Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Genealogy, Archaeology, History, Heritage & Folklore

Moderators: Clare Support, Clare Past Mod

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:06 am

I’m wrong about John Constantine, Merchant. He was not a Burgess. Chapter 5 of Corporation Book of Ennis (edited by Brian Ó Dálaigh), ‘The Test-Oaths of Ennis Corporation’, includes a list of Provosts, Deputy-Provosts and Burgesses, and P[aul] Constantine (1749) is listed as a Burgess, but not John.The Index of Persons* shows John Considine held various positions of responsibility (some of these were held from year to year), i.e. Juror, Market Juror, Overseer, Scavenger, Way Warden and Weighmaster, but he never made it into the Burgesses. It’s possible therefore that he was a Catholic. Although Catholics were not supposed to hold such positions, the numbers of Catholics in Ennis so far exceeded the numbers of Protestants that the Corporation could not have functioned without some of them (probably carefully chosen).
In his introduction, Ó Dálaigh says,
By the end of the seventeenth century the charter as originally framed was wholly unsuited to the situation that prevailed in Ennis. Only those merchants and traders who would take the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy could validly secure their freedom [become freeman of the borough]. Only freemen could legally engage in commerce and participate in municipal affairs. The Catholic community who dominated the trade and commerce of the town were officially excluded from the corporation by virtue of their religion. In order to allow the commons or ordinary inhabitants to participate in corporate affairs a body called the grand jury was established. No oaths or fees it appears were required of this body and membership was open to Catholics. There was no provision in the charter and thus no legal basis for such a body; however, in a town so overwhelmingly Catholic it would have been impossible for the corporation to function without substantial Catholic involvement….The setting up of the jury appears to date from the late seventeenth century and was clearly based on the model of the county grand jury system. (p. 32)
*There’s also a Subject Index and an Index of Place Names. Brewery Lane is not listed, but Hunt’s Lane is listed a few times, and Hunt’s Lane may have been the name for the whole of the lane at the time.

I found an interesting mention of John Constantine on page 194 (May, 1762):
Whereas it appears to us by the affidavit of Patrick o’Hara that two hundred and fifty four yards of pavement in Mr Hunt’s Lane, beginning near the house of Jonathan Sears and ending near John Constantine’s chair house, is in a ruinous condition …
At first I wondered what “chair house” could be, but I think it must have been a place where a chair could be hired to carry someone a short distance: page 181 has this piece,
Whereas it appears to us that the standing of potatoes and milk in the public streets are very detrimental and prejudicial to the inhabitants of said borough and that coaches, chairs and other carriages are daily in danger of being overturned by the vast number of horses, baskets and other lumber that on market days take up the whole street….
However, linking John Constantine, who died in 1774, to any 19th century Considine is just impossible, I think.

The Tithe Applotment Books for Drumcliff (1833) show a Michael Considine living in Hunt’s Lane: http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarc ... _00631.pdf and various other Considines living around the town (Mill Street, Jail Street, Causeway, etc.). High Street is not used as a placename in the Tithe Applotment books for Ennis, so maybe John Considine in Mill Street is one of the two John Considines who were listed in Pigot’s Directory as Tobacconists in High Street in 1824 - Mill Street is a continuation of High Street (Mill Street was named Parnell Street in the 20th century):
http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarc ... _00635.pdf


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Wed Oct 30, 2019 5:59 am

Hi Sheila,

Yes, I agree that it would be difficult to trace the Considine family back to the early 18th century. As far as the parents of Michael Griffey Considine (1812 - 1884), his father was likely also a Michael Considine, based upon the first born son of Michael's brother Joseph Considine. And based upon his middle name Griffey, would his mother's maiden name also likely have been Griffey?

With respect to the newsagent John Considine, who sold the Irish People newspaper, being in sympathy with the Fenian movement, I find it interesting who would be considered a Fenian versus an Irish Nationalist. You had speculated whether or not Michael Considine had been influenced by the Irish Republican Brotherhood, before concluding that there was no evidence of this, and thus editing out your comment (page 1). Michael Considine was a great supporter of the Reverend Jeremiah Vaughan, parish priest of Barefield; likewise, the Reverend Jeremiah Vaughan was a great supporter of Michael Considine. Father Jeremiah Vaughan began a lecture tour of America in July 1865. His speech was titled "British Misrule in Ireland" and the press would often label him as "The Patriotic Priest" or even "The Fenian Priest." One of his last lectures before returning to County Clare took place in New York on 21 November 1866 at the Cooper Institute.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood was a "secret society", but not so much in America. The Irish American Weekly reported the upcoming I.R.B. meeting to be held at the Apollo Rooms in this cryptic message:
In our advertising columns, this week, will be found the announcement of the appearance in this city of a wonderful Irish "boy," — a second edition of "Fion MacComhail's baby," — who, for size and weight, "takes down" anything that Barnum has yet shown in that line. He exhibits at the Apollo Rooms.

