowd
bulged out in Gardiner-street, and the broad space leading up
Talbot-street. The ranks began to be formed at eleven o'clock amid a
down-pour of cold rain. The mud was deep and aqueous, and great pools
ran through the streets almost level with the paths. Some of the more
prominent of the men, and several of the committee, rode about
directing and organizing the crowd, which presented a most
extraordinary appearance. A couple of thousand young children stood
quietly in the rain and slush for over an hour; while behind them, in
close-packed numbers, were over two thousand young women. Not the
least blame can be attached to those who managed the affairs of the
day, inasmuch as the throng must have far exceeded even their most
sanguine expectations. Every moment some overwhelming accession
rolled down Abbey-street or Eden-quay, and swelled the already
surging multitude waiting for the start. Long before twelve o'clock,
the streets converging on the square were packed with spectators or
intending processionists. Cabs struggled hopelessly to yield up the
large number of highly respectable and well-attired ladies who had
come to walk. Those who had hired vehicles for the day to join the
procession were convinced of the impracticable character of their
intention; and many delicate old men who would not give up the
design, braved the terrors of asthma and bronchitis, and joined the
rain-defying throng. Right across the spacious ground was one
unmoving mass, constantly being enlarged by ever-coming crowds. All
the windows in Beresford-place were filled with spectators, and the
rain and cold seemed to have no saddening effect on the numerous
multitude. The various bands of the trade were being disposed in
their respective positions, and the hearses were a long way off and
altogether in the back-ground, when, at a quarter to twelve, the
first rank of men moved forward. Almost every one had an umbrella,
but they were thoroughly saturated with the never-ceasing down-pour.
As the steady, well-kept, twelve-deep ranks moved slowly out, some
ease was given to those pent up behind; and it was really wonderful
to see the facility with which the people adapted themselves to the
orders of their directors. Every chance of falling in was seized, and
soon the procession was in motion. The first five hundred men were of
the artisan class. They were dressed very respectably, and each man
wore upon his left shoulder a green rosette, and on his left arm a
band of crape. Numbers had hat-bands depending to the shoulder;
others had close crape intertwined carefully with green ribbon around
their hats; and the great majority of the better sort adhered to this
plan, which was executed with a skill unmistakably feminine. Here and
there at intervals a man appeared with a broad green scarf around his
shoulders, some embroidered with shamrocks, and others decorated with
harps. There was not a man throughout the procession but was
conspicuous by some emblem of nationality. Appointed officers walked
at the sides with wands in their hands and gently kept back the
curious and interested crowd whose sympathy was certainly
demonstrative. Behind the five hundred men came a couple of thousand
young children. These excited, perhaps, the most considerable
interest amongst the bystanders, whether sympathetic, neutral, or
opposite. Of tender age and innocent of opinions on any subject, they
were being marshalled by their parents in a demonstration which will
probably give a tone to their career hereafter; and seeds in the
juvenile mind ever bear fruit in due season. The presence of these
shivering little ones gave a serious significance to the
procession--they were hostages to the party who had organized the
demonstration. Earnestness must indeed have been strong in the mind
of the parent who directed his little son or daughter to walk in
saturating rain and painful cold through five or six miles of mud and
water, and all this merely to say "I and my children were there." It
portends something more than sentiment. It is national education with
a vengeance. Comment on this remarkable constituent was very frequent
throughout the day, and when toward evening this band of boys sang
out with lusty unanimity a popular Yankee air, spectators were
satisfied of their culture and training. After the children came
about one hundred young women who had been unable to gain their
proper position, and accepted the place which chance assigned them.
They were succeeded by a band dressed very respectably, with crape
and green ribbons round their caps. These were followed by a number
of rather elderly men, probably the parents of the children far
ahead. At this portion of the procession, a mile from the point, they
marched four deep, there having been a gradual decline from the
front. Next came the bricklayers' band all dressed in green caps, a
very superior-looking body of men. Then followed a very imposing
well-kept line, composed of young men of the better class, well
attired and respectable looking. These wore crape hat-bands, and
green rosettes with harps in the centre. Several had broad green body
scarfs, with gold tinsel shamrocks and harps intertwined. As this
portion of the procession marched they attracted very considerable
attention by their orderly, measured tread, and the almost soldierly
precision with which they maintained the line. They numbered about
four or five thousand, and there were few who were not young, sinewy,
stalwart fellows. When they had reached the further end of
Abbey-street, the ground about Beresford-place was gradually becoming
clear, and the spectator had some opportunity afforded of glancing
more closely at the component parts of the great crowd. All round the
Custom-house was still packed a dense throng, and large streams were
flowing from the northern districts, Clontarf, the Strand, and the
quays. The shipping was gaily decorated, and many of the masts were
filled with young tars, wearing green bands on their hats. At
half-past twelve o'clock, the most interesting portion of the
procession left the Custom-house. About two thousand young women, who
in attire, demeanour, and general appearance, certainly justified
their title to be called ladies walked in six-deep ranks. The general
public kept pace with them for a great distance. The green was most
demonstrative, every lady having shawl, bonnet, veil, dress, or
mantle of the national hue. The mud made sad havoc of their attire,
but notwithstanding all mishaps they maintained good order and
regularity. They stretched for over half a-mile, and added very
notably to the imposing appearance, of the procession. So great was
the pressure in Abbey-street, that for a very long time there were no
less than three processions walking side-by-side. These halted at the
end of the street, and followed as they were afforded opportunity.
One of the bands was about to play near the Abbey-street Wesleyan
House, but when a policeman told them of the proximity of the place
of worship, they immediately desisted. The first was a very long way
back in the line, and the foremost men must have been near the
Ormond-quays, when the four horses moved into Abbey-street. They were
draped with black cloths, and white plumes were at their heads. The
hearse also had white plumes, and was covered with black palls. On
the side was "William P. Allen." A number of men followed, and then
came a band. In the earlier portion of the day there were seen but
two hearses, the second one bearing Larkin's name. It was succeeded
by four mourning coaches, drawn by two horses each. A large number
of young men from the monster houses followed in admirable order. In
this throng were very many men of business, large employers, and
members of the professions. Several of the trades were in great
force. It had been arranged to have the trade banners carried in
front of the artisans of every calling, but at the suggestion of the
chairman this design was abandoned. The men walked, however, in
considerable strength. They marched from their various
committee-rooms to the Custom-house. The quay porters were present to
the number of 500, and presented a very orderly, cleanly appearance.
They were comfortably dressed, and walked close after the hearse
bearing Larkin's name. Around this bier were a number of men bearing
in their hands long and waving palms--emblems of martyrdom. The
trades came next, and were led off by the various branches of the
association known as the Amalgamated Trades. The plasterers made
about 300, the painters 350, the boot and shoemakers mustered 1,000,
the bricklayers 500, the carpenters 300, the slaters 450, the sawyers
200, and the skinners, coopers, tailors, bakers, and the other
trades, made a very respectable show, both as to numbers and
appearance. Each of these had representatives in the front of the
procession, amongst the fine body of men who marched eight deep. The
whole ground near the starting place was clear at half-past one, and
by that time the demonstration was seen to a greater advantage than
previously. All down Abbey-streets, and in fact throughout the
procession, the pathways were crowded by persons who were practically
of it, though not in it. Very many young girls naturally enough
preferred to stand on the pathways rather than to be saturated with
mud and water. But it may truly be said that every second man and
woman of the crowds in almost every street were of the procession.
Cabs filled with ladies and gentlemen remained at the waysides all
day watching the march. The horses' heads were gaily decorated with
green ribbons, while every Jehu in the city wore a rosette or a crape
band. Nothing of special note occurred until the procession turned
into Dame-street. The appearance of the demonstration was here far
greater than at any other portion of the city. Both sides of the
street, and as far as Carlisle-bridge, were lined with cabs and
carriages filled with spectators who were prevented by the bitter
inclemency of the day from taking an active part in the proceedings.
The procession was here grandly imposing, and after Larkin's hearse
were no less than nine carriages, and several cabs. It is stated that
Mrs. Luby and Miss Mulcahy occupied one of the vehicles, and
relatives of others now in confinement were alleged to have been
present. One circumstance, which was generally remarked as having
great significance, was the presence in one line of ten soldiers of
the 86th Regiment. They were dressed in their great overcoats, which
they wore open so as to show the scarlet tunic. These men may have
been on leave, inasmuch as the great military force were confined to
barracks, and kept under arms from six o'clock, a.m. The cavalry were
in readiness for action, if necessary. Mounted military and police
orderlies were stationed at various points of the city to convey any
requisite intelligence to the authorities, and the constabulary at
the depot, Phoenix Park, were also prepared, if their services should
be required. At the police stations throughout the city large numbers
of men were kept all day under arms. It is pleasant to state that no
interference was necessary, as the great demonstration terminated
without the slightest disturbance. The public houses generally
remained closed until five o'clock, and the sobriety of the crowds
was the subject of the general comment.

