Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

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Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:27 am

I am interested in Michael G. Considine, who lived in Ennis 1814 – 1884, and was famous for his dedication to the memory of Daniel O’Connell. Michael was buried in the Abbey in Ennis, which was a great honour. He did not marry, but his brother Joseph married and had at least three children (I found three baptisms in the Drumclift register). Joseph’s son, Michael, a house-painter, lived in Brewery Lane. He also married and had a son, Joseph, and daughter, Mary Kate. The children of Mary Kate (Burke) and Joseph are mentioned here: http://www.ennisns.ie/index.php/87-news ... nash-photo.

This Considine family kept a coat, which Daniel O’Connell had presented to Michael G. (the “G” stands for “Griffey”) Considine.
About 1960, Mick Considine (the son of Joseph II) gave the coat to Clare museum http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/clarem ... r_coat.htm, and this is now on display (I think*): http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/clarem ... l_coat.htm

A short but very informative article by Larry Brennan appeared in the Clare Champion April 11th 2014 (google “As they were: Michael G. Considine”), and, having read it, I would like to read more about Michael G. Considine.

Unfortunately, Michael was treated very mockingly in a piece on Ennis in "Disturbed Ireland: Being the Letters Written During the Winter of 1880-81” by Bernard H. Becker, who was Special Commissioner of the "Daily News" – see http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... becker.htm

This piece of writing seems to have stuck to Michael G. to the detriment of everything else. I would like to read more about him – any suggestions very welcome.


* There seems to be another coat of with a different provenance: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/clarem ... t_home.htm

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by smcarberry » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:49 pm


I don't know if someone else found this obituary and already provided its contents elsewhere, but I am posting it to ensure you have it. Back in a July 11, 2011 posting, I gave a link to the Google News Archive in which I had found The Irish Canadian, a Toronto ONT newspaper. I saved most of the obituary for Michael G. Considine (although I posted 3 others, three being the limit for such things at that time). You can access the News Archive directly to see the end of the obit.

Sharon Carberry
Michael Considine, Ennis, 75, 1884.jpg
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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:30 pm

Hi Sharon,

Thank you for that report describing the funeral of Michael G. Considine. It occupies most of the “Clare Notes” on pg. 8 of the newspaper. The attachment captures almost all of it. There’s just a few more lines: “..and among the clergymen present were – Rev. Father White, O.S.F., Ennis; Rev. Father Fitzmorris, O.S.F., do, Rev. J. Loughnane, C.C., Clarecastle; the Rev. Mr. Carey, C.C., ennis; Rev. Father Kelly, P.P., Killaloe Diocesan College; Rev. D. Fogarty, Rev. A. Clancy, K.D.C., &c., &c.. The demonstration numbered fully seven thousand persons, and as each monument was passed the vast procession paused with uncovered heads. Delegates were present from Limerick, and all classes and sects joined in tribute to the memory of as good an Irishman as we have lost for a long time.”

Belated thanks for that link to The Irish Canadian, https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... de=2&hl=en, which you gave back in July 11th 2011, under the subject title: “The Irish Canadian newspaper with a Clare column”: http://www.ourlibrary.ca/phpbb2/viewtop ... f=1&t=2880


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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:56 am

Hi Sheila

During the search for the missing Thomas McNamara of Glandree you had provided a link to the Phd thesis by C. Maguire: "Peasants into Patriots: Instruments of Radical Politicisation in Clare 1800-1907" (Mary Immaculate College Research Repository, 2001) :


The thesis is very interesting, but at just under 300 pages, perhaps you missed that Michael G Considine gets a considerable mention on pages 168 to 170, here are some excerpts:
M. G. Considine, shoemaker, became a popular political figure in the town of Ennis, when he was appointed secretary of the local Trades body, in 1850. As secretary of the Trades, it was apparent that Considine gained a place for himself in almost every political event. He was a popular leader at political rallies, including those organised by the Amnesty Movement and the Land League (in its initial years) as well as being responsible for the inauguration of two major nationalist public memorials – the O'Connell monument (1865) and Manchester Martyrs Monument (1886).

. . . Other men of influence were of far more humble origins, yet they used their work milieu for political evangelisation. One such man was secretary of the Ennis Trades, Michael Considine of High Street, Ennis. Older than many other politically influential locals (he could remember O'Connell's campaigns), he was a well-read man, evidently self-taught, whose occupation facilitated his political involvement. Due to the long working days and the sedentary nature of his work, the shoemaker would have had had plenty of time to discuss issues with his customers. Such was evident in later oral accounts of the 1920s which recalled that the shoemaker was "always sitting on a chair, he had no need to move all day long and often into the night if he had a customer waiting". This, in addition to the fact that the shoemaker was without an overseer, granted him licence to discuss whatever issues arose in his head, without the concern of losing his job. Considine certainly exercised this freedom in the press over the course of several decades by writing endless letters to the editor regarding political issues, which led to his being accused by the local conservative press of having too much free rein.
Michael Considine died in 1884, his death record states his occupation as "news agent". I believe that is more likely to have been his occupation during his period of high political involvement. He is not listed as a "boot and shoemaker" in Slater's Directory for Ennis for 1870 or 1881 (at Clare Library). There are many adverts in the Freeman's Journal from 1861 through 1866 that read:
Mr. MICHAEL CONSIDINE, News Agent, can supply
the FREEMAN'S JOURNAL daily on the arrival of the Three
o'clock trains.
I reckon being a news agent would have facilitated his political involvement much easier than if he had been a shoe maker. You buy a newspaper daily, and only visit a shoemaker on the odd occasion. Plus, being the distributor for The Freeman's Journal might explain why his "endless letters to the editor regarding political issues" were frequently published.

Below is an early speech by Michael G Considine from 1858 that was published in the Irish American newspaper of New York. The speech protesting the placement of a Russian cannon in Ennis is fairly incendiary, which is probably why I could not find it reported in any Irish or British newspaper.
British "Trophies" - "Russian Guns"

On the evening of the evening of the 19th ult., a public meeting was held in Ennis. About one thousand men assembled, comprising the trades and working classes, with many of the freeholders, shopkeepers and mercantile men of the town, all animated with a love of their country and a desire to redress her injuries.