Irish American, New York, 3 November 1866
Several New York newspapers would combine in their reporting the Fenians' meeting at the Apollo Rooms on 18 November 1866 with the lecture by the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan at the Cooper Institute on 21 November 1866. Thus, I reckon, many readers might believe that Father Vaughan, and therefore the Catholic Church, was in support of the I.R.A. and their fundraising efforts. Father Vaughan's speech concludes for Irishmen to "rise up like men and crush out the infamous rule that had brought such calamities upon mankind". I think it would be okay for us to conclude that Father Vaughan was a Fenian, who most likely had a strong influence on Michael Considine back in Ennis.

Last Appeal of the Stephens Fenians Before the Fight in Ireland

Assistance Demanded from the Irish Merchants of New York

Lecture by an Irish Priest on Irish Grievances

&c, &c, &c

At a meeting of the centres and delegates of the Fenian Brotherhood of New York and vicinity, held at the Apollo Rooms, Prince street, on Sunday evening, the 18 November instant, the following resolution and accompanying appeal were unanimously adopted. They have been approved at the Central Office of the Fenian Brotherhood, and will apply with equal force to every circle of the Fenian Brotherhood in America. The interchange of opinions at these meetings has ensured harmony of action, eliciting many important suggestions pertinent to the present crisis in Irish revolutionary affairs.

Resolved, That the centre of each circle of the Fenian Brotherhood in New York, Brooklyn, Jersey City and vicinity be instructed to send a committee of its ablest and most prominent members to each house in the localities in which the circles may be situated, and solicit from every Irishman and the lovers of liberty of all nationalities, arms, munitions, and money, on aid of the revolution about to be inaugurated in Ireland, and that the names of those subscribing for the purpose referred to, and those who being Irishmen may refuse to contribute, be written on a book of record, to be kept for that purpose in the Central Office, 19 Chatham street, for future reference, and that the views of this meeting may be placed before the world by an appeal to be published herewith.


COUNTRYMEN, FRIENDS, AND BROTHERS: Every item of information reaching us from Ireland proves it to be certain, beyond all question, that our countrymen at home are determined on war — war to the knife — and that this very year. That final struggle of our people with the foreigner will be soon inaugurated; the oppressed will meet the oppressor, foot to foot, to battle for the very existence of our race, and of our nationality. The issue is patent; Either we must succeed to this, our final struggle, and take our place among the nations of the earth, or be defeated, to be scattered broadcast, as a people despised, pointed at only with the finger of scorn, and ready to do battle for every country but our own. To the Irishmen of America, such an eventuality cannot fail, to suggest the profoundest emotions. The degradations to which his kindred have been subjected for centuries; the sacrifices of a people offered as a holocaust at the shrine of nepotism, the many miseries entailed by foreign domination, are to be washed away in the blood of the enemy, or live a perpetual curse in our defeat. The wrongs of the past must be righted by the manhood of the present. A nation which will not make sacrifices is unworthy of freedom. That is a blessing which cannot be too highly prized by any people; it is one of the holiest gifts which God can bestow on man. And what greater sacrifice can be required of a people to gain that blessing than that of life, and everything they hold most dear? Our countrymen being resolved to fight against an old and intolerant enemy, to wipe out the stigma of slavery, they risk life, property, all, on the struggle. It will be to the eternal credit or disgrace of their kindred in America if this struggle be a glorious or disastrous one; if Ireland be a land crowned by the laurels of a victorious army, or reduced to the condition of an immense wilderness and charnel house. Should revolution in Ireland end in defeat, should the land be saturated with the blood of freedom's martyrs, shed in vain, let those in America who could, but would not aid in the freedom of their native land, bear the humiliation and shame. That the lukewarm and skeptical may no longer have an excuse for not giving that assistance to their compatriots a home which is expected from them, we deem it our duty to place our views before the world. Advocates of universal liberty, but especially of liberty in Ireland, we have resolved to do all in our power to sustain those of our kindred who keep garrison at home. That the struggle now so imminent may be short and effective, we appeal to all our kindred in America. Men and women, and to the lovers of freedom everywhere, to give what our brothers require. That no one claiming to have Irish blood in his veins may have any longer an excuse for not contributing in proportion to his means. A committee of gentlemen, properly accredited, will call upon all from whom aid is expected. That a permanent record of all those who will do their duty to Ireland at so important a crisis as this, may be kept for future purposes, as well as of those who, by their nonaction, wish it to be recorded as their opinion that our race at last is conquered. The committee instructed to collect arms, war-material, and money for the use of the Irish Republican army, will hand in their lists weekly at the Central Office, 19 Chatham street, in this city. In the name of Liberty, Justice, and Humanity, we appeal to all, on behalf of a suffering but noble kindred people, to subscribe liberally, and at once !