From an early hour in the morning every possible position along the
quays that afforded a good view of the procession was taken advantage
of, and, despite the inclemency of the weather, the parapets of the
various bridges, commencing at Capel-street, were crowded with
adventurous youths, who seemed to think nothing of the risks they ran
in comparison with the opportunities they had of seeing the great
sight in all its splendour. From eleven until twelve o'clock the
greatest efforts were made to secure good places The side walks were
crowded and impassable. The lower windows of the houses were made the
most of by men who clutched the shutters and bars, whilst the upper
windows were, as a general rule, filled with the fair sex, and it is
almost unnecessary to add that almost every man, woman, and child
displayed some emblem suitable to the occasion. Indeed, the
originality of the designs was a striking feature. The women wore
green ribbons and veils, and many entire dresses of the favourite
colour. The numerous windows of the Four Courts accommodated hundreds
of ladies, and we may mention that within the building were two
pieces of artillery, a plentiful supply of rockets, and a number of
policemen. It was arranged that the rockets should be fired from the
roof in case military assistance was required. Contrary to the
general expectation, the head of the procession appeared at
Essex-bridge shortly before twelve o'clock. As it was expected to
leave Beresford-place about that time, and as such gigantic
arrangements are seldom carried out punctually, the thousands of
people who congregated in this locality were pleasantly disappointed
when a society band turned the corner of Mary-street and came towards
the quays, with the processionists marching in slow and regular time.
The order that prevailed was almost marvellous--not a sound was heard
but the mournful strains of the music, and the prevalent feeling was
expressed, no doubt, by one or two of the processionists, who said in
answer to an inquiry, "We will be our own police to-day." They
certainly were their own police, for those who carried white wands
did not spare themselves in their endeavours to maintain order in the
ranks. As we have mentioned already, the first part of the procession
reached Capel-street shortly before twelve o'clock, and some idea of
the extent of the demonstration may be formed from the fact that the
hearses did not come in view until a quarter-past one o'clock. They
appeared at intervals of a quarter of an hour, and were received by a
general cry of "hush." The number of fine, well-dressed young women
in the procession here was the subject of general remark, whilst the
assemblage of boys astonished all who witnessed it on account of its
extent. The variety of the tokens of mourning, too, was remarkable.
Numbers of the women carried laurel branches in addition to green
ribbons and veils, and many of the men wore shamrocks in their hats.
The procession passed along the quays as far as King's-bridge, and it
there crossed and passed up Stevens'-lane. The windows of all the
houses _en route_ were crowded chiefly with women, and the railings
at the Esplanade and at King's-bridge, were crowded with spectators.

About one o'clock the head of the procession, which had been
compressed into a dense mass in Stevens'-lane, burst like confined
water when relieved of restraint, on entering James's-street, where
every window and doorstep was crowded. Along the lines of footway
extending at either side from the old fountain up to James's-gate,
were literally tented over with umbrellas of every hue and shade,
held up as protection against the cold rain that fell in drizzling
showers and made the streetway on which the vast numbers stood ankle
deep in the slushy mud. The music of the "Dead March in Saul," heard
in the distance, caused the people to break from the lines in which
they had partially stood awaiting the arrival of the procession,
which now, for the first time, began to assume its full proportions.
As it moved along the quays at the north side of the river, every
street, bridge, and laneway served to obstruct to a considerable
extent its progress and its order, owing to interruption from
carriage traffic and from the crowds that poured into it and swelled
it in its onward course. In the vast multitudes that lined this great
western artery of the city, the greatest order and propriety were
observed, and all seemed to be impressed with the one solemn and
all-pervading idea that they were assembled to express their deep
sympathy with the fate of three men whom they believed had been
condemned and had suffered death unjustly. Even amongst the young
there was not to be recognised the slightest approach to levity, and
the old characteristics of a great Irish gathering were not to be
perceived anywhere. The wrong, whether real or imaginary, done to
Allen, O'Brien, and Larkin, made their memory sacred with the
thousands that stood for hours in the December wet and cold of
yesterday, to testify by their presence their feelings and their
sympathies. The horsemen wearing green rosettes, trimmed with crape,
who rode in advance of the procession, kept back the crowds at either
side that encroached on the space in the centre of the street
required for the vast coming mass to move through. On it came, the
advance with measured tread, to the music of the band in front, and
notwithstanding the mire which had to be waded through, the line went
on at quiet pace, and with admirable order, but there was no effort
at anything like semi-military swagger or pompous demonstration.
Every window along the route of the procession was fully occupied by
male and female spectators, all wearing green ribbons and crape, and
in front of several of the houses black drapery was suspended. The
tide of men, women, and children continued to roll on in the
drenching rain, but nearly all the fair processionists carried
umbrellas. It was not till the head of the vast moving throng had
reached James's-gate that anything like a just conception could be
formed of its magnitude, as it was only now that it was beginning to
get into regular shape and find room to extend itself. The persons
whose duty it was to keep the several parts of the procession well
together had no easy part to play, as the line had to be repeatedly
broken to permit the ordinary carriage traffic of the streets to go
on with as little delay as possible. The _cortege_ at this point
looked grand and solemn in the extreme because of its vastness, and
also because of all present appearing to be impressed with the one
idea. The gloomy, wet, and cheerless weather was quite in keeping
with the funeral march of 35,000 people. The bands were placed at
such proper distances that the playing of one did not interfere with
the other. After passing James's-gate the band in front ceased to
perform, and on passing the house 151 Thomas-street every head was
uncovered in honour of Lord Edward Fitzgerald, who was arrested and
mortally wounded by Major Sirr and his assistants in the front
bedroom of the second floor of that house. Such was the length of the
procession, that an hour had elapsed from the time its head entered
James's-street before the first hearse turned the corner of
Stevens'-lane. In the neighbourhood of St. Catherine's church a vast
crowd of spectators had settled down, and every available elevation
was taken possession of. At this point a large portion of the
streetway was broken up for the purpose of laying down water-pipes,
and on the lifting-crane and the heaps of earth the people wedged and
packed themselves, which showed at once that this was a great centre
of attraction--and it was, for here was executed the young and
enthusiastic Robert Emmet sixty-four years ago. When Allen, O'Brien,
and Larkin were condemned to death as political offenders, some of
the highest and the noblest in the land warned the government to
pause before the extreme penalty pronounced on the condemned men
would be carried into effect, but all remonstrance was in vain, and
on last Saturday fortnight, three comparatively unknown men in their
death passed into the ranks of heroes and martyrs, because it was
believed, and believed generally, that their lives were sacrificed to
expediency, and not to satisfy justice. The spot where Robert Emmet
closed his young life on a bloody scaffold was yesterday regarded by
thousands upon thousands of his countrymen and women as a holy place,
and all looked upon his fate as similar to that of the three men
whose memory they had assembled to honour, and whose death they
pronounced to be unjust. It would be hard to give a just conception
of the scene here, as the procession advanced and divided, as it
were, into two great channels, owing to the breaking up of the
streetway. On the advance of the _cortege_ reaching the top of
Bridgefoot-street every head was uncovered, and nothing was to be
heard but the measured tread of the vast mass, but as if by some
secret and uncontrollable impulse a mighty, ringing, and enthusiastic
cheer, broke from the moving throng as the angle of the footway at
the eastern end of St. Catherine's church, where the scaffold on
which Emmet was executed stood, was passed. In that cheer there
appeared to be no fiction, as it evidently came straight from the
hearts of thousands, who waved their hats and handkerchiefs, as did
also the groups that clustered in the windows of the houses in the
neighbourhood. As the procession moved on from every part of it the
cheers rose again and again, men holding up their children, and
pointing out the place where one who loved Ireland, "not wisely but
too well," rendered up his life. When the hearse with white plumes
came up bearing on the side draperies the words "William P. Allen,"
all the enthusiasm and excitement ceased, and along the lines of
spectators prayers for the repose of the soul of the departed man
passed from mouth to mouth; and a sense of deep sadness seemed to
settle down on the swaying multitude as the procession rolled along
on its way. After this hearse came large numbers of females walking
on bravely, apparently heedless of the muddy streets and the
unceasing rain that came down without a moment's intermission. When
the second hearse, bearing white plumes and the name of "Michael
O'Brien" on the side pendants, came up, again all heads were
uncovered, and prayers recited by the people for the everlasting rest
of the departed. Still onward rolled the mighty mass, young and old,
and in the entire assemblage was not to be observed a single person
under the influence of drink, or requiring the slightest interference
on the part of the police, whose exertions were altogether confined
to keeping the general thoroughfare clear of obstruction. Indeed,
justly speaking, the people required no supervision, as they seemed
to feel that they had a solemn duty to discharge. Fathers were to be
seen bearing in their arms children dressed in white and decorated
with green ribbons, and here, as elsewhere, was observed unmistakable
evidence of the deep sympathy of the people with the executed men.
This was, perhaps, more strikingly illustrated as the third hearse,
with sable plumes, came up bearing at either side the name of
"Michael Larkin;" prayers for his soul's welfare were mingled with
expressions of commiseration for his widow and children. At the
entrance to Cornmarket, where the streetway narrows, the crushing
became very great, but still the procession kept its onward course.
On passing the shop of Hayburne, who, it will be remembered, was
convicted of being connected with the Fenian conspiracy, a large
number of persons in the procession uncovered and cheered. In the
house of Roantree, in High-street, who was also convicted of
treason-felony, a harp was displayed in one of the drawingroom
windows by a lady dressed in deep mourning, and the procession loudly
cheered as it passed on its route.