Mr. Stephen Molony having been called to the chair,

Mr. Michael Considine came forward and said - Men of Ennis, we assemble here this evening, legally and constitutionally, to condemn the conduct of our Town Council, in introducing a "Russian gun" to our town as a British trophy (hear, hear). Do they want us to believe falsehoods? Cannot the trades of Ennis read and judge matters as well as the Town Council? (Hear, hear.) Were not the English hunted from the Redan, whilst the French took the Malakoff? (Hear, hear.) Is not this gun the result of French valor and not of British courage? Have we not in Ennis a British trophy? Look at our old Abbey; look at Quin Abbey, and Clare Abbey. We not those noble monuments of antiquity destroyed and left in ruins by the hands of the English? Are not those British trophies sufficient for the Ennis Town Councilors? (Groans.) Men of Ennis, are they not capable of drawing tears of sorrow from every Irishman when he looks on the once magnificent, but now ruined religious fanes of our old land? I ask the Town Council have they not heard of the streets of Drogheda, where the child was seen sucking the paps of its dead mother, after the carnage of five days; of Mullaghmast and the cross of Wexford, where 400 women were slaughtered by Cromwell's army; and are not these spots better fitted for the Russian gun than the Catholic town of Ennis? As long as England holds us a nation of slaves, unable to make our own laws and protect our own trade and commerce, we will not sympathise in her victories (cheers). Whilst our country is in this state, we believe that every English victory is a rivet to strengthen the chains that bind us. You, people of Ennis, are aware that our Town Council did not sign the requisition for the county meeting for the O'Connell Monument, as a corporate body; because a few mongrel Protestants and some of the old Williamite descendants said that the name of O'Connell was a political question! I don't blame the Protestant party for standing to their guns like men; but I blame those Catholics, who remained silent and did not speak out like men (groans). I ask, did not this very Town Council discuss the Model Schools, and the Erasmus Smith's Schools, and this Russian gun: and these they did not term political questions (hear, hear). I ask you, are you satisfied - do you agree with the Town Council in accepting this gun from the political hands of the Borough Member, J.D. Fitzgerald, while his tongue is stained with the language of vituperation against the priests of the Catholic Church, and the Catholic people of Ireland, stigmatized by him as ignorant and superstitious (repeated groaning and cries of "We will burn his effigy!") - Men of Ennis, whilst we admit our loyalty to the throne we will never give up our national spirit. We do not forget that two millions of our countrymen were famished (groans). I tell the Town Council to plant this gun on the graveyards of Kilrush, or Shanakyle (groans). After a lengthened address the speaker then proposed the following resolution, which passed unanimously:

Resolved - That we consider the conduct of our Town Council in introducing a Russian gun to Ennis as a miscalled British trophy, to be an insult offered to the Catholic and patriotic spirit of the men of this town; and that there are none more worthy of public censure than those men who, calling themselves Catholics, support this act; that whilst, we admit our loyalty to the throne, we cannot sympathize with England in her victories so long as we are a nation unable to make our own laws or protect our trade or commerce.

Mr. Stephen Molony having been moved from the chair, and Mr. Edmond Molony called thereto, the thanks of the meeting were given to the former amid loud applause, and the meeting separated, cheering for W.S. O'Brien.

Irish American, New York, 24 July 1858
The British sent the numerous cannon, seized at Sevastopol (1854-1855) during the Crimean War, throughout the British Empire. See listing here (section 3):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_ ... pol_cannon

The cannon outside the Ennis courthouse is the only one in the Republic of Ireland; there are three or four in Northern Ireland. Those in England and Scotland were frequently melted down during the Second World War. The French used 213 cannon seized at Sevastopol to create an incredibly large statue of the Virgin Mary in the city of Le Puy-en-Velay.

Michael G. Considine was known to have been a very well read man and most likely chose his words carefully in protesting the placement of a cannon in Ennis. His comment "were not the English hunted from the Redan" was a true statement, but ignored the fact that there would have been a high percentage of Irish born troops fighting along with the British forces. And "whilst the French took the Malakoff", he missed the opportunity to state that the general of the French forces at Malakoff, General Patrice MacMahon, was of Irish descent. Considine asked "Is not this gun the result of French valor and not of British courage? " Neither. The cannon in Ennis is the result of Irish valor and Irish courage:


edit: fix typo
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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:39 am

Hi Jim

Thanks for that interesting piece on Michael G. Considine. Although he made his livelihood by selling newspapers, he seems to have been a member of the shoemakers trade guild. About the time that I made my posting, I found a few thumbnails of newspaper items by looking at the British newspaper site recommended by Paddy Casey: http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ :

Tuesday 9th Aug. 1864. Freeman’s Journal, p, 2,3,5,6,7. “O’Connell” “…Trades of Ennis: Mr. Michael Considine (who wore a green uniform), represented the trades of Ennis, and had a seat in the carriage of the shoemakers of the town”

Tuesday 2nd Jan.1872. Freeman’s Journal, p. 2,3. “London Correspondence” The Ennis train brought up the band of the congregated trades, headed by the secretary, Mr. Michael Considine, who was dressed in the old green uniform of O’Connell’s Repeal Association”

Thursday 10th Jan. 1878, Freeman’s Journal. P 7. The Released Political Prisoners. …a magnificent torchlight procession, organised and carried out by Mr. Michael G. Considine, secretary of the trades ..”

Monday 6th Nov. 1882, Freeman’s Journal, p 6. “The Representation of Ennis” .” Mr. Michael Considine said the nation called upon them to adopt the candidate recommended by Mr. Parnell”

I think the candidate recommened by Parnell in 1882 might have been James Lysaght Finigan, but not sure about this as the Wikipedia entry for him says he retired in 1882. ‘Parnell in Clare’ by Ignatius Murphy in The Other Clare, Vol. 13, 1989, mentions James Lysaght Finigan is as the candidate recommended by Parnell at the by-election in 1879, and he was still M.P. for Clare in 1880 when Parnell made his famous speech in Ennis. Murphy says,

A huge crowd which was estimated at 30,000 poured into Ennis for the meeting and when Parnell and Lysaght Finigan, the local M.P, arrived at the unusual hour of 4 a.m. they were escorted through the town by a torchlight procession. The tone of the meeting was set by the mottoes on the arches which spanned the streets, ‘You bet we’ll win’, ‘What’s trumps?’, ‘Tis near the dawn’, Ireland a nation’, ‘Ireland no longer asleep’. On this occasion the reception Parnell got from the priests was very different from his first visit in July 1879. The meeting was chaired by Father Matt Kenny of Scariff, while there were at least ten other priests on the platform which had been erected under the O’Connell Monument. Father Thomas Molony attracted particular attention. Having retired as chaplain in the British Army with the rank of colonel he had returned to his native Ennis and now took his place on the platform wearing ‘several medals, the Crimean, the Indian Mutiny, the Turkish medal, the Scandinavian and a decoration pro valore’.

Jim, Michael Considine is mentioned on page 17 of the long search for Thomas McNamara: http://www.ourlibrary.ca/phpbb2/viewtop ... &start=240. At the opening of Barefield church in 1871, Considine made an address to Fr. Lavelle, the famous nationalist priest from Co. Mayo. He speaks of Archbishop McHale (of Tuam) as the “Lion in the fold of Judah” – the title given to McHale by Daniel O’Connell. I’ve attached the full address as reported in some newspaper at the time, but I'm afraid I didn’t note which one.

Thanks to your posting, I realise now that the subject of an article ‘From Russian Gun to O’Connell Monument’, by Ignatius Murphy in The Other Clare, Vol. 5, 1981, must be Michael G. Considine. Vol. 5 is one of the volumes I don't have, so I must look it up in the Ennis library some day.

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:33 am

Well, I see now the article that had brought James Lysaght Finigan to my mind, as being associated with Michael Considine: it’s ‘The Political career of James Lysaght Finigan MP, 1879-1882’ by Joe Power (in The Other Clare, Vol 40, 2016). Joe Power writes:
Besides supporting the tenant farmers in their demands, Finigan also supported the rights of the labouring classes. In a letter addressed to Michael G. Considine, Secretary of the Ennis Trades, he stated that ‘the leading defect of the Land Bill was the omission of all attempts to deal with the wretched condition of the agricultural labourers and the right of labourers to receive a just wage’. (ref: Clare Journal, 9 May 1881).
According to that article, Lysaght Finigan retired on 19 August 1882. So I don't know who it was that Michael Considine was supporting in November.