English Misrule in Ireland.

A lecture with this title was delivered last evening at Cooper Institute, by the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan, lately from County Clare, Ireland. The hall was well filled by an exclusively Irish audience, who listened to the lecturer throughout with attention.

. . . . "The History of Ireland: From the Earliest Period to the Present Time" (1885) by Martin Haverty, has Father Vaughan's entire speech in New York (pages 821 to 823), available on Google Books:

https://books.google.com/books?id=YPxIA ... &q&f=false

Every worthy impulse of the human heart, every good instinct planted by God in the mind of men, impelled him to direct all his energies to remove so deplorable a condition of affairs at once. (Applause.) To remove the cause of it and rise up like men and crush out the infamous rule that had brought such calamities upon mankind (Tremendous cheering.) The reverend lecturer closed with an expression of his firm belief that the Irish people, if united, were in a position to secure the independence and freedom.

The meeting was then adjourned, and the audience at once dispersed, after giving three cheers and a tiger for Father Vaughan and three cheers for James Stephens.

New York World, 22 November 1866

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:13 am

Hi Jim

Yes, I agree that Michael Considine probably was in sympathy with the Fenian/I.R.B. movement, and a couple of the quotes from The Clare Elections (above) support that. When Stephen J. Meany was released from jail in 1868, a welcome meeting was held in the old chapel and Michael Considine made a speech. And in January 1878, three ex-army soldiers were released (after 10 years in jail) and there was a procession in Ennis with Michael Considine acting as chief marshal, and the main speaker was Stephen Meany (the I.R.B. had recruited soldiers in British army barracks prior to the 1867 Rising. After the rising they were imprisoned for treason). Sympathy with the Fenian/I.R.B., after the event and after trial and after punishment, was fairly widespread.

But to what degree was Michael Considine sympathetic in the years between the founding of that movement, in 1858, and the rising in 1867? Certainly Fr. Vaughan showed total sympathy when he toured in America in 1865-1866. Caroline Maguire mentions in her thesis that his attendance at Fenian meetings was noted. And your posting shows that he also spoke there (at some length!). As you say, the Fenian organization was not a secret organization in America; sympathizers did not fear arrest and many speakers from Ireland cut loose when they spoke in America. In fact, a speech encouraging armed resistance was expected by the audience there and was the kind of speech that attracted donations. Much later, in 1880, when Parnell toured America, he showed that he fully understood this. I think it was a line from his speech in Cincinnati that was quoted back to him at the Parnell Commission inquiry in 1888. I think he’d said ‘None of us, whether we be in America or Ireland or wherever we may be, will be satisfied until we have destroyed the last link which keeps Ireland bound to England’.

Back in Ireland, people were more careful about their statements, so it’s difficult to know where some people stood in the early 1860s. I think I would describe Michael Considine as Nationalist rather than as a Fenian, which is quite specific. But I agree with you that Michael Considine would have been influenced by Fr. Vaughan (and by Fr. Lavelle) – we have evidence now that we didn’t have in September when I deleted what I’d written regarding the Fenians/I.R.B. Here is what I’d deleted, thinking at the time that it was not relevant:
“I agree that the early speeches by Michael Considine were firier than later ones. As a faithful follower of Daniel O’Connell, Considine probably did not espouse physical force, as did the Irish Republican Brotherhood, but he may have been influenced by some of their ideas. I see from matthewmacnamara’s posting that a Phoenix Club had been set up in Barefield by 1859: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7048. The Phoenix Societies are associated with the I.R.B – the first one was set up in Skibbereen in Co. Cork in 1856**, and spread from there to other counties. I don’t know if there was one in Ennis, but it’s interesting that there was one in nearby Barefield.
**The Cradle of Fenianism’ – Skibbereen and the Early Fenian Movement, 1850-1867, by William Casey, (2018), (Glancing at the cover of the book, the shop assistant, for a split second, thought that Skibbereen was the Cradle of Feminism :) ).
Here is a short extract:
"While some may have hoped that the Crimean War would be an opportunity to strike for Irish freedom there was nothing to suggest that such an idea had any popular support in Ireland. On the contrary, the Crimean War received widespread support, even among nationalists. An example of this support occurred in Skibbereen in March 1856 when, on his return from the Crimea, a large cross-community group attended a welcome home dinner for Major Sommerville of Castletownshend, which was hosted at the local national school. At the same time there were some in Skibbereen who were interested in developing a new sense of Irish nationality and in late 1856 or early 1857 a new organization called the Phoenix National and Literary Society was founded there… During 1857 the Phoenix Society increasing adopted ideas that were seen as radical….[a resolution re the Indian Mutiny is given as an instance] …[in January 1858], O’Donavan Rossa [a member] stated: ‘England has never given us anything through love for us, or a love of justice. She has ever spurned our petitions when not backed by the sword’".(p. 12)”

