What the London Times had to say about a local newspaper, the Dundalk Patriot, when it reported on the effects of the over indulgence in Castlebellingham ale by a section of one of the brewery’s main customers. The reported incident concerned a detachment of a British regiment passing through Dundalk town shouting for Repeal of the Union.
“As a “sign of the times,” this same “gagged” organ of public opinion narrates an occurrence which it says should afford unalloyed gratification to the abettors of British domination. It is as follows:-
“An occurrence took place in our town, within the last week, which should afford gratification unalloyed to the abettors of British domination. On Wednesday last a de-tachment of the 57th Regiment, marching from Dublin to Armagh, were provided with comfortable lodgings in our town for one night by the billet-master of Dundalk. These men had spent the previous night at Castlebellingham. When the exhilarating beverage for which the place possesses a wide-world reputation, had beguiled their fatigue, they indulged in some lusty shouts for Mitchell, Young Ireland, and Repeal. On Tuesday evening last our market square echoed the same cry. The officer in command paraded his men in a stableyard attached to the inn wherein he lodged, lest, no doubt, he might disturb the adjustment of one of our most delicate organs. No town in Ireland is more famed for exhilarating waters than Dundalk. The soldiers distributed themselves through the several taverns, and no cry was heard issuing thence but ‘Repeal, Repeal'. A landlord slyly asked was not their regiment an English one. The fellow condemned the name to the Stygian Tartarus. Another batch was fraternizing most ominously with a party of emigrants, in a locality near the quay. The thrilling cry of ‘Repeal’ passed from the soldier’s lips; like an electric stream it shot through the hearts of the emigrants. Imprecations were uttered, creeds avowed, and friendships pledged. A bystander interrupted one of the speakers by telling him he was an Englishmen. ‘You are right,’ was the reply but ‘Englishmen and Irishmen are brothers in freedom and no force should separate them.’ Another wight in the centre of the town levelled his musket and vowed that did a certain very little lord stand before him, he would be dealt with less figuratively than Clarendon had been by the Dublin marksman. We understand that it was with difficulty that the men could be marched through the town without shouting for repeal.”
(Source: The Times, London, dated 12 April 1848, page 8, Fingal County Library.)
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(Original uploaded 26 October 2006) Last update 29 August 2011.