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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:12 am

Hi Jim

I looked at the record of the death of Michael Considine (23. 04.1884) and I noticed that he is described as a Widower (I had thought he was unmarried). The informant is his nephew, Michael Considine. Then I looked on the Ennis parish genealogy site (http://www.ennisparish.com/genealogy/) for a marriage that might fit and saw one for a Michael Considine and Mary Allen on 09.06.1852. This corresponds to the entry in the Drumcliff register for the marriage of Michael Considine, Shoemaker, to Mary Allen, both of Ennis, in the presence of Daniel Tuohy and Thomas Finn. I doubt if we will ever know for sure if this was Michael G., but when I looked for the death of a Mary Considine I found the death of Mary Considine on 13.12.1882 (registered in March 1883) of Bank Place, Ennis, married, aged 68, wife of a shoemaker; informant: M. G. Considine, husband, present at death, Bank Place. Bank Place is a street leading from the square in Ennis and connecting to Bindon Street.
I looked at the baptisms on the above site and found no baptisms for Michael Considine and Mary Allen.

Thanks Jim for drawing my attention to the record of Michael’s death – it has led me to find Mary. Whether she was Mary Allen is another question, but I think there’s a good possibility that she was. As her death came before Michael’s, she was probably buried in Drumcliff and not in the Abbey. Michael Considine, the nephew of Michael G., lived in Brewery Lane and died on 21.05.1924, aged 77. The Drumcliff burial register shows that he was buried in Drumcliff (No. 645). The record of his death shows that the informant was his granddaughter, Cecelia Burke. I found no record of the death of Susan, but the register shows the burial of Susan Considine, Fergus Row (a new name for Brewery Lane), who died on 17th Oct. 1929, aged 82 - The register is quite faded in places, so I hope I have that right. The inscriptions for Drumcliff old graveyard do not show a headstone for these Considines - it may be that there is a headstone that's now too weathered to read.

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:19 am

Hi Sheila,

In November 1882, Parnell had recommended "M J Kenny", the nephew of the Rev. Kenny, Parish Priest of Scariff, to replace Lysaght Finigan. M J Kenny, who had been living in Manchester, gave a very long speech, followed by a long speech by Mr. Redmond, M.P., followed by this short resolution:
The Chairman said the resolution now to be proposed to them was -

That, acting upon the recommendation of Mr. Parnell, we adopt M J Kenny as the national candidate, and pledge ourselves to make every effort to secure his triumphant return.

Mr. Michael Considine said the nation called upon them to adopt the candidate recommended by Mr. Parnell. Mr. Considine bore in his hand a Clare Volunteer Flag of 1782, and its production was greeted with immense cheers.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 6 November 1882
Michael G. Considine was a much more controversial figure in the late 1850's and appeared to have mellowed considerably by the 1880's. The speech from my last posting that was printed in the Irish American on 24th of July 1858 appears to have been his stump speech that he had used previously. And upon further review, this speech was reported in British newspapers such as the The Morning Chronicle of London whose article of 2nd of July 1858 was entitled "A New Irish Grievance - A Russian Gun".

In February 1858, Michael Considine had used the same lines about Mullacmast and Drogheda to protest the placement of a Russian gun in Ennis in a speech that was reported in the New York Tablet on 13 March 1858. He comes off as a real defender of the working class, telling "them that the poor shoneens of Ennis should not look on the meeting of the trades and working class as a thing inferior because they were working men. The working class should come out like men, legally and constitutionally, and do their own work, and not let themselves be made footstools to those gentlemen to get to power who are daily betraying them." He then goes on to sarcastically thank the "borough member for sending a Russian gun to their town as a British trophy" (The New York Tablet, 13 March 1858). His June 1858 speech (the one reported in July) was more bold and actually named the borough member as J.D. Fitzgerald and the audience cried "burn his effigy!". And that is exactly what happened on the 14th of March 1859.


It was rumored throughout the town during the day that the effigy of Mr. Fitzgerald, the member for the borough, was to be burned, and accordingly everyone was on the qui vive. The rumour struck so much terror into the hearts of the followers of the right hon. member that one of them had recourse to the expedient of going before a magistrate and swearing an information that the proceedings were likely to lead to a breach of the peace; the result was that the Sub-Inspector, Mr. Heard, proceeded in person to some of the known favourites of the people, and cautioned them that they would be held responsible for the consequences. This responsibility was unhesitatingly adopted. No doubt whatever was felt that everything would be conducted in the most peaceable and legal manner, and that the borough member's effigy would get at least a fair trial. There would be no jury packing - the panel being fairly and freely made out. Above all, it was agreed upon, that nothing beyond the real facts should be stated by the prosecuting counsel. All this would be supposed to be fair enough; yet, a body of police was placed under arms, at the command of the sub-inspector and resident magistrate, ready at a moment's notice to bear down on all or any who might be guilty of the slightest aggression on the peace of the town. At a quarter to eight o'clock large numbers could be seen moving in the direction of Market Street, and in a few minutes after two large barrels were brought forward and set alight. After some time the effigy of the borough member came forth and was received with several rounds of hisses and groans. The figure represented a barrister, in wig and gown, and the other appurtenances usually borne in courts of justice. In the right hand was a large paper, folded up, upon which were the words, "Brief on behalf of the Crown against the traversers, Rev. Messrs. Conway and Ryan. Fee, £____." By some agency, resembling that of "Punch and Judy," or what might be used in an ordinary play-house, the figure was stirred in a declaiming attitude, gesticulating strongly against priestly interference in politics, elections, &c. The barrels were then hoisted upon bearers, the effigy taking a middle place, and an immense procession was formed, which could not consist of less than 2,000 to 3,000 persons. The numbers were greatly augmented as they proceeded through Jail Street, Church Street, and back to High Street, where the immense crowd stopped before the house of Michael Considine, and repeatedly called upon him to address them, which he did. The procession then moved on as before, and having formed a circle, placed the tar barrels on the ground, and consigned the effigy of Mr. Fitzgerald to the flames, amidst the groans and hisses of the assembled multitude. Thus ended one of the most extraordinary scenes which has ever been witnessed in this town. The people then walked quietly to their homes.-- Munster News.

Belfast New Letter, 21 March 1859
The burning of the effigy of the Right Hon. J.D. Fitzgerald appears to have upset the gentlemen and professional classes of Ennis. On the following Monday, the 21st of March, they called a meeting of the Electors of the Borough of Ennis to condemn the 14th of March attack on their fellow borough member. They also referenced a meeting on St. Patrick's Day, which had been called to discuss the erection of the O'Connell Monument, and appears to have been hijacked by a certain someone. Michael G. Considine was not named in the condemnation but surely he is one of the "few disorderly characters" whose conduct the electors deemed to have been "calculated to mar the success of the object of that meeting - the erection of a Testimonial to the memory of O'Connell by the people of Clare".

WE, the undersigned Electors of the Borough of Ennis, hereby request the Electors of the Town to meet on THIS EVENING (Monday), at Eight o'clock at Mr. PEARSON'S ROOMS, for the purpose of marking their condemnation of the proceedings carried on in the town, by a few disorderly persons, on the night of Monday, the 14th instant, and of the unjustifiable attack made on our Borough Member, at the meeting on Patrick's Day, and to express their unabated confidence in the Right Hon. J. D. Fitzgerald.