I wonder if Fr. Vaughan had some part in the setting up of the Phoenix Club in Barefield (Doora – Kilraghtis parish).

The mention of the Crimean War reminds me that I requested that book recommended by you, The Crimean War and Irish Society, by Paul Huddie, through my local library, but there was a queue of requests, so I'm still waiting.

Here is a note I meant to put in an earlier posting and forgot: I mentioned that I had a vague memory of reading a newspaper notice of the death of John Considine of Cragleagh at age 100, but I realize now that the notice I read was one contributed by Sharon Carberry in April 2008, and it was about a Michael Considine of Cragnagower who died in 1844 aged 110: ‘More items for Ennis, central Clare, and undetermined places’: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=195&p=385&hilit=Mic ... agour#p385


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:05 am

Hi Sheila,

Upon his return to County Clare in 1867, the Reverend Jeremiah Vaughan would send a series of letters to Mr. P. Sheehan of New York that were published in the Irish American newspaper. Sheila, as I know you want to focus on Michael Considine, I'll provide just a few snippets of letters from both before and after the Fenian Rising of 5 March 1867. These letters support your comment that people back in Ireland had to be careful what they said compared to when in America—especially since, as according to Father Vaughan, County Clare was full of spies and detectives:
BAREFIELD, ENNIS, Feb. 11, 1867

Dear Exiled Friend — I am in arrear, not having, since my return, leisure to write from incessant attendance on the dying and destitute, to whom, in their naked, shivering condition, we had to deal out some warm clothing. God look down on destitute, bleeding Ireland ! The cry of her distress — mournful as the Banshee's wail — has gone up from every part of the island.

. . . . We are now being told that the English Parliament — a Pandemonium made up of heartless oligarchs and slavish Cawtholics — will give us a tenant-right bill and thereby tie up the bleeding arteries of Ireland. I doubt this, and believe had it not been for the pressure from without — the Fenian organization — no remedial measure would be promised us. It is a well-planned scheme to keep us quiet. "Live, horse, and you will get grass," has ever been the maxim swaying our oppressors. . .

Irish American, New York, 9 March 1867
BAREFIELD, ENNIS, Feb. 26, 1867

. . . . I grieved to see at the railway station, boys . . . clad in rags and shivering with cold; and, hurt to the quick, I involuntarily exclaimed — "Land cursed with slavery!" when turning around and seeing some "peelers," I had to hush up. Several times since, I have been dogged by detectives, who have been around my house at the midnight hour. The people of the surrounding districts of Ennis and Newmarket were to come with addresses and bands of music to hear from me some glad tidings from free America; but I had to request they would remain at home; and all this because I dared to tell the American and exiled Irish people the truth about the curse of Saxon rule and the mode of getting rid of it.

We dare not open our mouths here. We are not only slaves, but dare not murmur as loud as the puling of cats. I wrote a letter, after my return, calling on the Irish people to aid the suffering families of the Fenian prisoners, and denounced the heartless atrocity of the English officials consigning those noble men to prison; and the papers dare not publish the principal portion of my letter. . . .

Irish American, New York, 23 March 1867
BAREFIELD, ENNIS, April 19, 1867

Dear Exiled Friend — I have, within the last week, been written to by parties in the States, willing to aid the families of the Irish prisoners, should I undertake the appropriation of the money remitted from America. Though hard pressed by the labors attendant on the building of my church, and the alleviation of the distressed people of this county, now destitute of food, — still I would not, nor should not refuse a generous co-operation with my warm hearted exiled countrymen to whom I owe so much, in the cause of suffering humanity and freedom.