Standing at the corner of Christchurch-place, a fine view could be
had of the procession as it approached Winetavern-street from
High-street. The compact mass moved on at a regular pace, while from
the windows on either side of the streets the well-dressed citizens,
who preferred to witness the demonstration from an elevated position
rather than undergo the fatigues and unpleasantness of a walk through
the city in such weather, eagerly watched the approach of the
procession. Under the guidance of the horsemen and those whose wands
showed it was their duty to marshal the immense throng, the
procession moved at an orderly pace down Winetavern-street, which,
spacious as it is, was in a few minutes absolutely filled with the
vast crowds. The procession again reached the quays, and moved along
Wood-quay and Essex-quay, and into Parliament-street, which it
reached at twenty minutes to two o'clock. Passing down
Parliament-street, and approaching the O'Connell statue, a number of
persons began to cheer, but this was promptly suppressed by the
leaders, who galloped in advance for some distance with a view to the
preservation of the mournful silence that had prevailed. This was
strictly enjoined, and the instruction was generally observed by the
processionists. The reverential manner in which the many thousands of
the people passed the statue of the Liberator was very observable. A
rather heavy rain was falling at the time, yet there were thousands
who uncovered their heads as they looked up to the statue which
expressed the noble attitude and features of O'Connell. As the
procession moved along through Dame-street the footways became
blocked up, and lines of cabs took up places in the middle of the
carriageway, and the police exercised a wise discretion in preventing
vehicles from the surrounding streets driving in amongst the crowds.
By this means the danger of serious accident was prevented without
any public inconvenience being occasioned, as a line parallel to that
which the procession was taking was kept clear for all horse
conveyances. Owing to the hour growing late, and a considerable
distance still to be gone over, the procession moved at a quick pace.
In anticipation of its arrival great crowds collected in the vicinity
of the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College, where the _cortege_ was
kept well together, notwithstanding the difficulty of such a vast
mass passing on through the heart of the city filled at this point
with immense masses of spectators. Oil passing the old
Parliament-house numbers of men in the procession took of their hats,
but the disposition to cheer was suppressed, as it was at several
other points along the route. Turning down Westmoreland-street, the
procession, marshalled by Dr. Waters on horseback, passed slowly
along between the thick files of people on each side, most of whom
displayed the mourning and national symbols, black and green. The
spacious thoroughfare in a few minutes was filled with the dense
array, which in close compact ranks pressed on, the women, youths,
and children, bearing bravely the privations of the day, the bands
preceding and following the hearses playing the Dead March, the
solemn notes filling the air with mournful cadence. The windows of
the houses on each side of the street were filled with groups of
spectators of the strange and significant spectacle below. With the
dark masses of men, broken at intervals by the groups of females and
children, still stretched lengthily in the rere, the first section of
the procession crossed Carlisle-bridge, the footways and parapets of
which were thronged with people, nearly all of whom wore the usual
tokens of sympathy. Passing the bridge, a glance to the right, down
the river, revealed the fact that the ships, almost without
exception, had their flags flying half mast high, and that the
rigging of several were filled with seamen, who chose this elevated
position to get a glimpse of the procession as it emerged into
Sackville-street. Here the sight was imposing. A throng of spectators
lined each side of the magnificent thoroughfare, and the lofty houses
had their windows on each side occupied with spectators. Pressing
onwards with measured, steady pace, regardless of the heavy rain, the
cold wind, and the gloomy sky, the procession soon filled
Sackville-street from end to end with its dense dark mass, which
stretching away over Carlisle-bridge, seemed motionless in the
distance. The procession defiled to the left of the site of the
O'Connell monument at the head of the street, and the national
associations connected with this spot was acknowledged by the large
numbers of the processionists, who, with uncovered heads, marched
past, some expressing their feelings with a subdued cheer. The
foremost ranks were nearing Glasnevin when the first of the hearses
entered Sackville-street, which, at this moment, held a numberless
throng of people, processionists, and spectators, the latter, as at
all the other points of the route, exhibiting prominently the sable
and green emblems, which evidenced their approval of the
demonstration. The hearses slowly passed along, followed by the
mourning carriages, the bands playing alternately "Adeste Fidelis"
and the "Dead March," and then followed the deep column of the
processionists, still marching onwards with unflagging spirit,
thousands seeming to be thoroughly soaked with the rain, which was
falling all the morning. Sackville-street was perhaps the best point
from which to get a correct notion of the enormous length of the
procession, and of the great numbers that accompanied it on its way
without actually entering the ranks. The base of the Nelson monument
was covered with spectators, and at the corners of Earl-street and
Henry-street there were stationary crowds, who chose these positions
to get a good view of the great display as it progressed towards
Cavendish-row. Through this comparatively narrow thoroughfare the
procession passed along into North Frederick-street and
Blessington-street, and thence by Upper Berkeley-street to the
Circular-road. Along this part of the route there were crowds of
spectators, male and female, most of whom wore the crape, and green
ribbons, all hurrying forward to the cemetery, the last stage of the
long and fatiguing journey of the procession. As the first part of
the array passed the Mater Misericordiae Hospital, and came in sight
of the Mountjoy Prison, they gave a cheer, which was caught up by
those behind, and as file after file passed the prison the cheers
were repeated. With unbroken and undiminished ranks the procession
pressed on towards Glasnevin; but when the head had reached the
cemetery, the closing section must have been far away in the city.
The first part of the procession halted outside the gate of the
cemetery, the spacious area in front of which was in a few moments
completely filled by the dense masses who came up. A move then became
necessary, and accordingly the procession recommenced its journey by
passing through the open gates of the cemetery down the pathways
leading to the M'Manus grave, followed by some of the bands playing
the "Adeste Fidelis." As fast as the files passed through others
marched up, and when, after some time the carriage containing Mr.
John Martin arrived, the open ground fronting the cemetery was one
enormous mass of the processionists, while behind on the road leading
up to this point thousands were to be seen moving slowly forward to
the strains of the "Dead March," given out by the bands immediately
in front of the hearses.


On the arrival of the procession at the cemetery Mr. Martin was
hailed with loud applause. It being understood he would make some
observations, the multitude gathered together to hear him. He
addressed the vast multitude from the window of a house overlooking
the great open space in front of the cemetery. On presenting himself
he was received with enthusiastic cheering. When silence was obtained
he said:--

"Fellow-countrymen--This is a strange kind of funeral procession
in which we are engaged to-day. We are here, a vast multitude
of men, women, and children in a very inclement season of
the year, under rain and through mud. We are here escorting three
empty hearses to the consecrated last resting place of those who die
in the Lord (cheers). The three bodies that we would tenderly bear to
the churchyard, and would bury in consecrated ground with all the
solem rites of religion, are not here. They are away in a foreign and
hostile land (hear, hear), where they have been thrown into
unconsecrated ground, branded by the triumphant hatred of our enemies
as the vile remains of murderers (cries of 'no murderers,' and
cheers). Those three men whose memories we are here to-day to
honour--Allen, O'Brien, and Larkin--they were not murderers (great
cheering). [A Voice--Lord have mercy on them.] Mr. Martin--These men
were pious men, virtuous men--they were men who feared God and loved
their country. They sorrowed for the sorrows of the dear old native
land of their love (hear, hear). They wished, if possible, to save
her, and for that love and for that wish they were doomed to an
ignominious death at the hands of the British hangman (hear, hear).
It was as Irish patriots that these men were doomed to death
(cheers). And it was as Irish patriots that they met their death
(cheers). For these reasons, my countrymen, we here to-day have
joined in this solemn procession to honour their memories (cheers).
For that reason we say from our hearts, 'May their souls rest in
peace' (cries of Amen, and cheers). For that reason, my countrymen,
we join in their last prayer, 'God save Ireland' (enthusiastic
cheering). The death of these three men was an act of English policy.
[Here there was some interruption caused by the fresh arrivals and
the pushing forward.] I beg of all within reach of my voice to end
this demonstration as we have carried it through to the present time,
with admirable patience, in the best spirit, with respect, silence
and solemnity, to the end (cheers, and cries of 'we will'). I say the
death of these men was a legal murder, and that legal murder was an
act of English policy (cheers)--of the policy of that nation which
through jealousy and hatred of our nation, destroyed by fraud and
force our just government sixty-seven years ago (cheers). They have
been sixty-seven sad years of insult and robbery--of
impoverishment--of extermination--of suffering beyond what any other
subject people but ours have ever endured from the malignity of
foreign masters (cheers). Nearly through all these years the Irish
people continued to pray for the restoration of their Irish national
rule. They offered their forgiveness to England. They offered even
their friendship to England if she would only give up her usurped
power to tyrannise over us, and leave us to live in peace, and as
honourable neighbours. But in vain. England felt herself strong
enough to continue to insult and rob us, and she was too greedy and
too insolent to cease from robbing and insulting us (cheers). Now it
has come to pass as a consequence of that malignant policy pursued
for so many long years--it has come to pass that the great body of
the Irish people despair of obtaining peaceful restitution of our
national rights (cheers). And it has also come to pass that vast
numbers of Irishmen, whom the oppression of English rule forbade to
live by honest industry in their own country, have in America learned
to become soldiers (cheers). And those Irish soldiers seem resolved
to make war against England (cheers). And England is in a panic of
rage and fear in consequence of this (loud cheers). And being in a
panic about Fenianism, she hopes to strike terror into her Irish
malcontents by a legal murder (loud cheers). England wanted to show
that she was not afraid of Fenianism--[A Voice--'She will be.'] And
she has only shown that she is not afraid to do injustice in the face
of Heaven and of man. Many a wicked statute she has framed--many a
jury she has packed, in order to dispose of her Irish political
offenders--but in the case of Allen, O'Brien, and Larkin, she has
committed such an outrage on justice and decency as to make even many
Englishmen stand aghast. I shall not detain you with entering into
details with which you are all well acquainted as to the shameful
scenes of the handcuffing of the untried prisoners--as to the
shameful scenes of the trial up to the last moment, when the three
men--our dearly beloved Irish brethren, were forced to give up their
innocent lives as a sacrifice for the cause of Ireland (loud cheers);
and, fellow-countrymen, these three humble Irishmen who represented
Ireland on that sad occasion demeaned themselves as Christians, as
patriots, modestly, courageously, piously, nobly (loud cheers). We
need not blush for them. They bore themselves all through with a
courage worthy of the greatest heroes that ever obtained glory upon
earth. They behaved through all the trying scenes I referred to with
Christian patience--with resignation to the will of God--(hear,
hear)--with modest, yet proud and firm adherence to principle
(cheers). They showed their love to Ireland and their fear of God
from the first to the last (cheers). It is vain for me to attempt to
detain you with many words upon this matter. I will say this, that
all who are here do not approve of the schemes for the relief of
Ireland that these men were supposed to have contemplated; but all
who love Ireland, all generous, Christian men, and women, and
children of Ireland--all the children growing up to be men and women
of Ireland (hear, hear)--all those feel an intense sympathy, an
intense love for the memories of these three men whom England has
murdered in form of law by way of striking terror into her Irish
subjects. Fellow-countrymen, it is idle almost for me to persist in
addressing weak words of mine to you--for your presence here
to-day--your demeanour all through--the solemn conduct of the vast
multitude assembled directly under the terrorism of a hostile
government--say more than the words of the greatest orator--more than
the words of a Meagher could say for you (cheers). You have behaved
yourselves all through this day with most admirable spirit as good
Irishmen and women--as good boys and girls of holy Ireland ought to
be (cheers), and I am sure you will behave so to the end (cries of
yes, yes). This demonstration is mainly one of mourning for the fate
of these three good Irishmen (cheers), but fellow-countrymen, and
women, and boys, and girls, it is also one of protest and indignation
against the conduct of our rulers (hear, hear, and cheers) Your
attendance here to-day is a sufficient protest. Your orderly
behaviour--your good temper all through this wretched weather--your
attendance here in such vast numbers for such a purpose--avowedly and
in the face of the terrorism of the government, which falls most
directly upon the metropolis--that is enough for protest. You in your
multitudes, men, women, and children, have to-day made that protest.
Your conduct has been admirable for patience, for good nature, for
fine spirit, for solemn sense of that great duty you were resolved to
do. You will return home with the same good order and
inoffensiveness. You will join with me now in repeating the prayer of
the three martyrs whom we mourn--'God save Ireland!' And all of you,
men, women, and boys and girls that are to be men and women of holy
Ireland, will ever keep the sentiment of that prayer in your heart of
hearts." Mr. Martin concluded amid enthusiastic cheering.