Monday, 21st March, 1859

[names appear in newspaper in two columns; I've transcribed by row, right to left]. . .

Michael M'Namara, junr; John Meehan; J.H. Milward; James Magrath; William Molony; Thomas Fitzgerald; Marcus Talbot; Patrick Molony; Michael Molony; William Ryan; Michael Lysaght; Michael Murray; John B. Knox; Michael Shannon; John M'Grath; James Bannatyne, jun.; James Leyden; John Kennedy; Matthew Kenny; Edmond Finucane; John Cangley; Martin Reidy; John Kerlin; John Petty; Owen Tuohy; Michael Macnamara, sen.; James Curtin; Michael M'Namara, Jail-st.; John Parsons; Richard Molony; Michael Kerin; Daniel Tuohy; Timothy Bunton; Francis Lally; James Burke; William Carroll; Andrew Molony; C.B. Molony; John Leary; Samuel Burgess; William Kean; Thomas Downes; Andrew Lysaght; John Considine, Church-st.; Walter Lysaght; William Cahill; Thomas Raleigh; E. P. Considine; John Curtin; Thomas M'Mahon; Michael Rynnne; M. Greene; Alexander Bannatyne; G. W. O'Brien; E.J. Bannatyne; Michael O'Dea; Thomas Meehan; John Mahon; Michael Carmody; George Trousdell; Patrick Kennedy; Michael Cullinan; Richard Pearson; John F. Cullinan; John Malone; Henry Hograve; Michael Curtin; James Mahon; Patrick Barry; Charles Mahon; J.C. Ryall; Richard Sweeney; Robert Magrath; John Frost; Michael Barry; Daniel M'Donnell; Patrick Hickey; John Shaw; William Lardner; Francis Keane, Jail-street; John O'Brien; Henry Bolton; Peter Mungovan; Michael Fitzmaurice; John Maguire; Patrick Roughan; John O'Halloran; Morgan M'Inerheny; Morty Howly; James M'Grath, High-st.; William Rickards; Patrick M'Inerheny; Martin O'Flanagan; Denis Flanagan

In pursuance of the above requisition, a Meeting, numerously attended, was held in Pearson's large room on the evening named,

MARCUS TALBOT, Esq., in the Chair,
the following Resolutions were adopted unanimously:-

"That the Electors of Ennis at the Meeting, called by public requisition, hereby mark their condemnation of the proceedings carried on through the town on the night of the 14th Instant by a few disorderly characters, without influence or respectability; and thus they hereby express their disapprobation of the attack made at the meeting on Patrick's Day, on the representative of the borough, an uncalled for and unjustifiable, and calculated to mar the success of the object of that meeting - the erection of a Testimonial to the memory of O'Connell by the people of Clare.

"That we have hitherto refrained from giving expression to our indignation at the unworthy attempts that have been made to malign our borough representative, knowing the insignificance and the motives of the parties with whom these attempts originated; but, in consequence of misrepresentations which have appeared in certain newspapers, and which are calculated to mislead persons living outside the borough, we now think it necessary to express our undiminished confidence in our valued representative the Right Hon. J.D. Fitzgerald" (applause).

Mr. Talbot having left the Chair, and M. KERIN, Esq., being called hereto, a vote of thanks was proposed, and passed unanimously, to Mr. Talbot for his conduct of the Chair.


The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 26 March 1859
When first reading the above, I thought the long list of names were those "electors" of Ennis who actually attended the meeting on the evening of the 21st of March of 1859. But more likely the listing was only the electors of Ennis who were "requisitioned" to attend the meeting. And the meeting was "numerously attended" but not necessarily by all the men listed in the article. Maybe it was meant to be confusing to overstate the level of confidence in the Right Hon. J.D. Fitzgerald?

Michael Considine paid the electors' condemnation no heed and continued his attacks on Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald.
ENNIS BOROUGH. - Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald, in offering himself for re-election for this borough, says: - "I am for a comprehensive extension of the elective franchise in both counties and boroughs, so as to include the intelligent and industrious classes at present excluded from the benefits of the constitution. I retain the opinion formed at the general election of 1852, and confirmed by subsequent experience, that to render an extended franchise valuable, its exercise should be protected by 'The Ballot.' " The Clare Journal says: - "A large crowd, summoned by the bellman, assembled on Tuesday night round the house of Mr. Michael Considine, shoemaker, of Ennis, whom he addressed from one of the windows at some length on the present political state of affairs in the borough, and called on the people to show themselves worthy of the name of being men of Clare - the men who won the great battle of civil and religious liberty of 1828. Mr. Considine then dwelt on the political shortcomings of the present representative, whom he denounced in all the moods and tenses as one who 'had prosecuted the clergy, and declared before God, before them all, and under the blue vault of heaven, that as sure as Mr. Fitzgerald hunted Father Conway, so himself would be hunted and driven out of Ennis, and called on his audience to authorise him to sign an address on their behalf, calling on Captain W. Stackpoole to stand for the borough, to which the crowd responded with cries of 'We will! we will!.' After some other remarks, in which Mr. Considine returned thanks to Dr. George O'Brien and Dr. Healy for their attendance on the occasion, and some others whose names we could not catch, the crowd, who seemed to enjoy the fun, dispersed in the utmost good humour. Captain Stackpoole declines to stand."

The Morning Post, London, 12 April 1859
The above 1859 newspaper article is the first reference that I found that the occupation of Michael Considine reported as a "shoemaker". Sheila, I doubt that Ennis was large enough to have two shoemakers named Michael Considine, especially given his outsized character, and that Michael G. Considine was most certainly the shoemaker who married Mary Allen in 1852.

The "Riches of Clare" link to the coat of Daniel O'Connell states that a bronze harp attached to the coat was given to him "on a later date by supporters in New York when he visited that city to raise funds for the O’Connell Monument in Ennis". There are plenty of newspaper reports of Michael Considine in Dublin and throughout the rest of Ireland raising funds for the O'Connell Monument, the speeches were heavily reported in New York, but none of him actually visiting America.
http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/clare ... l_coat.htm

I've just stumbled upon this book "The Crimean War and Irish Society" by Paul Huddie (Liverpool University Press, 2015). Using the below link, "Search inside" for "Michael Considine", then select page 82, and there is a paragraph on the Russian gun in Ennis and the "fervent nationalist" Michael Considine. The author wrote that "the storm of protest against the Russian gun, which began in January 1858, had actually ceased by the end of the following month after the council decided to place it elsewhere, and the official inauguration ceremony seems to have been a pleasant affair." But at least for Michael Considine, from his speech in June 1858 and then the burning of the effigy of J.D. Fitzgerald in March 1859 (unfortunately, we don't have details on this speech), I don't believe he was so quick to let go of this fight. He appears very stubborn. Michael Considine's purpose of making such a big issue of the Russian gun in Ennis appears mainly to have been a political attack on the Right Hon. J. D. Fitzgerald.