I have stated to you already my determination to visit the destitute districts of Clare, and lay the condition of the people before the Irish Viceroy and fearlessly denounce him in the event of refusal; and also to carry our grievances to France. In either of these, I have not yet taken any action, as spies are on my track, and my going outside the limits of my parish may give rise to my arrest. While awaiting a more favorable opportunity to carry out this project, I will have some leisure time that I will gladly give to the destitute families whose friends — amounting to already one thousand — now pining in loathsome dungeons. I shall write to Father Lavelle and other patriotic Irishmen for their co-operation, and I am sure of getting it. If the exiled children of Erin in America, and elsewhere, wish to perpetuate the love of freedom and fatherland in the hearts of their sorely oppressed blood and kindred in Ireland, now is the opportune time. Let them reflect and feel convinced, that the people and country who sustain their imprisoned patriots cannot die. They are immortal as the public virtue they protect —

Far dearer the grave or the prison
Illumined by one patriot name
Than the trophies of all who have risen
On liberty's ruins to fame.

Ten thousands blessings on the chaste, beautiful daughters and the generous, noble-minded sons of Erin, for their consistent, truthful adherence to the sacred instincts of love of fatherland . . . .

Irish American, New York, 11 May 1867

* from "Oft in the Stilly Night" by Thomas Moore

Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:28 pm

Happy Halloween,

Another clue that the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan and Michael Considine had strong sympathy to the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Fenian movement was the visit of Mary Jane O'Donovan Rossa (1845 - 1916) to Ennis in March 1870. She was married to Jeremiah O'Donovan Rossa (1831 - 1915), an Irish Fenian leader and prominent member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood as well as founder of the Phoenix National and Literary Society. Sheila, perhaps Father Vaughan was indeed involved in setting up the Phoenix Club in Barefield in 1859, as you suspected, and hence why he hosted a dinner party for Lady O'Donovan Rossa when she visited Ennis in 1870.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Jane ... ovan_Rossa

Our Ennis correspondent writes that this lady arrived in that town by Limerick train on Saturday night, and was met at the station by Mr. Michael Hynes, who, with Mr. Michael Considine, president of the Congregated Trades, conducted her to Carmody's Hotel. On Sunday she attended Mass at the parish chapel in company with Mr. Hynes, and when leaving was the "observed of all observers" as she passed through the streets. At three o'clock she took her departure with Mr. Hynes and Mr. Crawley for the residence of the Rev. Mr. Vaughan, P.P., Doora, where she met a dinner party invited by the rev. gentleman to meet her. Mrs. O'Donovan Rossa lectured in the town hall, Ennis, last evening.

Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 29 March 1870
Not sure of the location in 1870 of the residence of the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan, parish priest of Doora. The residence must have been nice enough to host a dinner party for Lady O'Donovan Rossa. When Father Vaughan died in 1879 he was living in Moyriesk:

Death of the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan, P.P., Doora.

In our Irish mails,— just received,—the death is announced, at Doora, county Clare, of the above respected and well-known patriotic Irish priest, who had attained the age of 74 years, and who has been well known all over the county of Clare for his widespread charities, his exertions in the cause of education, and his earnest national politics. The lamented clergyman died on Dec. 1st, universally lamented in the parish and district in which he had labored so long and faithfully.
May he rest in peace. Amen.

Irish American, New York, 20 December 1879

On Dec. 7th, the remains of the revered and deeply lamented Father Jeremiah Vaughan were removed from his late residence, Moyrisk [Moyriesk] Villa, to the parish church, Doora, previous to the funeral obsequies and interment, which took place next day at eleven o'clock. The funeral cortege testified to the respect and admiration with which the good priest was regarded by all classes and creeds. A large number of clergymen wearing scarfs walked in the procession. The coffin was carried shoulder high the entire distance—two miles. The remains were deposited in Doora chapel, where a large number of parishioners kept a pious vigil round the bier till morning. On the following morning the remains of the deceased were entombed in front of the altar. The Most Rev. Dr. Ryan, Bishop, presided at the sacred ceremonies.

Irish American, New York, 3 January 1880
The death record for Jeremiah Vaughan, age 72, parish priest Roman Catholic church, states he died on 28th of November 1879 at Moyriesk:

https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/ ... 865714.pdf

Father Vaughan's "late residence, Moyriesk Villa" was in Moyriesk Townland, Spancilhill, about two or three miles to the north east from Doora chapel, consistent with the funeral announcement. In reviewing the 1855 Griffith Valuation for Moyriesk and the 1901 census for "Moyriesh", the majority of the townland was the landed estate of "Moyriesk House". When the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan died in 1879, Moyriesk House was the home of James Foster Vesey Fitzgerald, J P and Deputy Lieutenant. Given the politics of the "Patriotic Priest", I have some doubts whether or not Father Vaughan was staying at Moyriesk House when he died. But I suppose it is possible when Father Vaughan became ill he was moved temporarily into Moyriesk House, or perhaps an adjacent guest "villa", where he could be looked after by one of the many servants? Another "1st class" dwelling, House 5, reported in the 1901 census for Moyriesk was where the land agent lived - perhaps this had previously belonged to the Rev. Jeremiah Vaughan? The three remaining houses, ranked 2nd and 3rd class in 1901, belonged to Lord J F Vesey Fitzgerald's tenants and herdsmen, which, given his social status as a parish priest, Father Vaughan would unlikely have ever lived.

