John McCullagh May 8, 2006
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Certainly Castlereagh and Isaac Corry were co-conspirators in the betrayal of Ireland that resulted in the Act of Union – and shortly after, more happily, in the end of the infamous political career at least of the latter.

Castlereagh prospered on the larger stage of British politics.

For some unfathomable reason our City Fathers – and their chosen ‘local historians’ – wish to reiterate endlessly the conjecture that Derramore House – the ‘yella house’ locally – the then home of Isaac Corry, who served English interests for a few short years as Chancellor of the Irish Exchequer, and who had constructed the road that still bears the name of his Office – in order to avoid, it is said, any chance meeting with his Newry constituents! – was the location where ‘The Act of Union was signed’ – or ‘the deeds thereof’, or whatever. Most recently this cant was delivered through the mouth of John Daly in the TV brief, ‘A Short History of Newry’, advised by Anne Smith and Anthony Russell of the Old Newry Society. John also went on at length about the Newry Highwayman – whoever that fictional character might have been!

Doubtless there were occasions when the two Northerners on their way to the Parliament in Dublin rested here awhile to hatch and discuss some of their devious and corrupt plans to bribe and cajole their former parliamentary colleagues into espousing their treachery! 

 But the very suggestion that such a momentous document was signed, sealed and delivered in Bessbrook is simply beyond belief.

As a tourist ‘catch’, it is laughable.


More realistically, the following is recorded by Viscount Cloncurry in his ‘Personal Recollections’ of that time:

‘I graduated in Arts in the year 1795. As it happened, it was on the day on which my father entertained the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Westmorland, for the first time at Mornington House, a residence in Merrion Street which he had just purchased at a cost of

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