https://books.google.com/books/about/Th ... HgsgEACAAJ

"The Crimean War and Irish Society" looks very interesting and has many photographs. Including on page 84 a photo of one of the two Russian cannon in Tralee, County Kerry which stands on a large and handsome podium with the names, rank, and units of those County Kerry men who died in the Crimea; the second Russian cannon sits upon a similar pedestal to commemorate the Indian Mutiny and Second Opium War. Michael Considine wouldn't approve, but I think it's a pity that the County Clare men (and maybe a few nurses) who died during the Crimean War aren't listed somewhere on the Russian cannon outside the Ennis courthouse. Anyways, clearly the cannon in Ennis is not the only Russian cannon in the Republic of Ireland that I was made to believe by the wikipedia listing of my last posting. From Dr. Huddie's research there are also many Crimean monuments throughout Ireland that do not involve Russian cannons. He has an appendix that lists all the monuments, but this page is not available on google preview. Sheila, you will have to buy the book, available here:
https://www.liverpooluniversitypress.co ... 781382547/

The website "Irish War Memorials" has photos of one of the Russian cannon in Tralee. The Russian cannon in Ennis did not make their listing. The "Ross Lewin" monument at St Columba's Church in Ennis was the only Crimea related monument in County Clare listed:


And it appears that there might be other Russian guns in Ireland that have been squirreled away like the one in County Laois. In the same article in the Leinster Express , Paul Huddie makes reference to still another Russian gun that stands outside the Carlow Courthouse (there's a nice photo on google maps):

https://www.leinsterexpress.ie/news/fea ... n-gun.html

edit 1: highlight Ennis electors John Considine of Church Street and father-in-law William Rickards
Last edited by Jimbo on Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:27 am

Hi Jim

Thanks for all the work you have done on Michael Considine. Thanks for recommending The Crimean War and Irish Society by Paul Huddle – I will try get that book. The burning of the effigy reminded me of the effigy scene in The Mayor of Casterbridge (chapter 39), although that was a bringing down of two people who had got a bit above themselves and was social rather than political.

Well, I’ve now read Ignatius Murphy’s article, ‘From Russian Gun to O’Connell Monument’ (The Other Clare, Vol. 5, 1986), and his introduction sets the scene very well:
In January 1858 Mr J. D. Fitzgerald, Attorney General for Ireland and M.P. for Ennis, along with the Ennis Town Commisssioners accepted the British Government’s offer of a large Russian gun as a trophy of the recently concluded Crimean War. It was intended to erect this gun on the site occupied by the old Courthouse which had been demolished a few years previously. Immediately there was a storm of protest in which Michael Considine, secretary of the Ennis Tradesmen, played a very prominent part. The Clare Independent wrote 30 years later of his role: “He harangued and organized and agitated during a course of six weeks till he gained his point. His platform was a sugar barrel – his hearers the assembled townspeople.” The main reason for the protest was the proposed siting of the gun as the Courthouse had been the scene of O’Connell’s great election victory in 1828. To add fuel to the fire, Mr. Fitzgerald, as Attorney General, was at this time engaged in the prosecution of two priests in Co. Mayo.
. Most of the rest of the article (just 2 pages) tells of the decision, then, to place the gun at the new courthouse (completed in 1850), and with the arrival of the gun. It had been deposited at the military barracks in Clarecastle and was brought quietly from there to Ennis during some night in the month of June. There was an official inauguration on 5th July, which, according to Murphy, “seems to have been a pleasant affair without any unpleasant incidents”. He quotes the report by the Clare Freeman: “Nearly all the gentry and the great majority of the shopkeepers and respectable householders of all sects and parties were present. Indeed the appearance of the assemblage afforded the most pleasing proof of the cordlal manner in which the inhabitants in general appreciated the honour conferred upon their town by this trophy gift. The learned professions of the town were very fully represented … The utmost hilarity and good humour pervaded the whole assemblage. It was indeed a gala day for Ennis …”

In the meantime the collection for the O’Connell monument had begun. Ignatius Murphy describes the difficulties encountered in getting the great stone (11.5 tons), from which the statue would be carved, from Ballinasloe to Dublin, and the difficulties encountered in funding the whole project, which caused it to be halted in 1863 and not resumed till 1865.

Jim, I don’t think Michael Considine went to America, but he fundraised in Scotland and England, as shown in the following excerpt from the introduction to the Report of the O’Connell Monument Committee, by Very Rev. John Canon O’Hanlon, P.P., Honorary Secretary; published by James Duffy and Co., Limited, 14 and 15 Wellington Quay, Dublin, in 1888: https://archive.org/details/3762908/page/n3 :
These circumstances connected with the initiation of this movement are somewhat interesting, and they may be briefly stated,before we proceed more immediately to narrate the inception and progress of the O'Connell Memorial. The people of Clare had undertaken the erection of a column, surmounted by a statue of the Liberator, on that very spot, where the Courthouse formerly stood in Ennis, and from which O'Connell's triumphant return as member of Parliament for the county of Clare had been proclaimed, in 1828. The moving and guiding spirit in this movement was an enthusiastic admirer of O'Connell,in an humble position of life, but greatly respected by his townsmen of Ennis. Then, Mr. Michael Considine was president of the united Trades, and having urged them to engage on the enterprise he meditated, this patriotic man commenced the collection of funds for a local Committee he was mainly instrumental in forming. A large, but an insufficient sum was subscribed by the townspeople, and by others residing within the County of Clare. The patriotic and Venerable Dean Kenny, then F.P. of Ennis, and the Catholic Clergy of the diocese of Killaloe, had generously contributed their 'money ; but, as the design for the column required a height of 67 feet, and the statue to surmount it was to be 9 feet in height additional, while the work to be erected was still in progress, and incomplete, the Committee found their means exhausted. At this time, the commercial and industrial resources of the town were greatly restricted and depressed. It was then resolved, that Mr. Considine be deputed to collect funds, in every large centre of population, where he was known. Accordingly, with unwearied zeal and activity, he visited various places, not only inIreland, but in England and Scotland.The last visit he made for the purpose was to Dublin, where the statue had been executed, in the studio of Mr. Cahill. A lithographed circular had been prepared by the Committee, and an engraving, which represented the design and proportions of the Ennis Monument, was prefixed. This appeal was headed, “The Voice of Clare.” [see below*]

Arriving in the Metropolis of Ireland, in 1862, Mr. Considine took an early occasion of waiting on Dr. — afterwards Sir John Gray, — and of representing to him the object he had in view. It is needless to state, that it was entirely in accordance with the feelings and sympathies of the patriotic gentleman addressed; nor were the aspirations of Mr. Considine and the Ennis Committee destined to be disappointed. Dr. John Gray heard patiently and with deep interest the story of an humble and of a self-sacrificing man, who had laboured hard on his mission, and who had economised to the very utmost the expense of his travels, so as to collect the requisite sum necessary to obtain the statue. It could not have been perfected, much less removed from the artist's studio, without funds to pay for it, and to prepare for the locality it was afterwards destined to adorn that noble monument, of which Ennis has now reason to feel so proud. The amount of £100, necessary to complete that statue of O'Connell, was wanting, and for such a sum, an appeal was made to the country, in September of the same year, through the columns of the Freeman's Journal. A very few days sufficed for its collection, as subscriptions began to pour in from various quarters, and those were contributed by different persons, having no local connexion with Clare. Success was thus assured, and with a readiness, which showed the fast hold O'Connell's memory had on the regards of the Irish people.
At the moment I am reading The Captain and the King, by Myles Dungan. “The Captain” is William O’Shea; “The King” is Charles Stewart Parnell. There are three references to Michael G. Considine. The first comes not long after the election of William O’Shea in 1880:
Some constituents had been hinting that they had some doubts about the man just chosen to represent them. At a local post-election rally in Ennis the local Secretary of Trades (the nearest thing in Victorian Ireland to a Union official) heaped plaudits on Parnell, Finigan and the O’Gorman Mahon. His praise for O’Shea was less fulsome. ‘We all feel confident’, he told the crowd, ‘that Captain O’Shea will … support that self-sacrificing patriot, Mr. Parnell, but should he not, the men of Ennis and Clare know what to do when provoked to anger.’(p 46)
Describing O’Shea as a quick learner, Dungan says that, in 1882,
In the manner of an American big city ‘ward heeler’ he [O’Shea] and the O’Gorman Mahon had their ‘precinct captains’, local factotums who looked after their interests on the ground. Two of the loyalists he shared with Mahon were Ennis-based businessman Edward Finucane and Michael G. Considine, local trades secretary and popularly known as ‘Dirty Mick’ [here Dungan quotes the description of Considine by B. Becker in Disturbed Ireland, which sneery remarks I cannot bring myself to repeat]. Considine deferred only to Mahon in his devotion to Daniel O’Connell. If Finucane was Mahon’s eyes in the constituency, Considine was his ears. (p 144)
The third reference is just a passing reference to the death of Michael Considine in 1884 (p 213).