At the conclusion of his address, Mr. Martin, accompanied by a large
body of the processionists, proceeded to the cemetery, where Mr.
Martin visited the grave of Terence Bellew M'Manus. The crowds walked
around the grave as a mark of respect for the memory of M'Manus. Mr.
Martin left the cemetery soon after, end went to his carriage; the
people gathered about him and thanked him, and cheered him loudly.
The vast assemblage dispersed in the most orderly and peaceful
manner, and returned to their homes. They had suffered much from the
severity of the day, but they exhibited to the end the most
creditable endurance and patience. In the course of an hour the roads
were cleared and the city soon resumed its wonted quiet
aspect.[Footnote: In consequence of some vile misstatements in the
government press, which represented the crowd to have not only
behaved recklessly, but to have done considerable damaged to the
graves, tombs, shrubs, and fences in the cemetery, Mr. Coyle,
secretary to the Cemetery Board, published in the _Freeman_ an
official contradiction, stating that not one sixpence worth of damage
had been done. It is furthermore worthy of note, that at the city
police offices next morning not one case arising out of the
procession was before the magistrates, and the charges for
drunkenness were one-fourth below the average on Mondays!]

Of the numbers in the procession "An Eye-witness," writing in the
_Freeman_, says:--

The procession took one hour and forty minutes to pass the Four
Courts. Let us assume that as the average time in which it would pass
any given point, and deduct ten minutes for delays during that time.
If, then, it moved at the rate of two and a-half miles per hour, we
find that its length, with those suppositions, would be three and
three-quarters miles. From this deduct a quarter of a mile for breaks
or discrepancies, for we find the length of the column, if it moved
in a continuous line, to be three and a-half miles. We may now
suppose the ranks to be three feet apart, and consisting of ten in
each, at an average. The total number is therefore easily obtained by
dividing the product of 3-1/2 and 5,280 by 3, and multiplying the
quotient by 10. This will give as a result 61,600 which, I think, is
a fair approximation to the number of people in the procession alone.

Even in the columns of the _Irish Times_ a letter appeared giving an
honest estimate of the numbers in the procession. It was signed
"T.M.G.," and said:--

I believe there was not fewer than 60,000 persons taking part in the
procession on Sunday. My point of observation was one of the best in
the city, seeing, as I could, from the entrance to the Lower Castle
Yard to the College Gates. I was as careful in my calculation as an
almost quick march would allow. There were also a few horsemen, three
hearses, and sixty-one hired carriages, cabs, and cars. A
correspondent in your columns this morning speaks of rows of from
four to nine deep; I saw very many of from ten to sixteen deep,
especially among the boys. The procession, took exactly eighty
minutes to pass this. There were several thousand onlookers within my

Of the ladies in the procession the _Freeman's Journal_ bore the
following testimony, not more generous than truthful:--

The most important physical feature was not, however, the respectable
dress, the manly bearing, the order, discipline, and solemnity of the
men, but the large bodies of ladies who, in rich and costly attire,
marched the whole length of the long route, often ankle deep in mud,
utterly regardles of the incessant down-pour of rain which deluged
their silks and satins, and melted the mourning crape till it seemed
incorporated with the very substance of the velvet mantles or rich
shawls in which so many of the fair processionists were enveloped. In
vain did well-gloved hands hold thousands of green parasols and
umbrellas over their heads as they walked four and five deep through
the leading thoroughfares yesterday. The bonnets with their 'green
and crape' were alone defensible, velvets and Paisleys, silks and
satins, met one common fate--thorough saturation. Yet all this and
more was borne without a murmur. These ladies, and there were many
hundreds of them, mingled with thousands in less rich attire, went
out to cooperate with their fathers, brothers, and sweethearts in
honouring three men who died upon the ignominious gallows, and they
never flinched before the torrents, or swerved for an instant from
the ranks. There must be some deep and powerful influence underlying
this movement that could induce thousands of matrons and girls of
from eighteen to two and-twenty, full of the blushing modesty that
distinguishes Irishwomen, to lay aside their retiring characteristics
and march to the sound of martial music through every thoroughfare in
the metropolis of this country decked in green and crape.

The Dublin correspondent of the _Tipperary Free Press_ referred to the
demonstration as follows:--

Arrived in Sackville-street we were obliged to leave our cab and
endeavour, on foot, to force a way to our destination. This
magnificent street was crowded to repletion, and the approaches to
Beresford-place were 'black with people.' It was found necessary,
owing to the overwhelming numbers that assembled, to start the
procession before the hour named for its setting forth, and so it was
commenced in wonderful order, considering the masses that had to be
welded into shape. Marshals on foot and on horseback proceeded by the
side of those in rank and file, and they certainly wore successful in
preserving regularity of procedure. Mourning coaches and cabs
followed, and after each was a procession of women, at least a
thousand in number. Young and old were there--all decked in some
shape or other with green; many green dresses--some had green
feathers in their hats, but all had green ribbons prominently
displayed. The girls bore all the disagreeability of the long route
with wonderful endurance; it was bitterly cold--a sleety rain fell
during the entire day, and the roads were almost ankle deep in
mud--yet when they passed me on the return route they were apparently
as unwearied as when I saw them hours before. As the procession
trooped by--thousand after thousand--there was not a drunken man to
be seen--all were calm and orderly, and if they were, as many of them
were--soaked through--wet to the skin--they endured the discomfiture
resolutely. The numbers in the procession have been variously
estimated, but in my opinion there could not have been less than
50,000. But the demonstration was not confined to the processionists
alone; they walked through living walls, for along the entire route a
mass of people lined the way, the great majority of whom wore some
emblem of mourning, and every window of every house was thronged with
ladies and children, nearly all of whom were decorated. All semblance
of authority was withdrawn from sight, but every preparation had been
made under the personal direction of Lord Strathnairn, the
commander-in-chief, for the instant intervention of the military, had
any disturbances taken place. The troops were confined to barracks
since Saturday evening; they were kept in readiness to march at a
moment's notice; the horses of the cavalry were saddled all day long,
and those of the artillery were in harness. A battery of guns was in
the rere yard of the Four Courts, and mounted orderlies were
stationed at arranged points so as to convey orders to the different
barracks as speedily as possible. But, thanks to Providence, all
passed off quietly; the people seemed to feel the responsibility of
their position, and accordingly not even an angry word was to be
heard throughout the vast assemblage that for hours surged through
the highways of the city.

The _Ulster Observer_, in the course of a beautiful and sympathetic
article, touched on the great theme as follows:--

The main incidents of the singular and impressive event are worthy of
reflection. On a cold December morning, wet and dreary as any morning
in December might be, vast crowds assembled in the heart of Dublin to
follow to consecrated ground the empty hearses which bore the names
of the Irishmen whom England doomed to the gallows as murderers. The
air was piercingly chill, the rain poured down in torrents, the
streets were almost impassable from the accumulated pools of mingled
water and mud, yet 80,000 people braved the inclemency of the
weather, and unfalteringly carried out the programme so fervently
adopted. Amongst the vast multitude there were not only stalwart men,
capable of facing the difficulties of the day, but old men, who
struggled through and defied them; and, strangest of all, 'young
ladies, clothed in silk and velvet,' and women with tender children
by their sides, all of whom continued to the last to form a part of
the _cortege_, although the distance over which it passed must have
taxed the strongest physical energy. What a unanimity of feeling, or
rather what a naturalness of sentiment does not this wonderful
demonstration exhibit? It seems as if the 'God save Ireland' of the
humble successors of Emmet awoke in even the breast of infancy the
thrill which must have vibrated sternly and strongly in the heart of
manhood. Without exalting into classical grandeur the simple and
affectionate devotion of a simple and unsophisticated people, we
might compare this spectacle to that which ancient Rome witnessed,
when the ashes of Germanicus were borne in solemn state within her
portals. There were there the attendant crowd of female mourners, and
the bowed heads and sorrowing hearts of strong men. If the Irish
throngs had no hero to lament, who sustained their glory in the
field, and gained for them fresh laurels of victory, theirs was at
least a more disinterested tribute of grief, since it was paid to the
unpretending merit which laid down, life with the simple prayer of
'God save Ireland!' Amidst all the numerous thousands who proceeded
to Glasnevin, there was not, probably, one who would have sympathised
with any criminal offence, much less with the hideous one of murder.
And yet these thousands honoured and revered the memory of the men
condemned in England as assassins, and ignominiously buried in
felons' graves.

This mighty demonstration--at once so unique, so solemn, so impressive,
so portentous--was an event which the rulers of Ireland felt to be of
critical importance. Following upon the Requiem Masses and the other
processions, it amounted to a great public verdict which changed beyond
all resistance the moral character of the Manchester trial and
execution. If the procession could only have been called a "Fenian"
demonstration, then indeed the government might hope to detract from its
significance and importance. The sympathy of "co-conspirators" with
fallen companions could not well be claimed as an index of general
_public opinion_. But here was a demonstration notoriously apart from
Fenianism, and it showed that a moral, a peaceable, a virtuous, a
religious people, moved by the most virtuous and religious instincts,
felt themselves coerced to execrate as a cowardly and revolting crime
the act of state policy consummated on the Manchester gibbet. In fine,
the country was up in moral revolt against a deed which the perpetrators
themselves already felt to be of evil character, and one which they
fain would blot for ever from public recollection.