http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie/Lande ... sp?id=2003

The O’Callaghan-Westropp Collection at the County Clare Library has 22 photos associated with Moyriesk House; many are connected with when Lord J F Vesey Fitzgerald's daughter Mrs. Geraldine Crowe was kidnapped in 1923.

https://clarelibrary.fotoware.cloud/fot ... q=Moyriesk

The informant listed on the 1880 death record, who was present at the death of Jeremiah Vaughan in 1879, was James Delahunty of "Corbegg". I would say that there is a good chance that James Delahunty of "Corbegg" was the son of John Doolaghty and Bridget Glynn Doolaghty, reported in the 1855 Griffiths Valuation, "leasing a house and small garden at Corebeg"; and who died in Corebeg in 1885 and 1893, respectively. This James Delahunty was also likely the baptism sponsor for Peter Doolaghty, son of John Doolaghty and Elizabeth O'Connor, baptized on 7 February 1872. See research by the Clare Heritage Centre into the Doora and Barefield baptism and other records as documented by the Delahunty Family History at the Clare library:

http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... report.htm

This is a rather spooky connection to the shooting of Johnnie Delahunty in 1882 and subsequent trial of Francis Hynes for his murder, which coincidentally is being investigated further here:


Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:10 am

Hi Jim

Thank you for contributing the 1870 visit of Mrs. O’Donovan to Ennis and to Barefield (Mrs. O’Donovan was Molly Irwin: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/167 ... ovan_rossa)

I am slow in replying because I have nothing new to contribute on Michael Considine (1812-1884). Indeed, I am happy with what we have already. Thanks especially to you, I know much more now about his very active role in political life in Ennis than I did when I made my first posting in 2016. He was a remarkable man and clearly his nephew, Michael (1843-1924), treasured the famous green coat, and so it was carefully minded by Michael’s son, Joseph (1879-1955), and by his grandson, Mick Considine (1901- ?) of St. Flannan’s Terrace, who gave it to Ennis museum in the 1960s.

Michael Considine (1812-1884) probably had several siblings, but we know of only one: Joseph Considine (no dates). While the descendants of Joseph’s eldest child, Michael (1843-1924) are well documented in the article by Larry Brennan in the Clare Champion (see first posting on page 1 of this thread), the descendants of Joseph’s other children are not mentioned, so I have done some work to remedy that.
Joseph Considine married Mary Maher on 18 January 1842 in presence of Michael Considine and Bridget Guinnane (Drumcliff parish register). They had at least 3 children*: Michael b. 1843, Anthony b. 1845 and Catherine b. 1852.

Anthony Considine (1845-?): I have found no records for Anthony other than that he was baptised on 17.12.1845; sponsors: Edmund Farrell, Ellon Kennedy.

Catherine Considine (1852-1938): Catherine was baptised on 13.12.1852; address: Sliplane. She married Michael Flynn in 1876, a painter (son of Edward Flynn, Painter); witnesses: Michael Considine, Mary Farrell. At first Catherine and Michael Flynn lived in Brewery Lane (also called Fergus Row), but by 1901 they were living in Borheen. They had 8 children, two of whom died in infancy. Five of the 6 surviving children remained in Ennis, and one went to Dublin. All of them married except the youngest, Joseph Flynn.

(a) Edward Flynn (1877-1934); occupation: Tailor. Edward married Kate Scales in 1908 (daughter of Patrick Scales, Labourer). They lived in Lifford with Kate’s father. They had at least 4 children: Bridget Teresa Flynn b. 1909, Mary Frances Flynn b. 1910, Patrick Joseph Flynn, b. 1912 and Edward Joseph Flynn b. 1914. Edward’s wife, Kate, died in 1923 aged only 42. Edward Flynn died in 1934, aged 60.

(b) Mary Flynn (1878-1956): Mary married John Coughlan, Labourer, in 1905 (son of Martin Coughlan). The Coughlans lived in The Borheen. They had at least 4 children: Joseph Coughlan b. 1907, Kathleen Coughlan b. 1910, John Coughlan b. 1912, Francis Coughlan b. 1916. Mary died in 1956, a widow, aged 74.

