During this time the Defenders were active in County Louth. Some had already been arrested and were in prison awaiting trial. Later others were absorbed into the United Irishmen. The immediate issue at that time seems to relate to voting rights for Roman Catholics.
Their activities were condemned by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Reilly. The wording of the resolutions, given below, adopted at the meeting over which he presided seems much stronger than that adopted elsewhere in the country at meetings attended by both Protestant and Catholics.
'At a Meeting of the Roman Catholics of the County of Louth held at Greenmount, near Castle Bellingham, on Thursday the 3rd of January, 1793 Right Rev. Dr. Reilly in the Chair.
The following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to:
That the peace of this County has for some time past been disturbed by repeated acts of violence and outrage, whereby public order and regularity have been infringed, the Laws shamefully violated, the credit of the country impeached, its prosperity and welfare materially affected, and are now likely to be entirely destroyed, if some effectual remedy is not administered to put a stop to such alarming misconduct.
RESOLVED That it appears to us, that amongst other causes which may have given rise to these unwarrantable proceedings, an idea has gone abroad which has mislead and deluded the people, inducing them falsely to conceive, that in pursuing such conduct, they are struggling for the cause of the Roman Catholic Religion, the interests of which they erroneously imagine will be thereby advanced, and that the situation of the people professing the same, is, by their conduct, most likely to be improved.
RESOLVED. That if independent of the general question of restrictions from difference of religious persuasion, any class or people labour under real grievances peculiar to their particular situation such grievances can be removed only by legal and peaceable application for redress; and, that upon specification of any such, and their existence proved, we shall be ready to assist in such legal and peaceable application for removal of the same, or, if from our respective situations, redress shall lie with us we shall always be found willing to remove the cause of complaint, when thus legally and peaceably [preferred].
RESOLVED. That we are and have been at all times strongly attached to the preservation of public peace and tranquillity and ready to concur in promoting or restoring the same, in whatever manner or from whatever cause they may have been violated, but that we feel ourselves peculiarly called on for public exertion, under the present circumstances, when the interests of our religion are shamefully made a pretext for riot and confusion, which its principles so strongly condemn, and by which the credit, character and honour of its adherents, are so immediately impeached.
RESOLVED. That we do hereby earnestly exhort all orders of people, particularly those of our Communion, to abstain in future from all such illegal and unwarrantable conduct; that we are fully convinced no measure can be so detrimental to the interest of the Religion which they profess, that now is so likely to give an unfavourable turn to the exertions which are now making to procure a repeal of the Laws by which, as Roman Catholics, they are affected; that a continuation of such conduct must, by withdrawing them from industry and attention to their respective business, immediately produce beggary and misery in their families, and by drawing on them in the end, the just vengeance of the Law, must finally terminate in the loss of their lives, imprisonment of their persons, or exile from their country.
RESOLVED, That if after thus publickly apprising them of the delusion under which they labour, the danger with which they are threatened, the injury, which by their conduct they are likely to do to the rest of their fellow subjects of their own religious persuasion, and the disgrace which they bring on themselves by violating peace and good order, they should unhappily persist in their present outrageous conduct, we do hereby solemnly and publicly pledge ourselves to each other, to use our utmost exertions to put an end to such scandalous and illegal behaviour, and to pursue the most vigorous and effectual measures for resisting and opposing the same.
RESOLVED, That copies of these Resolutions be distributed to the respective Parish Priests throughout the County, in order to receive the signatures of all who shall wish to subscribe them, and immediately printed in the Drogheda and Dublin Journals, Dublin Evening Post, and National Evening Star.
Doctor Reilly having left the Chair, and Edward Bellew, Esq being called to it.
RESOLVED That the thanks of the Meeting be given to Doctor Reilly, for his very proper and dignified conduct in the Chair.
Doctor Reilly having resumed the Chair,
RESOLVED, That the thanks of the Meeting are hereby given to Edward Bellew, Esq. for having to fully met our Approbation in the foregoing Resolutions.
Thomas Coleman, jun
Thomas P. Coleman,
J. M’Allister, jun,
Mathew Kirwan jun,
Richard Reilly, roman catholic arch. bishop of Armagh,
Philip L...ns [Levins?] r. c. dean of Armagh and pastor Dundalk,
John Wall, r.c. vicar and pastor of Dunleer,
Charles Waters, r. c. pastor of Ardee,
Owen [Eugene] Daly, r.c. p. of Killcarin [Kilsaran],
Joseph Markey, r.c. p. of Clogher,
Arthur Martin, r.c. p. of Collon,
Richard Treaner, r. c. p. of Dyzart [Dysart],
Joseph Carrigan, r.c. p. of Termefuken [Termonfeckin],
Andrew Levices [Levins], r.c. p. of Kilcurly,
Redmond O’Hanlon, r.c. p. of Louth,
George Doud [Dowd], r.c. p. of Drumiskin [Dromiskin],
Pat Doud [Dowd], r.c. p. of Tallanstown,
Pat Corrigan, r.c. curate of Dyzart [Dysart],
John O’Kelly, r.c. c. of Dunleer,
James Byrne, r.c. c. of Drameskin [Dromiskin],
John Lawles, r.c. c. of Kilcurly,
Barth. Counsel, r.c. c. of Termefukin [Termonfeckin].'
Another meeting reported on the same page begins:
'At a very numerous and respectable Meeting of the Inhabitants of the City and Neighbourhood of Cashel, pursuant to public notice, on Monday, 24th Dec. 1792.
Daniel Mansergh, Esq. Mayor, in the Chair.
The following Resolutions were unanimously agreed to:--
That we think it our indispensable duty, at a time when the enemies of our happy and excellent Constitution are busily employed in disseminating Republican principles, subversive of the Government of the Kingdom, not only to declare our abhorrence of such principles and practices, but to profess our unalterable attachment to our justly beloved Sovereign and our decided resolution to support by every means in our power, his rights, well knowing that they c.. the ... basis of our own.
Actuated by these principles, we hereby pledge ourselves unanimously, each to the other, to discourage and oppose at all times, every attempt to alienate the affections of the people from their Sovereign, or the Constitution of this Kingdom, to disturb the public tranquillity, or to introduce any [disorder] into the State, under any pretences whatsoever, [circumstances] which could not fail to check the rapid progress with which this Kingdom is now making in manufactures, agriculture and trade, to destroy its credit, and to render precarious that prosperity which is felt and acknowledged by all ranks of people, to be the happy effect of wise laws justily administered..
RESOLVED, therefore, that the persons present at this meeting, do hereby declare, that they will use all legal means to discourage seditious publications, and to punish the authors, publishers, and dispensers thereof. That they will at all times be ready to assemble and assist the Magistrates, to suppress tumult and faction, to maintain peace and good order, to afford protection to the person and property of every man, and to enforce a due execution of the laws, on which depend the safety, the happiness, and the prosperity of every individual, and of society in general.
RESOLVED. That these our unalterable sentiments, be forthwith presented, in the most dutiful manner to his Excellency the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, by the Chairman.
RESOLVED That our hearty thanks are due to the Mayor, for his readiness to call this meeting and for his very proper conduct in the Chair.
listing the names of both Protestant and Catholics of the area that signed the resolutions.
(Source: The Dublin Journal dated 10 January 1793, p.4, National Library of Ireland)
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