What was to be done? For the next ensuing Sunday similar demonstrations
were announced in Killarney, Kilkenny, Drogheda, Ennis, Clonmel,
Queenstown, Youghal, and Fermoy--the preparations in the first named
town being under the direction of, and the procession about to be led
by, a member of parliament, one of the most distinguished and
influential of the Irish popular representatives--The O'Donoghue. What
was to be done? Obviously, as the men had been hanged, there could be no
halting halfway now. Having gone so far, the government seemed to feel
that it must need go the whole way, and choke off, at all hazards, these
inconvenient, these damnatory public protests. No man must be allowed to
speak the Unutterable Words, which, like the handwriting on the wall in
the banquetting hall of Belshazzar, seemed ever to be appearing before
the affrighted consciences of Ireland's rulers. Be it right or be it
wrong, be it justice or be it murder, the act must now be upheld--in
fact, must not be alluded to. There must be _silence_ by law, on what
had been done beneath the Manchester gallows-tree.

But here there presented itself a difficulty. Before the government had
any idea that the public revulsion would become so alarmingly extensive,
the responsible ministers of the crown, specifically interrogated on the
point, had, as we have seen, declared the funeral processions not to be
illegal, and how, now, could the government interpose to prevent them?
It certainly was a difficulty which there was no way of surmounting save
by a proceeding which in any country constitutionally governed would
cost its chief authors their lives on impeachment. The government,
notwithstanding the words of its own responsible chiefs--_on the faith
of which the Dublin procession was held, and numerous others were
announced_--decided to treat as illegal the proceedings they had but a
week before declared to be _not_ illegal; decided to prosecute the
processionists who had acted on the government declarations; and decided
to prevent, by sabre and cannon--by slaughter if necessary--the further
processions announced in Killarney, Clonmel, Kilkenny, and elsewhere!

On the evening of Thursday, the 12th December, Dublin city was flung
into the most intense excitement by the issue of the following
Government Proclamation:--

* * * * *




Whereas it has been publicly announced that a meeting is to assemble
in the city of _Kilkenny_, and that a procession is to take place
there on Sunday, 15th day of December instant:

And whereas placards of the said intended meeting and procession have
been printed and circulated, stating that the said intended
procession is to take place in honour of certain men lately executed
in Manchester for the crime of murder, and calling upon Irishmen to
assemble in thousands for the said procession:

And whereas meetings and processions of large numbers of persons have
been already held and have taken place in different parts of the
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the like pretence,
at some of which, and particularly at a meeting and procession in the
city of Dublin, language of a seditious and inflammatory character
has been used, calculated to excite discontent and disaffection in
the minds of her Majesty's subjects, and to create ill-will and
animosity amongst them, and to bring into hatred and contempt the
government and constitution of the country as by law established:

And whereas the said intended meeting and procession, and the objects
of the persons to be assembled, and take part therein, are not legal
or constitutional, but are calculated to bring into hatred and
contempt the government of the United Kingdom as by law established,
and to impede the administration of justice by intimidation, and the
demonstration of physical force.

Now we, the Lord Lieutenant and General Governor of Ireland, by and
with the advice of her Majesty's Privy Council in Ireland, being
satisfied that such meetings and processions as aforesaid can only
tend to serve the ends of factious, seditions, and traitorous
persons, and to the violation of the public peace, do hereby caution
and forewarn all persons whomsoever that they do abstain from
assembling at any such meeting, and from joining or taking part in
any such procession.

And we do hereby order and enjoin all magistrates and officers
entrusted with the preservation of the public peace, and others whom
it may concern, to aid and assist the execution of the law, in
preventing the said intended meeting and procession, and in the
effectual suppression of the same.

Given at the Council Chamber in Dublin, this Twelfth day of
December, 1807.


Everybody knew what this proclamation meant. It plainly enough announced
that not only would the further demonstrations be prevented, but that
the Dublin processionists were to feel "the vengeance of the law"--that
is the vengeance of the Manchester executioners. Next day the city was
beset with the wildest rumours as to the arrests to be made or the
prosecutions to be commenced. Everyone seemed to conclude of course that
Mr. John Martin, Mr. A.M. Sullivan, and the Honorary Secretaries of the
Procession Committee, were on the crown prosecutor's list; but besides
these the names of dozens of gentlemen who had been on the committee, or
who had acted as stewards, marshals, &c., at the funeral, were likewise
mentioned. On Saturday it became known that late on the previous evening
crown summonses had been served on Mr. J.J. Lalor, Dr. J.C. Waters, and
Mr. James Scanlan, requiring them to attend on the following Tuesday at
the Head Police Office to answer informations sworn against them for
taking part in an "illegal procession" and a "seditious assembly." A
summons had been taken out also against Mr. Martin; but as he had left
Dublin for home on Friday, the police officers proceeded after him to
Kilbroney, and "served" him there on Saturday evening.

Beside and behind this open move was a secret castle plot so utterly
disreputable that, as we shall see, the Attorney-General, startled by
the shout of universal execration which it elicited, sent his official
representative into public court to repudiate it as far as _he_ was
concerned, and to offer a public apology to the gentlemen aggrieved by
it. The history of that scandalous proceeding will appear in what

On Monday, 16th December, 1867, the Head Police Office, Exchange-court,
Dublin, presented an excited scene. The daily papers of the day report
the proceedings as follows:--

At one o'clock, the hour appointed by the summons, the defendants
attended in court, accompanied by their professional advisers and a
number of friends, including Alderman Plunkett, Mr. Butler, T.C.; the
Rev. P. Langan, P.P., Ardcath; A.M. Sullivan, T.C.; T.D. Sullivan,
J.J. Lalor, &c. Mr. Dix and Mr. Allen, divisional magistrates,
presided. Mr. James Murphy, Q.C., instructed by Mr. Anderson,
represented the crown. Mr. Heron, Q.C., and Mr. Molloy appeared for
J.J. Lalor. Mr. Crean appeared for Dr. Waters. Mr. Scallan appeared
as solicitor for J.J. Lalor and for Dr. Waters.

It was generally understood, on arrival at the Head-office, that the
cases would be heard in the usual court up stairs, and, accordingly,
the defendants and the professional gentlemen waited in the court for
a considerable time after one o'clock. It was then stated that the
magistrates would sit in another court down stairs, and all the
parties moved towards the door for the purpose of going there. Then
another arrangement was made, that the change would not take place,
and the parties concerned thereupon returned to their places. But in
a few minutes it was again announced that the proceedings would be in
the court down stairs. A general movement was made again by
defendants, by counsel, by solicitors, and others towards that court,
but on arriving at the entrances they were guarded by detectives and
police. The benches, which ought to have been reserved for the bar
and solicitors, and also for the press, were occupied by detectives,
and for a considerable time great difficulty was experienced in
getting places.

Mr. George M'Dermott, barrister, applied to the magistrates to assign
a place for the members of the bar.

Mr. Dix--I don't know that the bar, unless they are engaged in the
cases, have any greater privilege than anyone else. We have a
wretched court here.

Mr. M'Dermott said the bar was entitled to have room made for them
when it could be done.

Mr. W.L. Hackett--All the seats should not be occupied by policemen
to the exclusion of the bar.

Mr. Scallan, solicitor, who spoke from the end of the table,
said--Your worships, I am solicitor for one of the traversers, and I
cannot get near my counsel to communicate with him. The court is
filled with detectives.

Mr. Molloy--My solicitor has a right to be here; I want my solicitor
to be near me.

Mr. Dix--Certainly; how can men defend their clients if they are

An appeal was then made to the detectives who occupied the side bar
behind the counsel to make way.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C., said one was a policeman who was summoned. Mr.
Dix--The police have no right to take seats.

The detectives then yielded, and the professional gentlemen and the
reporters were accommodated.

Mr. Dix then called the cases.

Mr. Molloy--I appear with Mr. Heron, Q.C., on behalf of J.J. Lalor.

Mr. Crean--I appear for Dr. Waters.

Mr. John Martin--I appear on behalf of myself.

Mr. Crean--I understand there is an impression that Dr. Waters has
been summoned, but he has not.

Mr. Dix--If he appears that cures any defect.

Mr. Crean--I appear on his behalf, but I believe his personal
attendance is necessary.

Mr. Dix--Does anyone appear for Mr. Scanlan?

There was no answer.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C.--I ask whether Dr. Waters and Mr. Lalor appear in

Mr. Molloy--My client Mr. Lalor, is in court.

Mr. Crean--I believe my client is not in court.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C.--I will prove the service of the summons against Dr.
Waters. If there is any defect in the summons it can be remedied. I
will not proceed against any person who does not appear.

Mr. Dix--Am I to take it there is no appearance for Dr. Waters or Mr.

Mr. Crean--I appear for Dr. Waters. I believe he is not in court. It
was stated in the newspapers that he was summoned, but I am
instructed he has not been summoned at all.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C., then proceeded in a careful and precise address to
state the case for the crown. When he had concluded, and was about
calling evidence, the following singular episode took place:--

Mr. Dix--You only proceed against two parties?

Mr. Murphy--I shall only proceed against the parties who
attend--against those who do not attend I shall not give evidence.

Mr. John Martin--If I am in order I would say, to save the time of
the court and to save the public money, that I would be very glad to
offer every facility to the crown. I believe, Sir, you (to Mr.
Murphy) are the crown?

Mr. Murphy--I represent the crown.

Mr. Martin--I will offer every facility to the crown for establishing
the facts both as to my conduct and my words.

Mr. A.M. Sullivan--I also will help you to put up some one, as you
seem scarce of the accused. I have been summoned myself--

Mr. Dix--Who are you?

Mr. Sullivan--My name is Alexander M. Sullivan, and, meaning no
disrespect to either of the magistrates, I publicly refuse even to
be sworn. I was present at the funeral procession--I participated in
it openly, deliberately, heartily--and I denounce as a personal and
public outrage the endeavour to degrade the national press of this
country by attempting to place in the light of--

Mr. Dix--I cannot allow this. This is not a place for making
speeches. I understand you are not summoned here at all.

Mr. Murphy--He is only summoned as a witness.

Mr. Dix--When you (to Mr. Sullivan) are called on will be the time to
hear you, not now.