(c ) Eliza Flynn (1880), baptised 17.11.1880, died aged 5 weeks on 18.12.1880 (child of a painter, Brewery Lane).

(d) Joe Chris Flynn (1881-1959) married Ellie Troy in 1900 (daughter of Patrick Troy, Labourer). Joseph and Ellie Flynn went to Dublin.The 1901 census shows them, both aged 20, living in Primrose Street (Inns Quay, Dublin); Joseph’s occupation: Coach Bodymaker. By 1911 the Flynns were living in Woodfield Place (New Kilmainham). They had at least 10 children: John Flynn b. 1900, Maurya Flynn b. 1902, Michael Flynn b. 1905 (on a visit to Ennis), Thomas Flynn b. 1908, Edward Flynn b. 1909, Patrick Richard Flynn b. 1911, Ellen b. 1913, Catherine Flynn b. 1915, Ellen Clair b. 1917 (the first Ellen must have died) and Margaret Delia b. 1918. All this time the family lived at 5 Woodfield Place; Joseph’s occupation: Coach Bodymaker. Joseph Flynn died at I Anne Road in 1959, a widower, aged 77; occupation: Retired Coach Builder; informant: Thomas Flynn, son.

(e) Margaret Flynn (1884 - ?); address: Lifford. Margaret married James O’Neill, Postman, in 1909. He was from the Turnpike (son of Patrick O’Neill, Labourer). At first Margaret and James O’Neill lived in Turnpike Road. By 1915, the O'Neills were living in St Patrick’s Terrace. They had at least 3 children: Helena O’Neill b. 1910, Gerard O’Neill b. 1913, Mary Margaret O'Neill b. 1915. The record of Margaret’s birth shows the family were now living in St. Patrick’s Terrace. No death records found.

(f) Michael Francis Flynn (1886-1889) , born 30.10.1886; address: Lifford, died aged 2 on 26.03.1889, in Bohreen, Ennis.

(g) Catherine Flynn (1889- ?) address: Borheen. Catherine (Kathleen) married Patrick Coughlin, Labourer, in 1914 (son of Michael Coughlan, Labourer). Birth records show that Catherine and Patrick Coughlin lived in Borheen and had 2 children born to them by 1918: Mary Coughlan b. 1915 and Michael Francis Coughlan b. 1916. There were probably more children born after that date. Patrick Coghlan died in 1951, aged 68; address: Circular Road. The record shows that his wife (Kathleen) was still alive, but I found no record of her death.

(h) John Francis Flynn, baptised 16.05.1892 (no birth record), remained unmarried. He was living at home in Bohreen in 1911, aged 19; occupation Commercial Clerk. John Francis Flynn died in 1961, aged 68; home address: Marian Avenue.

1901 census: Living in house 37 in The Borheen (Ennis No. 1 Urban):
Michael Flynn, aged 60, House Painter (born in Dublin) and wife Catherine [Considine], aged 44.
Edward aged 23, Tailor.
Mary aged 21, Domestic Servant.
Margret aged 16, attending school.
Catherine aged 11.
John aged 9.

1911 census: Living in house 22 in The Borheen (Ennis No. 1 Urban):
Kate Catherine Flynn, aged 59, widow. Married 35 years; 8 children born of whom 6 are alive.
Kathleen Flynn, aged 22, seamstress.
John Flynn aged 19, commercial clerk.

For good measure, I am giving the records for Catherine’s brother Michael Considine (1843-1924), although most is already given in Larry Brennan’s article.

Michael Considine (1843-1924), baptised 20.12.1843; sponsors: Michael Considine, Eliza Farrell, married Susan Hogan in 1876 (daughter of Thomas Hogan, Smith (dead)). Michael and Susan lived in Brewery Lane and had two children: Mary Kate, born 13.04.1877, and Joseph, born 12.04.1879.

(a) Mary Kate Considine (1877-1965); sponsors at baptism: Michael Considine and Kate Hogan. In 1905, Mary Kate married John Burke, Sergeant - Artillery (son of John Burke, Blacksmith). Mary Kate and John Burke had 3 children, Michael and John Burke (twins) b. 1906 and Cecelia Burke b. 1908. In 1911, Cecelia Burke, aged 3, is living with her grandparents, Michael and Susan Considine in Brewery Lane. At some point the Burkes moved to St. Flannan’s Terrace (built 1912). Mary Kate died in 1965, a widow, aged 88; address: 28 St. Flannan’s Terrace. Her daughter Celia Mary Burke remained unmarried and lived at 28 St. Flannan’s Terrace also. She died in 1966, aged 59. They are buried in Drumcliff Calvary Cemetery. Mary Kate’s husband, John Burke, had died at a young age, according to Brian Dinan, author of A Terrace of Houses - a Passion of People; St. Flannan’s Terrace (published by Clare Roots Society, 2012).