The headstone** for Michael Considine in the Franciscan Abbey is not exactly on the site of his grave. A staff member very kindly showed me the headstone, although there was a tour of the Abbey in progress at the time, and he pointed out to me that the side of the headstone, with the name Considine still clear on it, can be seen from the street outside. At the Club Bridge, go directly across the street from 1916 monument, stop at the archway in the abbey wall and look to the left. It’s a busy spot, but when there’s a lull in the traffic the two monuments can talk across to each other.

*Here is the address; probably the handiwork of Michael Considine – it’s in his usual very flowery style:
To the Friends of Civil and Religious Liberty
Fellow – Men, - Thirty eventful years have passed away since this western County in Ireland was chosen as the ground on which freedom’s battle should be fought. In the memorable year of ’28, a Nation’s council committed to Clare a Nation’s destiny.
The wailing voice of an enslaved Church, and the clanking chains of millions, riveted by bigotry and intolerance, fell sadly on the ears of her sons, and in accents more thrilling than the trumpet sound bade them prepare for the dread but glorious struggle.
How cheerfully this call was responded to – how gallantly the men of Clare bore themselves during this period of trial – with what fortitude they braved threats and terrors more appalling than death; and how, subduing every passion and sentiment, save the divine aspiration for freedom, they struggled to realize the expectations of a nation, is for History and not for us to tell.
The battle is over and the victory is won. Many of the actors in that brilliant drama have passed away – and alas! our own glorious chieftain is no more – yet, no monument records that might event – no stone erected, marks the spot on which stood Ireland’s peerless tribune, whilst his genius, flashing like the lightning ‘mid the darkness of the storm, smote the demon of oppression, and whose voice, more potent than Heaven’s artillery, proclaimed to the world “Ireland is free!”
Fellow-men – This neglect should not, must not be. Had those events occurred at other times and in other lands, long since, honours, almost divine, should have rewarded the heroism of ’28, and pyramids in bronze should have rescued from oblivion the name and fame of one of the greatest men “that ever lived in the tide of times.”
The restorers of Athenian freedom fell in the struggle, but scarcely had they ceased to live, when fresh from the sculptor’s hand they stood forth again in breathing marble the silent but eloquent Apostles of Liberty, unto future generations.
But why allude to distant lands or to Grecian story whilst in our green isle yon towering columns that o’erlook our capital, raised to the victors of Trafalgar and Waterloo by the friends of British rule, proclaim our fallen state and teach us how to honour “the mighty dead.”
Irishmen, we have reason to blush for our apathy. It is true, indeed, that we have been too long wanting in our duty, both to the living and the dead.
But, better sentiments now prevail. The good work is begun – the men of Clare are again at their post. The last anniversary of Ireland’s national Saint saw assemble the good and the true of this historic County – and, in the face of man and under the azure dome of heaven’s canopy, solemnly declare the words of the resolutions – “That it is the first duty of a nation to honour the memory of its great men;” and again – “That a monument should be erected to O’Connell on that spot in Ennis, hallowed by the recollection of his first glorious triumph, calculated as well to record a nation’s gratitude as to transmit from age to age the public virtues, the ardent patriorism , and the bloodless victories, of Ireland’s Liberator.”
Fellow-men, that his testimonial may be worthy of the man and the event it commemorates; that it may suitably evince a nation’s gratitude: we are forced, nay it is right, to step beyond the limits of the locality, and appeal to a nation’s generosity.
To you, the venerated heads of our National Church – and you, the pastors of our people - to you, who exult in peaceful triumphs and glory in altars free, we appeal. To you, Catholic peers and Catholic senators, the first to enjoy the priceless blessings of Emancipation, we appeal. To you, fellow-citizens, whom a debasing code and the frenzied spirit of religious persecution long excluded from the very offices which your talents now dignify and your virtues adorn – to you - every creed – in every country and every clime – we urge our claims, with a strong hope and a pleasing confidence, that now, as in ’28, the Voice of Clare will make an echo in the bosom of every honest man.
**Headstone inscription:
Front: I n-díl chuimhne ar Mícheál MacConsaidín, Inis, a fuair bás Abrán 22, 1884. Do thóg Gaedhil an Chláir an leacht so sa bhliadhan 1924 as uct a méid omóis don fear a bhí go tír-grádhach dílis. Ar deis Dé go raibh a anam. Amen. (My translation: In faithful memory of Michael Considine, Ennis, who died April 22, 1884. The Gaels of Clare erected this stone in the year 1924 as a token of respect for a man who so faithfully loved his country. May his soul be on the right-hand of God. Amen)
Side: Michael G. Considine, who died 22 April 1884. Erected by his many friends to perpetuate the memory of an honest and patriotic Ennisman (all in capitals).

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:21 am

Hi Jim

I would like to edit out the references to the Irish Republican Brotherhood in that last posting; I’ve decided that there is nothing at all in what we have (so far) regarding Michael Considine that would suggest that he was influenced by the I.R.B., and I don’t want to distract, or stray from the subject of Michael Considine. But I don’t know how to edit anymore. I see that you have edited your first posting above. Can you give me a step-by-step, please?


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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:13 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks for going to the library and sharing information from the Other Clare article about the Russian gun and O'Connell monument. When you were at the Franciscan Abbey, did the staff member mention any controversy in Ennis about whether or not Michael Considine was even buried in the Abbey?

Regarding how to edit a posting, you first must be logged in to the Clare Past Forum. At the top of any of your own individual posts, select the pencil symbol (to the left of the exclamation point symbol) and then edit your posting. You can "preview" and then "submit" just like a new posting. You will now get a strange error/warning message (similar to submitting a new posting at the moment), but just ignore this as your edits will get reflected. If you edit the last posting in a string of postings, the "Last edited by" notice at the bottom will not be shown.

Thank you for providing the link to the Report of the O’Connell Monument Committee published in 1888. I was a bit slow to realize that this 183 page report was for the O'Connell Monument in Dublin, and only provided a brief history of the O'Connell Monument in Ennis which you quoted. Was there a similar detailed report of revenues and expenses published by the Clare O'Connell Monument Committee?