Mr. Sullivan--I ask your worship, with your usual courtesy, to hear
me while I complain publicly of endeavouring to place the editor of a
national journal on the list of crown witnesses in this court as a
public and personal indignity--and as an endeavour to destroy the
influence of that national press, whose power they feel and fear, but
which they dare not prosecute. I personally complain--

Mr. Murphy--I don't know that this should be permitted.

Mr. Sullivan--Don't interrupt me for a moment.

Mr. Dix--Mr. Sullivan wants to have himself included in the summons
and charge.

Mr. Murphy--That cannot be done at present.

Mr. Sullivan--With one sentence I will conclude.

Mr. Murphy--I don't intend to have you called as a witness--

Mr. Sullivan--It is an endeavour to accomplish my imprisonment for
contempt, when the government "willing to wound, afraid to strike,"
know that they dare not accuse me as a Fenian--

Mr. Dix--You are not here as a Fenian.

Mr. Sullivan--For a moment. Knowing well, your worship, that they
could not get in all Ireland a jury to convict me, to secure my
imprisonment openly and fairly, they do this. I now declare that I
participated in that funeral, and I defy those who were guilty of
such cowardice as to subpoena me as a crown witness (applause).

Mr. Crean--I perceive that my client, Dr. C. Waters, is now in court.
In order to facilitate business, I shall offer no further objection;
but, as a matter of fact, he was not summoned.

Then the case proceeded, the police giving their evidence on the whole
very fairly, and testifying that the procession was one of the most
peaceable, orderly, solemn, and impressive public demonstrations ever
seen in Dublin. Against Mr. Martin it was testified that he marched at
the head of the procession arm-in-arm with Mr. A.M. Sullivan and another
gentleman; and that he delivered the memorable speech at the cemetery
gate. Against Dr. Waters and Mr. Lalor it was advanced that they were
honorary secretaries of the funeral committee, and had moreover acted,
the former as a marshal, the latter as a steward in the procession. It
was found, however, that the case could not be closed that day; and
accordingly, late in the evening, the magistrates intimated that they
would adjourn over to next morning. Suddenly from the body of the court
is heard a stentorian voice:--

Mr. Bracken--I am summoned here as a crown witness. My name is Thomas
Bracken. I went, heart and soul into that procession (applause)--

Mr. Anderson, junior--I don't know this gentleman.

Mr. Bracken--I am very proud that neither you nor any one like you
knows me (applause).

Mr. Dix--I cannot hear you.

Mr. Bracken--I have been brought here as a crown witness away from my
business, and losing my time here.

Mr. Donal Sullivan--I am another, and I avow myself in the same way.

Several voices--"So am I."

Mr. Bracken--I want to know why I should be taken from my business,
by which I have to support my family, and put me before the eyes of
my countrymen as a crown witness (applause)? I went heart and soul
into the procession, and I am ready to do the same to-morrow, and
abide by the consequences (applause). It is curious that the
government should point me out as a crown witness.

Mr. Murphy--I ask for an adjournment till to-morrow.

Mr. Dix--It is more convenient to adjourn now.

Mr. Martin--I don't want to make any insinuations against the
gentlemen who represent the crown, nor against the police, but I
mention the fact, in order that they may relieve themselves from the
odium which would attach to them if they cannot explain it. This
morning a paragraph appears in one of the principal Dublin daily
papers, the _Irish Times_, in which it is said that I, John Martin,
have absconded; I must presume that the information was supplied to
that paper either by the crown representatives or by the police.

Mr. Murphy, Q.C.--It is right to state, so far as I am informed, that
an endeavour was made to serve Mr. Martin in Dublin. When the
summonses were issued he was not in Dublin, but had gone down to the
country, either to his own or the house of his brother, or--

Mr. Ross Todd, who sat beside Mr. Martin, here jumped up and said,
"To his own house, sir, to his own house"--

Mr. Murphy--Very well. A constable was sent down there, and saw Mr.
Martin, and he reported that Mr. Martin said he would attend

Mr. Dix--And he has done so?

Mr. Murphy--I have no other knowledge. It was briefed to me that Mr.
Martin said he would attend forthwith.

Mr. Martin--I am glad I have given the representatives of the crown
an opportunity of making that statement. But I cannot understand how,
when the representatives of the crown had the information, and when I
told the constables I would attend--as I have done at great
inconvenience and expense to myself--I cannot understand how a
newspaper should come to say I had absconded.

Mr. Murphy--I cannot understand it either; I can only tell the facts
within my own knowledge.

Mr. Molloy said it seemed very extraordinary that witnesses should be
summoned, and the crown say they were not.

Mr. Sullivan wished his summons to be examined. Did the magistrates
sign it?

Mr. Dix--Unless I saw the original I could not say.

Mr. J.J. Lalor--Sir John Gray has been summoned as a witness, too. It
is monstrous.

Sir John Gray, M.P.--I wish to state to your worship the unpleasant
circumstances under which I find myself placed. At an advanced hour
on Saturday I learned that the crown intended to summon as witnesses
for the prosecution some of the gentlemen connected with my
establishment. I immediately communicated with the crown prosecutor,
and said it was unfair towards these gentlemen to have them placed in
such an odious position, and that their refusal to act as crown
witnesses might subject them to serious personal consequences; I said
it would not be right of me to allow any of the gentlemen of my
establishment to subject themselves to the consequences of such
refusal, as I knew well they would all refuse. I suggested, if any
unpleasant consequences should follow, they should fall on the head
of the establishment alone (applause). I said "summon me, and deal
with me." I am here now, sir, to show my respect for you personally
and for this court; but I wish to state most distinctly that I will
never consent to be examined as a crown witness (applause).

Mr. Anderson, jun., here interposed.

Sir John Gray--I beg your pardon. I am addressing the bench, and I
hope I won't be interrupted. Some of my family are going to-night to
England to spend the Christmas with my son. I intend to escort them.
I will not be here to-morrow. I wish distinctly to state so. If I
were here, my respect for you and the bench, would induce me to be
present, but I would be present only to declare what I have already
stated, that I would not consent to be sworn or to give any evidence
whatever in this prosecution. I think it right to add that I attach
no blame whatever to the police authorities in this transaction. They
have, I am sure, performed their duty in this case with that
propriety which has always characterised their conduct. Neither do I
attach any blame to the crown prosecutor. I simply desire to state,
with the most profound respect for the bench and the court, that I
will not be a witness (loud applause).

Mr. Anderson--We don't intend to examine Sir John Gray, but I wish to
say that if the police believed any one could give important
evidence, it is a new proposition to me that it is an indignity upon
a man to summon him as a crown witness--

Mr. A.M. Sullivan--I say it is an indignity, and that the crown
solicitor should not seek to shift the responsibility on the police,
who only do what they are told.

Mr. Anderson--I am not trying to shift anything.

Mr. Sullivan--You are. You are trying to shift the responsibility of
having committed a gross indignity upon a member of parliament, upon
myself, and upon many honest men here.

Several persons holding up summonses said "hear, hear," and "yes."

Mr. Sullivan--This I charge to have been done by Mr. Anderson as his
base revenge upon honest men who bade him defiance. Mr. Anderson must
answer for this conduct. It is a vile conspiracy--a plot against
honest men, who here now to his face tell him they scorn and defy him

Mr. Dix--I adjourn the case till one o'clock to-morrow.

The proceedings were then adjourned.

So far have we quoted from the _Freeman's Journal_. Of the closing scene
_Saunders's News-Letter_, grieving sorely over such a fiasco, gives the
following account:--

The adjournment of the court was attended with a scene of tumult and
disorder that was rarely, or never, witnessed in a police court, in
presence of the magistrates and a large number of police--both
inspectors and detectives. The crowd of unwilling witnesses who had
been summoned to give evidence against the defendants, clamorously
protested against being brought there as crown witnesses, avowed that
they were present taking part in the procession, and loudly declared
that they would not attend at any subsequent hearing of the case. The
latter part of the case indeed was marked with frequent interruptions
and declarations of a similar kind, often very vociferously uttered.
The proceedings terminated amid the greatest and unchecked disorder.

In plain words, "Scene I, Act I," in what was meant to be a most solemn,
awe-inspiring government function, turned out an unmistakable farce, if
not a disastrous break down. Even the government journals themselves,
without waiting for "Scene II.," (though coming off immediately) raised
a shout of condemnation of the discreditable bungle, and demanded that
it should be forthwith abandoned. Considering the course ultimately
taken by the government, these utterances of the government organs
themselves, have a serious meaning and are of peculiar importance. The
ultra-orange _Evening Mail_ (Tuesday, 17th December,) said:--


The scenes of yesterday in the Dublin police-court will cause an
astonished public to put the question, is the government insane? They
suppress the processions one day, and on the next proceed with
deliberation to destroy all possible effect from such an act by
inviting the magistrates' court to be used as a platform from whence
a fresh roar of defiance may be uttered. The originators of the
seditious demonstrations are charged with having brought the
government of the kingdom into hatred and contempt; but what step
taken, or word spoken or written, from the date of the first
procession to the last, brought the government into anything like the
"contempt" into which it plunged itself yesterday? The prosecutions
now instituted are in themselves an act of utter weakness. We so
declared when we imagined that they would be at least rationally
conducted; but what is to be said now? It is literally impossible to
give any sane explanation of the course taken in summoning as a crown
witness one who must have been known to be prepared to boast of his
participation in the procession. Mr. Sullivan boldly bearded the
prosecutors of his brethren. It was a splendid opportunity for him.
"I was present (he said) at that funeral procession. I participated
in it, deliberately and heartily. I call this a personal and public
outrage, to endeavour to drag the national press of this country--".
Timid and ineffectual attempts were made by the magistrate to protect
his court and position from insult, but Mr. Sullivan had the field,
and would hold it. "He might help the crown to put some one else up,"
he said, "as they are scarce, perhaps, in accused." The summoning of
him was, he resumed, an "attempt to destroy the national press, whose
power the crown feels and fears, but which they dare not prosecute."
Mr. Sullivan was suffered to describe the conduct of the crown
prosecutors at another stage as an "infamous plot." The government
desired "to accomplish his imprisonment; they were willing to wound
but afraid to strike." "They knew (he added) that they would not get
a jury in all Ireland to agree to convict me; and I now characterise
the conduct of the crown as base and cowardly." Another witness, in a
halting way, entered a like protest against being supposed to have
sympathy with the crown in the case; and the net result was a very
remarkable triumph for what Mr. Sullivan calls the "national
press"--a title wholly misapplied and grossly abused. Are we to have
a succession of these "scenes in court?"

