Genealogical and Historical Research Service in Ireland


Dividing Line


 In 1792 a letter from an Edward Byrne stated to be from a Sub-Committee of the Catholics of Ireland was circulated. This was condemned by the Grand Jury in County Louth, the forerunners of Louth County Council, and similar civil authorities elsewhere at the time.
     On a separate note in the Institute of Public Administration Yearbook and Diary it is stated today, 20 March 2014, is International Day of Happiness. As can be seen following 'happiness' can mean different things to different people and at different times.

At the Assizes for County Louth, held in Dundalk, from 5 September 1792, it was stated:-


‘We, the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of said county, assembled at Summer assizes, 1792, cannot express in terms too strong our abhorrence of the wicked and daring attempt made by a printed letter from persons calling themselves the Sub-Committee of the Catholics of Ireland signed Edward Byrne, and circulated through this kingdom, to excite a spirit of discontent among the Catholic, and rouse their animosity against the Protestants and the Constitution. A letter which most falsely tells them that they are not secure of an impartial administration of justice – that they are oppressed even to slavery – that  a change of that part of the Constitution which secures the Protestant establishment is essential to their existence; and then endeavours to induce them to disturb the tranquillity of the kingdom by urging them to illegal and unconstitutional associations, and to elect a Popish Congress to meet in the metropolis, with the vain expectation that it can overawe the Parliament, and that the Constitution is not strong enough to repress and punish so daring a violation.

   Though we have a strong reliance upon the good sense and loyalty of the Roman Catholics at large, that the seditious views of the authors and propagators of the said Letter will be disappointed, yet we feel it is a duty particularly incumbent on us at this time to declare our sentiments fully and decidedly in the following Resolutions.

   Resolved, That under the laws which vest the elective franchise in Protestants only, this kingdom has improved, and is rapidly improving in trade, wealth, and manufactures; its freedom has been vindicated and secured; its population encreased, and that, since those laws have been called frequently into operation, the progress of the national prosperity has been more vigorous and rapid.

   Resolved, That the allowing to Roman Catholics the right of voting for Members to serve in parliament, or admitting them to any participation in the Government of the kingdom, is incompatible with the safety of the Protestant establishment, the continuance of the succession to the Crown in the illustrious House of Hanover, and must finally tend to shake, if not destroy our connection with Great Britain, on the continuance and inseparability of which depends the happiness and prosperity of this kingdom.

   Resolved, That we will oppose every attempt towards such a dangerous innovation, and that we will support with our lives and fortunes our present Constitution, and the settlement of the Throne on his Majesty’s Protestant House.

         Mathew Plunkett, Sheriff.

John Foster,Richard Cooper,
Thomas Henry Foster,Francis Manning,
Richard Dawson,Thomas Lee,
John Wm Foster,Wm. Shiels,
John McClintock, jun.[-ai-] Brabazon,
Mathew Fortescue,Christopher Garston,
Wm. Ruxton,Robert Brown,
James Tisdall,Francis Eastwood,
O’Brien Belingham,Ross Moore,
Francis Tipping,Thomas Benson,
Wm. Brabazon,Wallop Brabazon.

In the town of Drogheda which is now part of the administrative County Louth the civil authorities there, at the assizes held in the town from 10 September 1792, stated:- 


Summer Assizes, 1792.

We, the High Sheriff and Grand Jury of said Town and County, having experienced the many blessings of a Protestant Government, should deem ourselves unpardonable and undeserving a continuance of such happiness, if we did not express our strong disapprobation of a Letter, signed Edward Byrne, in the name of a Roman Catholic Sub-Committee, tending, in our judgment, to disturb the tranquillity of this kingdom.

   At such a crisis, it becomes, all honest men to speak their sentiments boldly and without reserve: - Not yielding to any in principles of charity and brotherly affection, we feel ourselves happy in the many advantages and privileges which have lately been given to the Roman Catholics of Ireland; but at the same time we are decided in our opinion, that the Elective Franchise cannot be granted to them, without endangering the Protestant Establishment, which we are bound to maintain, and will defend to our last moments.

We rely on our gracious Sovereign and his Parliament, that they will not consent to any measures which may in any degree, alarm the faithful Protestants of Ireland, or weaken the strength of our present most excellent and happy Constitution.

                   B. Vanhomrigh,
                   F.G. Fairtlough

 }  Sheriff.
Wm. Meade Ogle, Foreman,John Leigh,
George Schoales,Henry Coddington,
Roger Ford,Thomas Foster,
John Ackland,N. Coddington,
Edward Hardman,Ralph Smith,
Oliver Fairtlough,Hampden Nicholson,
Oliver Fairtlough, Wm.Francis Elliott,
William Gibbons,William Graham,
Maurice Barlow,John Fairtlough,
James Schoales,Ed. Wilmot.

(Source: Freeman’s Journal dated 15 September 1792, p.4, National Library of Ireland microfilm. The above was extracted in 2008 but in more recent times above newspaper is available online).


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© MP McConnon, MC Research Service, Seabank, Castlebellingham, Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland
(Original uploaded 20 March 2014) Last update 29 May 2018.