After the burning of the effigy of Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald on the 14th of March 1859, the St. Patrick's Day on the 17th was equally eventful. Although it appears not to have been reported in the Freeman's Journal of Dublin, the Munster News provided a detailed report. This newspaper was put on a ship to Australia, where, three months later, the Freeman's Journal of Sydney republished their article (available on the trove newspaper archive). What I had assumed was just a meeting to discuss the O'Connell Monument was a huge event to lay its foundation stone with many speeches. From reading the Sydney news, clearly "the few disorderly characters" mentioned in the town electors' resolution were Michael G. Considine, as suspected, but also the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan. Ennis politics of the 19th century appeared to have been very rough and tumble, and the Catholic priests could get right in the thick of it and not always support the political candidate of their own faith:


The O'Connell testimonial was inaugurated at Ennis on the Feast of St. Patrick the Apostle of Ireland. The weather was unfavourable; but according to the Munster News, not less than seven thousand of the men of Clare attended to do honour to the memory of Ireland's liberator. The procession was headed by the band, after whom came the Clergy of all ranks, then the Inaugurator, Mr. F. M. Calcutt, M.P., who had come specially from London for this occasion; then the Town Commissioners, headed by their Chairman, Marcus Talbot, Esq., then the Young Men's Society, headed by their President, the Rev. Mr. Kenny, C.C., then the Congregated Trades of Ennis, headed by their President, Mr. Michael Considine, and then the Working Classes, headed by their own appointed officers. After the foundation stone was laid by Mr. Calcutt, the assembled multitude were addressed by various speakers.

On the platform were Francis M'Namara Calcutt, M.P. ; the Very Rev. Dean Kenny; the Rev. Mr. Vaughan, P.P. ; the Rev. Mr. Corbett, P.P. ; the Rev. Mr. Quaid, P.P. ; the Rev. Mr. Meade, R.C.C. ; the Rev. Mr. Hartney, R.C.C.; the Rev. M. Newport, R.C.C.; the Rev. Mr. Quinn, P.P. ; the Rev. Mr. Smith, the Rev. Mr. O'Connor,. P.P.; the Rev. Mr. Kenny, President of the Young Men's Society, &c, &c. The Town Commissioners were then represented by Messrs. Elliott, M.D. ; Talbott, Raleigh, and Molony, and an immense body of respectable residents of Ennis, including the professional gentlemen, merchants, shopkeepers, and others, stood around.

Mr. Calcutt, holding in his hand the instrument which he had used in laying the foundation stone, came forward amid loud applause and said: — Men of Clare, I never, at any period of my life, felt prouder of my own position than I do at this moment, when I have just performed a duty which an emperor ought to feel a pride in discharging; and when I see before me so vast a multitude of my fellow countrymen — of the men of Clare — of the patriotic, honest, and incorruptible men of Clare —assembled together to take part in these proceedings, and by their presence on this hallowed spot to revere the memory of the dead, revering the memory of the man — the only man that Ireland ever produced to whom a nation's lasting gratitude is due for services rendered to his country and to his kind — services which can only be appreciated by those who are to come after us, and who will render, in reality, to his memory that true tribute of affection which we who live so near his time cannot adequately pay. I came here from London expressly to be present on this occasion, in order to take my part in those proceedings which are to render honour to the memory of that great man whom we all revere, and whom posterity will honour more than we can. All we can do is to hand over to those who will come after us his name and his labours [unclear writing] in the cause of this country and the whole human race, and futurity will appreciate those labours, and render honour to his name and deeds. (Cheers.)

The Very Rev. Dean Kenny proposed a vote of thanks to Mr. Calcutt. Mr. Calcutt had spoken of the classic ground on which that testimonial was to stand. That very spot of ground ought to be politically sacred in the eyes of all Catholic Ireland, because it was almost on that spot that the delivery of the country from political degradation should be dated as having taken place. (Cheers.)

The Rev. Mr. Corbett, P.P., Quin, next came forward. He said, as he was the person who stood sponsor for Mr. Calcutt, on his introduction to the country for its representation, it was clearly his privilege and his duty to second the vote of thanks so cordially conveyed to him by that great and influential meeting. He was the person who introduced Mr. Calcutt at the hustings in Clare, and proud was he (Rev. Mr. Corbett) of the part he had taken upon that occasion. (Cheers.) Because there he could stand that day and declare that a more honest man, since the days of O'Connell, did not represent the county of Clare than Mr. Calcutt. (Cheers) He had been remarkable for unswerving honesty and ceaseless attention to his duty and the interests of his constituents, in the Commons House of Parliament, and he was never absent when his vote was wanting, and that vote was never given except in the right place. (Cheers.)

The Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan addressed the meeting, after experiencing some interruption which, according to report, seems to have proceeded from some members of the Town Commissioners, partisans of Mr. J. D. Fitzgerald, M.P. They came there to perpetuate the memory of the great O'Connell; in doing so it was only justice to the country that they should hear the truth. (Cheers.) There was a clique in the town who endeavoured to put down the honest aspirations of the people. He believed there was a great deal of public honesty in the town, and if they had a few more such as Michael Considine, (in allusion to the part that gentleman had taken just previously in connexion with the burning of Fitzgerald in effigy) the people could not be put down. (Cheers.) He would give them one advice, which was, to make use of the gifts God had given them. They should not be humbugged by those above them, for there was not one whom they placed in power that did not despise them. They were all for pelf and place, and hence it followed that when a man like him (Father Vaughan) told the truth there was an attempt made to put him down. (Cries of "You shan't be put down.") He never came before them without telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but God's truth, and he would be always ready to unmask the public hypocrites, and the men who were selling the people by the hour. (Cheers.) There was no doubt the people ought to be honestly instructed, and they ought not to separate on that occasion without coming to the resolve of redeeming the disgrace cast upon the town by the return of a rotten member to Parliament. He was a Catholic member; but it was his (Father Vaughan's) opinion that it would be better to have half a dozen men like Calcutt than fifty like Fitzgerald. (Cheers.) There were a small party who were in the pay of Fitzgerald. Hirelings had been put on that platform to put him down, but the people would not allow them to do that (No, no.) He had no more to say, but to express his earnest and ardent hope that upon the next election they would re-elect such a man as Calcutt. (Cheers.) He said that significantly, because he understood there was a clique in the country not favourable to Calcutt. He called upon them to stand or fall by that fine honest Protestant, Calcutt. (Cheers.)

Mr. Michael Considine came forward, and was received with cheers. He asked the people, would they stand by and hear an insult offered to their priests? (Cries of "We won't.") They had been told that they should not stand by to listen to their Very Rev. and respected Dean ridiculed. (No, no, and three cheers for the Dean.) . There was not a man in the town who would listen to an insult offered to the dean. (No, no.) If parties said there was an insult offered to the Dean, why did they not turn round on the man who called their religion blasphemous and the Catholics ignorant and superstitious?

The Rev. Mathew J. Kenny, President of the Young Men's Society, was passing on the platform when he was repeatedly cheered. He earnestly advised the people to go home peaceably and quietly, and return thanks to God for the great gift of faith which they had received from St. Patrick. (Cheers.)

The meeting then separated. — Munster News.

The Freeman's Journal, Sydney, New South Wales, 29 June 1859.