_Saunders's News-Letter_ of the same date dealt with the subject as

The first step in what appears to be a very doubtful proceeding was
taken yesterday by the law advisers of the crown. We refer to the
prosecution instituted against the leaders and organisers of the
Fenian procession which took place in this city on Sunday, the 8th
instant, in honour of the memories of the men executed at Manchester
for murder. As to the character of that demonstration we never
entertained any doubt. But it must be remembered that similar
demonstrations had taken place a week previously in London, in
Manchester, and in Cork, and that not only did the authorities not
interfere to prevent them, but that the prime minister declared in
the House of Lords that they were not illegal. Lord Derby doubtless,
intended to limit his observations to the violition of the Party
Processions Act, without pronouncing any opinion as to the legality
or illegality of the processions, viewed under another aspect, as
seditious assemblies. But his language was calculated to mislead,
and, as a matter of fact, was taken by the Fenian sympathisers as an
admission that their mock funeral processions were not unlawful. It
is not to be wondered at, therefore, however much to be deplored,
that the disaffected portion of the population should have eagerly
taken advantage of Lord Derby's declaration to make a safe display of
their sympathies and of their strength. They were encouraged to do so
by the toleration already extended towards their fellows in England
and in Cork, as well as by the statement of the prime minister. Under
these circumstances the prosecution of persons who took part in the
Dublin procession, even as organisers of that proceeding, appears to
us to be a matter of doubtful policy. Mr. John Martin, the leader of
the movement, stands in a different position from his companions.
They confined themselves to walking in the procession; he delivered
an inflammatory and seditious speech, for which he alone is
responsible, and which might have been made the subject of a separate
proceeding against him. To do Mr. Martin justice, he showed no desire
to shirk the responsibility he has incurred. At the police-court,
yesterday, he frankly avowed the part he had taken in the procession,
and offered to acknowledge the speech which he delivered on that
occasion. If, however, the policy which dictated the prosecution be
questionable, there can be no doubt at all as to the objectionable
manner in which some of the persons engaged in it have
acted--assuming the statement to be true that Mr. Sullivan,
proprietor and editor of the _Nation_ newspaper, and Sir John Gray,
proprietor of the _Freeman's Journal_, have been summoned as crown
witnesses. Who is responsible for this extraordinary proceeding it is
at present impossible to say. Mr. Murphy, Q.C., the counsel for the
crown, declared that he did not intend to examine Mr. Sullivan; Mr.
Anderson, the son of the crown solicitor, who appears to be entrusted
with the management of these prosecutions, denied that he had
directed the summonses to be served, and Mr. Dix, the magistrate,
stated that he had not signed them. Tot Mr. Sullivan produced the
summons requiring him to attend as a witness, and in the strongest
manner denounced the proceeding as a base and cowardly attempt on the
part of the government to imprison for contempt of court, a
"national journalist" whom they dared not prosecute. Sir John Gray,
ill less violent language, complained of an effort having been made
to place some of the gentlemen in his employment in the "odious
position of crown witnesses," and stated that he himself had been
subpoenaed, but would decline to give evidence. We have not concealed
our opinion as to the proper way of dealing with Mr. Sullivan. As the
weekly disseminator of most exciting and inflammatory articles, he is
doing much to promote disaffection and encourage Fenianism. In no
other country in the world would such writing be tolerated for a day;
and, assuredly it ought not to be permitted in Ireland in perilous
and exciting times like the present. But if Mr. Sullivan has offended
against the law, let him be proceeded against boldly, openly, and
fairly. He has, we think, a right to complain of being summoned as a
witness for the crown; but the government have even more reason to
complain of the conduct of their servants in exposing them by their
blunders to ridicule and contempt. It is too bad that with a large
and highly-paid staff of lawyers and attorneys the government
prosecutions should be conducted in a loose and slovenly manner. When
a state prosecution has been determined upon, every step ought to be
carefully and anxiously considered, and subordinate officials should
not be permitted by acts of officious zeal to compromise their
superiors and bring discredit on the administration of the law.

The Liberal-Conservative _Irish Times_ was still more outspoken:--

While all commend the recent action of the government, and give the
executive full credit for the repression by proclamation of
processions avowedly intended to be protests against authority and
law, it is generally regretted that prosecutions should have been
instituted against some of those who had taken part in these
processions. Had these menacing assemblages been held after the
proclamations were issued, or in defiance of the authorities, the
utmost power should have been exerted to put them down, and the
terrors of the law would properly have been invoked to punish the
guilty. But, bearing in mind the fact that these processions had been
declared by the head of the government--expressing, no doubt, the
opinion entertained at that time by the law officers of the crown,
that these processions were "not illegal"--remembering, too, that
similar processions had been already held without the slightest
intimation of opposition on the part of government; and recollecting,
also, that the proclamation was everywhere implicitly obeyed, and
without the least wish to dispute it, we cannot avoid regretting that
the government should have been advised, at the last hour, to
institute prosecutions of such a nature. Once, however, it was
determined to vindicate the law in this way, the utmost care should
have been taken to maintain the dignity of the proceedings, and to
avoid everything calculated to create annoyance, irritation, or
offence. If we except the moderate and very able speech of Mr.
Murphy, Q.C., there is no one part of the proceedings in the
police-court which merits commendation. Some of the witnesses utterly
broke down; opportunity was given for utterances not calculated to
increase respect for the law; and disloyal sentiments were boldly
expressed and cheered until the court rang again. Great and serious
as was the mistake in not obtaining an accurate legal opinion
respecting the character of these meetings at the first, and then
prohibiting them, a far greater mistake is now, we think, committed
in instituting _these retrospective prosecutions_. For this mistake
the law officers of the crown must, we infer, be held responsible.
Were they men of energy and vigour, with the necessary knowledge of
the world, they would not have suffered the executive to permit
processions first, and then prohibit them, and at the same time try
men for participating in what had been pronounced not to be illegal.
We exonerate the attorney-general from the error of summoning to give
evidence persons who openly gloried in the part they had taken in
these meetings. To command the presence of such witnesses was of the
nature of an offence. There was no ground, for instance, for
supposing that Mr. Sullivan would have played the informer against
the friends who had walked with him in the procession--such is not
his character, his feeling, or his sense of honour. The summoning of
those who had moved with, and as part of, the multitude, to give
evidence against their fellows, was not only a most injudicious, but
a futile expedient, and naturally has caused very great
dissatisfaction and annoyance. The circumstance, however, proves that
the prosecutions was instituted without that exact care and minute
attention to all particulars which are necessary in a case of this

Even the _Daily Express_, the, all-but subsidised, if not the secretly
subsidised, organ of the ultra-orange section of the Irish
administration, had to own the discomfiture of its patrons:--

Are our police offices to become a kind of national journals court?
Is the "national press of Ireland" then and there to bid for the
support immediately of the gallery, and more remotely of that portion
of the population which is humourously called the Irish Nation? These
speculations are suggested by a curious scene which took place at the
inquiry at the police office yesterday, and which will be found
detailed in another column. Mr. Sullivan, the editor of the _Nation_,
seized the opportunity of being summoned as a witness, to denounce
the government for not including him in the prosecution. He
complained "of endeavouring to place the editor of a national journal
on the list of crown witnesses in this court as a public and
personal indignity," and as an endeavour to destroy the influence of
the national press. It is certainly an open avowal to declare that
the mere placing of the name of the editor of a "national" journal
upon the list of crown witnesses is an unparalleled wrong. But Sir
John Gray was still more instructive. From him we learn that a
witness summoned to assist the crown in the prosecution of sedition
is placed in an "odious position." Odious it may be, but in the eyes
of whom? Surely not of any loyal subject? A paid informer, or
professional spy, may be personally odious in the eyes of those who
make use of his services. But we have yet to learn how a subject who
is summoned to come forward to assist the government fills an odious
position in the opinion of his loyal fellow-subjects. We should
rather have supposed him to be entitled to their gratitude. However
that may be, Sir John Gray came gallantly to the rescue of several
"gentlemen connected with his establishment," whom, he was informed,
the government intended to summon as witnesses. This, he knew, they
would all refuse. "I suggested, if any unpleasant consequences should
follow, that they should fall on the head of the establishment
alone." He called upon the authorities to summon him. We do complain
of our police-courts being made the scenes of open avowals of
determination to thwart, or, at least, not to assist the government
in their endeavours to prosecute treason and sedition. We can imagine
no principle on which a subject could object to assisting the crown
as a witness, which, if followed to its logical consequences, would
not justify open rebellion. It is certainly a dangerous doctrine to
preach that it is allowable, nay, even praiseworthy in a subject to
refuse to give evidence when called upon to do so by the crown. There
is a disposition too prevalent in this country to regard the law as
an enemy, and opposition to it, either by passive obstruction or
active rebellion, as a praiseworthy and patriotic act. Can we wonder
at this when we hear opposition to constituted authority openly
preached by the instructors of "the nation," and witness the
eagerness of the "national press" to free itself from the terrible
suspicion of coming to the assistance, even involuntarily, of the
government in its struggle with sedition and treason?

It was amidst such an outburst of vexation and indignation as this, even
from the government journals themselves, that the curtain rose next
morning on Act II. in the Head Police Office. A very unique episode
commenced the proceedings on this day also. At the resumption of the
case, Mr. Murphy, Q.C., on behalf of the crown, said:--

Mr. Sullivan and some other gentlemen complained yesterday of having
been served with summonses to give evidence in those cases. I am
directed by the attorney-general to state that he regrets it, and
that it was done without his authority. He never gave any directions
to have those persons summoned, nor was it done by anyone acting
under his directions. It occurred in this way. General directions
were given to the police to summon parties to give evidence in order
to establish the charge against those four gentlemen who are summoned
for taking an active part in the procession. The police, in the
exercise of their discretion thought it might be necessary to summon
parties who took part in the procession, but there was no intention
on the part of those aiding on behalf of the crown to summon parties
to give evidence who themselves took part in the procession, and I am
sorry it occurred.

