John Rea Born: 1822, Millfield area of Belfast Died: May 17, 1881 – suicide by gunshot Father: Francis REA Mother: Married: Never married A man of many parts, he served nine months in Kilmainham Jail in 1848. He defended John Mitchel, acted for the Catholics after “Dolly’s Brae” and defended Michael Davitt in in 1879 […]
The smutty and libellous doggerel quoted below, and widely published at the time, demonstrates the extent to which the ‘establishment’ would go in 1832 to blacken the emerging Catholic political class.
The list of names of Catholic Newry electors (2/2) of 1832 reproduced here is more interesting in a variety of ways to us 180 years later, than was its original intent (which was to intimidate Catholic electors who had failed to vote for the Catholic Dennis Maguire).
The following list of names of allegedly recalcitrant Catholic electors of the Borough of Newry in the 1832 election to Parliament (Imperial) was printed and produced to punish, by intimidation, those who had failed to wrest the seat from the agents of the landlord, the Earl of Downshire.
As we await with some anxiety the coming Orange marching season and especially Tuesday’s threatened Ardoyne confrontation, we recall the dreadful events of 1886 when Gladstone’s Home Rule bill was in the offing and rabble-rousers like Rev Hugh Hanna were stirring up emotions.
It isn’t easy to define why one is left with a vaguely dissatisfied feeling at the conclusion of the Young Ireland: Rebels and Loyalists display/lecture/musical nights series. But it is important to try.