By the time the Freeman's Journal in Sydney had reported this news, Mr. Francis Macnamara Calcutt had already lost the 1859 election and was out of office on 13 May 1859. He had been elected as MP for Clare in 1857 would get reelected in 1860. His landed estate was St Catherines in Doolin:

http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie/Lande ... sp?id=1796

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:19 pm

Hi Jim

Thanks for those instructions, which worked perfectly.
No, I’ve not come across anything to suggest that Michael Considine was not buried in the Abbey. The obituary (see Sharon Carberry’s posting above) says he was buried there, but the reporter might have got it wrong, of course.
Regarding a report on the O’Connell monument in Ennis: No, I haven’t found one.
Thanks for the account of the St. Patrick’s Day events. Michael Considine and Fr. Vaughan seem to have been of like mind on the subject of Mr. Fitzgerald, and Michael Considine was still denouncing him on 21 April, but maybe Fitzgerald redeemed himself somewhat on 23 April when he put a stay on the prosecution of Fr. Conway and Fr. Ryan:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/1 ... n—Question

The Captain W. Stacpoole, who was being put forward at that time by Michael Considine, became MP for Ennis in 1860, and held the seat until 1879, and during all those years rarely spoke in Parliament (‘The Political Career of James Lysaght Finigan, 1879-1882’, by Joe Power in The Other Clare, Vol. 40, 2016). In those days, it seems, it was considered ungentlemanly to make too many interventions in the debate. But all that changed with the election of James Lysaght Finigan in 1879. Michael Considine, a staunch Catholic, must have had some doubts at first about James Lysaght Finigan, who was known for his anti-clerical views, but I’m sure all those doubts were put aside once he started to speak out in Parliament.


Edit on 01.10.2019: I was mistaken here in thinking that the debate in Parliament took place shortly after the April 12th speech by Michael Considine. The debate was on April 23rd, 1858; Considine's speech was in April 1859 - a whole year later. This was pointed out by Jimbo in later posting (page 2).
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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:55 am

"The Riches of Clare" gives helpful background information on the exhibits in the Clare Museum. This piece gives background on the Seal of the Borough of Ennis 1871. It includes a description of the political career of Captain William Stackpoole and there's a mention of Michael Considine: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/clarem ... ble_mp.htm


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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Sat Sep 21, 2019 12:09 am

Stan Delaplane, a famous American travel writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, visited Ennis in 1958.

"If you wander down the town a bit someone will be telling you a story," said Eddie. "For they grow weary of tell'n the same stories to each other."

I am advised to cultivate Eddie. He is the genial night porter at the Old Ground Hotel in Ennis, County Clare, Ireland. "Him that'll bring you a cold lager if you wake in the night wit' a t'irst."

So down to the roofless, grey walls of the old Franciscan Friary, where I borrowed the key next door and let myself through the iron gate.

He was an elderly man leaning on the bridge rail across the street. But he hurried over and looked me up and down from the corner of an eye.

"I'm just lookin' up a gravestone," he said, "for there's a turrible controversy about it." What a hook line!

"What is the controversy?"

"Ah, there's a story to be sure. There's O'Brien Kings of Thomond lie buried here in the cold dark tombs. Now they bury the good people over at Dromcliffe. But when I was a small lad, they buried even the commoners here.

"Have you been up in the tower?"

I said I had. The way is up a circular narrow passage. You come out on an unprotected edge that chills your stomach.

"I took an American priest up the year last," he said. "Standing on the edge I was. 'Come out, Father,' I says, 'for it's a grand view.' 'Not I,' says the Father, he says 'for I will risk neither my mortal neck nor my immortal soul.' "

"Was that the turrible controversy?" I said. "Going out on the edge?"

"Ah, no." he said, "the controversy now was about the grave of Michael Considine. Mickey, they called him, and a great patriot.

"There was another Father hereabouts and a good Irishman. It was a speech he give in a patriotic society. The great Mickey, he says, was buried at Dromcliffe.

" 'Beggin' yer pardon, Father,' sayd I to him. 'Mickey, rest his soul, lies in the Abbey grounds'. 'I've made a research of the facts,' he says, 'and I'm convinced he lies at Dromcliffe.' Versy," said the Irishman. "Do you see the stone window in the wall? And the cross in front? That's where Mickey lies buried."

"How did you find this out?" I said. "Is his name written on the stone?"

"They buried them all in here. Some of the fine boys would climb into the tower and give the bell a pull for the departed soul.

"But that's not the point of it at all," he said. "For I well remember when they were diggin' away the ruins in the very same spot below the cross.

"Not a bone did they find," he said letting his voice drop to a dramatic whisper. "But below the cross with the Considine name they found the skool."

"The skull?"

"The skool indeed," he said. "The emblem of death itself pointing out that it was Mickey's cold grave. It was Mickey's skool surely."

"And that settled the controversy?"

"A week later," he said, ignoring the question, "the Father came to me. His hat in his hand. 'I've done more research in a scholarly fashion,' he says to me, 'and yer right. 'Tis in the Abbey that Mickey lies buried.'

"With his hat in his hand," says the Irishman, "he came to present his apologies. And that ended the turrible controversy."

"How many were involved in the turrible controversy?" I said. "Was the town divided?"

"Ah, now," he said, "there was only the Father and me. But it was turrible while it lasted."

Desert Sun, California, 12 September 1958

https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=DS19580912. ... N--------1

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Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:46 am

Hi Jim

Well, I don’t what to say to that. Can it be that Michael Considine was the only “character” that Ennis could produce for a visiting journalist?

I think Michael Considine was quite a courageous person in the 1850s. I don’t want to paint him as some kind of shining hero, of course, but I think he was one of the few who rose out of the ashes at that time. What those ashes were, exactly, I’m not sure, but probably the ashes of the Repeal Movement. I don’t think he was influenced by the later Irish Confederation (“Young Ireland”) movement, as he speaks of remaining “loyal to the throne”. But that phrase might be a kind of escape clause.

There seems to be very little evidence of Young Ireland taking hold in Co. Clare. I know that Richard O’Gorman was helped to escape to America by friends in Kilkee* and that John Blake Dillon was helped to escape to America by friends in Ballyvaughan**, and I remember reading that Brian Ó Luanaigh (Gaelic Scholar who transcribed for William Smith O’Brien) was said to have been at Ballingarry in 1848***, but are there any other bits of evidence of Clare involvement?

The nationalists that came to the fore in the 1850s, in the west of Ireland at least, were mainly priests, like Fr. Vaughan (and like Fr. Lavelle and Fr. Conway in Mayo and Galway), so Michael Considine stands out as someone who, without any of the influence and power that the clergy commanded at that time, could gather a large audience and speak his mind. Whether or not he is buried in the Abbey, he certainly deserves the fine headstone put there for him in 1924.


* ‘My Dear Doherty …’, by Paddy Nolan, in The Other Clare, Vol 27 (2003); also mentioned in Figures in a Famine Landscape, by Ciarán Ó Murchadha, chapter 7, p 120 (google “Richard O’Gorman Kilkee”).
**’My Dear Doherty …’, by Paddy Nolan, in The Other Clare, Vol. 27; also mentioned here: http://www.burren.ie/event/john-blake-dillon-table/
*** A History of the Parish of Rath, by Michael MacMahon, Clare Archaeological and Historical Society, 1979, Chapter 14. By the way, Brian Ó Luanaigh belongs to the family of O’Looneys written about by Pat O’Looney in The O’Looneys of North-West Clare (1999), and which includes the O’Looneys in San Francisco.

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