Mr. Dix--I may mention that a magistrate when signing a summons knows
nothing of the witnesses. If they were all living in Jamacia he
merely signs it as a matter of form.

Mr. A.M. Sullivan--I thank your worship and Mr. Murphy, and I think
it will be seen that had your worship not allowed me yesterday to
make the protest I did, the attorney-general would not have the
opportunity of making the disclaimer which it became the dignity of
the government to make. The aspect of the case yesterday was very
adverse towards Sir John Gray, myself, and other gentlemen. Although
my brother signed his name to the notice, he was not summoned as
principal but as a witness, but if necessary, he was determined to
stand side by side in the dock with Mr. Martin.

Mr. Allen--I am very glad of the explanation, because I was blamed
for allowing persons making speeches here yesterday. I think if a man
has any ground of complaint the sooner it is set right the better.

Mr. Sullivan--I have to thank the bench.

Mr. Allen--I am glad that a satisfactory arrangement has been come to
by all parties, because there is an objection entertained by some
persons to be brought into court as witnesses for the crown.

Mr. Sullivan--Especially a public journalist.

Mr. Allen--Quite so.

Mr. Heron then proceeded to cross-examine the witness.

It was elicited from the government reporter, that, by a process which
he called "throwing in the vowels," he was able to make Mr. Martin's
speech read sufficiently seditious. Mr. D.C. Heron, Q.C., then addressed
the court on behalf of Mr. J.J. Lalor; and Mr. Michael Crean, barrister,
on behalf of Dr. Waters. Mr. Martin, on his own behalf, then spoke as

I admit I attended the procession. I admit also that I spoke words
which I consider very grave and serious words upon that occasion. For
my acts on that occasion, for the sense and intention of the words I
spoke on that occasion, I am perfectly willing to be put upon my
country. Not only for all my acts on that occasion--not only for the
words which I spoke on that occasion; but for all my acts or all the
words I either spoke or wrote, publicly or privately, upon Irish
politics, I am perfectly willing to be put upon my country. In any
free country that has real constitutional institutions to guarantee
the liberty of the subject--to guarantee the free trial of the
subject charged with an offence against either the state or his
neighbour, it would be quite absurd to expect a man could be put upon
his country and convicted of a crime for doing that and using such
words as the vast majority of his fellow-countrymen approve. In this
case I believe that a vast majority of my fellow-countrymen do not
disapprove of the acts I acknowledge on that occasion, and that they
sympathise in the sentiment of the words I then spoke. Therefore the
mere fact that a prosecution is preferred against me for that act,
and for those words, is the expression of an opinion on my part that
this country does not at present enjoy real constitutional
institutions, guaranteeing a free trial--guaranteeing that the man
accused shall be really put upon his country. Therefore it is absurd
to think that any twelve honest men, my neighbours, put upon their
oaths, would declare that to be a crime which it is probable that, at
least, four-fifths of them believe to be right--right both
constitutionally and morally. I am aware--we are all aware--that the
gentlemen who represent the crown in this country, have very powerful
means at their disposal for obtaining convictions in the form of law
and in the form of justice, of any person they think proper to
accuse; and without meaning either to sneer or to joke in this
matter, I acknowledge the moderation of the gentlemen who represent
the government, since they chose to trouble themselves with me at
all. I acknowledge their moderation in proposing to indict me now for
sedition, for the language which they say I used, because it is
possible for them, with the means at their disposal, to have me
convicted for murder, or burglary, or bigamy (laughter). I am sorry
to say what seems like a sneer, but I use the words in deep and
solemn seriousness, and I say no more than I am perfectly ready to be
tried fairly or foully (applause in court).

The magistrates reserved their decision till next day; so that there
might be decent and seemly pause for the purpose of looking up and
pondering the legal precedents, as the legal fiction would have it; and
on next day, they announced that they would send all the accused for
trial to the next Commission at Green-street, to open on the 10th
February, 1868. The several traversers, however, were required to enter
merely into their own recognizances in L500 each to appear for trial.

In this police court proceeding the government, confessedly, were
morally worsted--utterly humiliated, in fact. So far from creating awe
or striking terror, the prosecution had evoked general contempt, scorn,
and indignation. To such an extent was this fact recognised, that the
government journals themselves, as we have seen, were amongst the
loudest in censuring the whole proceeding, and in supporting the general
expectation that there was an end of the prosecution.

Not so however was it to be. The very bitterness of the mortification
inflicted upon them by their "roll in the dust" on their first legal
encounter with the processionists, seemed to render the crown officials
more and more vindictive. It was too galling to lie under the public
challenge hurled at them by Mr. Bracken, Mr. O'Reilly, and Mr. Sullivan.
After twelve days' cogitation, government made up its mind to strike.

On Saturday, 28th December, 1867--just as everyone in Ireland seemed to
have concluded that, as the Conservative journals said, there was "an
end of" the foolish and ill-advised funeral prosecutions--Mr. Sullivan,
Mr. Bracken (one of the funeral stewards), Mr. Jennings, of Kingstown
(one of the best known and most trusted of the nationalists of
"Dunleary" district). Mr. O'Reilly, (one of the mounted marshals at the
procession), and some others, were served with citations to appear on
Monday the 30th, at the Head Police Office, to answer charges identical
with those preferred on the 16th against Mr. Martin, Dr. Waters, and Mr.

Preliminary prosecution No. 2 very much resembled No. 1. Mr. Murphy,
Q.C. stated the crown case with fairness and moderation; and the police,
as before, gave their evidence like men who felt "duty" and "conscience"
in sore disagreement on such an occasion. Mr. Jennings and Mr. O'Reilly
were defended, respectively, by Mr. Molloy and Mr. Crean; two advocates
whose selection from the junior bar for these critical and important
public cases was triumphantly vindicated by their conduct from the
first to the last scene of the drama. Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Bracken, and the
other accused, were not represented by counsel. On the first-named
gentleman (Mr. Sullivan) being formally called on, he addressed the
court at some length. He said:--

Please your worship, had the officials of the crown adopted towards
me, in the first instance, the course which they have taken upon the
present occasion, and had they not adopted the singular course which
they pursued in my regard when I last appeared in this court, I
should trouble you with no observations. For, as one of the 50,000
persons who, on the 8th of December, in this city, publicly,
lawfully, and peacefully demonstrated their protest against what they
believed to have been a denial of law and an outrage on justice, I
should certainly waste no public time in this preliminary
investigation, but rather admit the facts as you perceive I have done
to-day, and hasten the final decision on the issues really knit
between us and the crown. What was the course adopted by the crown in
the first instance against me? They had before them, on the 9th, just
as well as on the 29th--it is in evidence that they had--the fact
that I, openly and publicly, took part in that demonstration--that
sorrowful and sad protest against injustice (applause). They had
before them then as much as they had before them to-day, or as much
as they will ever have affecting me. For, whatever course I take in
public affairs in this country, I conceal nothing, I take it
publicly, openly, and deliberately. If I err, I am satisfied to abide
the consequences; and, whenever it may suit the weathercock judgment
of Lord Mayo, and his vacillating law advisers, to characterise my
acts or my opinion as illegal, seditious, heretical, idolatrous, or
treasonable, I must, like every other subject, be content to take my
chance of their being able to find a jury sufficiently facile or
sufficiently stupid to carry out their behests against me. But they
did not choose that course at first. They did not summon me as a
principal, but they subpoenaed me as a witness--as a crown
witness--against some of my dearest, personal, and public friends.
The attorney-general, whose word I most fully and frankly accept in
the matter--for I would not charge him with being wanting in personal
truthfulness--denied having had any complicity in the course of
conduct pursued towards me; but where does he lay the responsibility?
On "the police." What is the meaning of that phrase, "the police?" He
surely does not mean that the members of the force, who parade our
streets, exercise viceregal functions (laughter). Who was this person
thus called the "police?" How many degrees above or below the
attorney-general are we to look for this functionary described as
"the police," who has the authority to have a "seditious" man--that
is the allegation--a seditious man--exempted from prosecution? The
police cannot do that. Who, then? Who was he that could draw the
line between John Martin and his friend A.M. Sullivan--exempt the
one, prosecute the other--summon the former as a defendant and
subpoena the latter as a crown witness? What was the object? It is
plain. There are at this moment, I am convinced--who doubts
it?--throughout Ireland, as yet unfound out, Talbots and Corridons in
the pay of the crown acting as Fenian centres, who, next day, would
receive from their employers directions to spread amongst my
countrymen the intelligence that I had been here to betray my
associate, John Martin (applause). But their plot recoiled--their
device was exposed; public opinion expressed its reprobation of the
unsuccessful trick; and now they come to mend their hand. The men who
were exempted before are prosecuted to-day. Now, your worships, on
this whole case--on this entire procedure--I deliberately charge that
not we, but the government, have violated the law. I charge that the
government are well aware that the law is against them--that they are
irresistibly driven upon this attempt to strain and break the law
against the constitutional right and liberty of the subject by their
mere party exigencies and necessities.

He then reviewed at length the bearing of the Party Processions Act upon
the present case; and next proceeded to deal with the subject of the
Manchester executions; maintaining that the men were hanged, as were
others before them, in like moments of national passion and frenzy, on a
false evidence and a rotten verdict. Mr. Sullivan proceeded:--

It is because the people love justice and abhor injustice--because
the real crime of those three victims is believed to have been
devotion to native land--that the Catholic churches of Ireland
resound with prayers and requiem hymns, and the public highways were
lined with sympathising thousands, until the guilty fears of the
executioners proclaimed it illegal to mourn. Think you, sir, if the
crown view of this matter were the true one, would the Catholic
clergy of Ireland--they who braved fierce and bitter unpopularity in


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