(b) Joseph Considine (1879- 1955): In 1901, Joseph’s occupation is Solicitor’s Clerk. In November of that year he married Ellen Foody (daughter of Pat Foody, Mason). In 1911, Joseph and Ellen are living in Clonroad Beg and have 8 children: Michael b. 1901, Mary b. about 1903, Vincent b. about 1904, Elizabeth b. about 1906, Ellen b. about 1908, Anne b. about 1909, Joseph b. 1909 and Anthony b. 1915. In 1911 Michael aged 9 is living with his grandparents Michael and Susan Considine in Brewery Lane.
Joseph died in 1955 a widower, aged 76; occupation: Retired Solicitor’s Clerk; address: [25] St. Flannan’s Terrace. According to Brian Dinan, the children were Mick, Vinney, Joseph, Tony, Molly, Bessy (married Peter Meere), Nancy, and Nellie.
*A Mary Farrell, born about 1840 (going on her age in 1901), is described in 1901 as a widow and a sister of Michael Considine, Brewery Lane. I have looked for the marriage of a Mary Considine to a Mr. Farrell, but failed to find one.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:45 am

Hi Sheila,

You are most welcome and I'm glad that you brought up this history. It has been interesting to learn about Michael Considine and also about the town of Ennis. On a future trip to Clare I will have to include Ennis on my itinerary to take a look at the Russian Gun that so upset Michael Considine, and also the O'Connell Monument that he was the driving force behind.

In having another read of this thread, I'd like to correct a comment from my first posting. The Michael Considine mentioned in the below advert that ran in the Freeman's Journal from 1861 through 1866, was most certainly not Michael Considine (1812 - 1884), the shoemaker and president of the Ennis trades, who sold a few newspapers on the side. I highly suspect, that this was Michael Considine (1832 - 1881), son of John Considine, who owned "a very extensive newspaper agency" on High Street and later O'Connell Square. And then from 1866 through to 1878, when the advert stated John Considine, that this news agent was either another son name John or perhaps even the father.
Mr. MICHAEL CONSIDINE, News Agent, can supply
the FREEMAN'S JOURNAL daily on the arrival of the Three
o'clock trains.
Another correction: after Michael Considine had made very vocal attacks against the Ennis town council for allowing the Russian Gun in 1858 and then the burning of the effigy of Mr. J D Fitzgerald, MP of Ennis, in 1859, I made the statement that Michael Considine appeared to have "mellowed" in his later years. Perhaps "matured" would be a more appropriate word as he continued to be involved in controversial activities. In the 1879 election in Ennis, I didn't quite appreciate that his support for Mr. James Lysaght Finigan was in direct opposition to the Catholic clergy who supported the rival candidate Mr. William O'Brien. While in 1858 he attacked the Ennis elite, which appears to have hampered most local fundraising efforts for the O'Connell Monument, in 1879 he was successful in getting Parnell's candidate elected. I reckon this 1879 election was one of his greatest accomplishments, which has only been touched upon in this thread. Below is further detail when Charles Stuart Parnell and James Lysaght Finigan visited Ennis, including Michael Considine's speech on that historic day:

(Special Telegram from our Reporter)
Ennis Sunday,

Three candidates are now before the electors of Ennis seeking the vacant representation. There was a fourth in the field, he has retired. The borough contains 247 electors, and of these about 47 are Conservatives, so that in the event of two Home Rulers going to the poll a candidate might be started in the Conservative interest with a prospect of success. The candidates now canvassing are Mr. William O'Brien, Q.C., who has been adopted by the bishop and clergy; Mr. J. Lysaght Finegan, who is supported by Mr. Parnell, M.P., and by Mr. M. G. Considine, representing a section of the local Home Rulers; and thirdly, Mr. Hubert C. Drinkwater, of the Reform Club, Manchester, who does not appear to have been adopted by anyone except by an admirer named Joseph Nelson. Mr. MacFarlane, of London was also before the electors, but has retired, and his agent, Mr. Mahony, is now supporting Mr. Finigan. . . .[a long discussion on Mr. Drinkwater **]. . . .

The Rev. D. Scanlan, C.C., speaking from the altar at the ten o'clock Mass, said he did not intend to hurt the feelings of any man or infringe on the proper exercise of any man's liberty. The bishop and clergy had recommended Mr. O'Brien as a proper successor to Mr. Stacpoole, and he was sure that every Catholic in the community would give weight to that recommendation. It was merely a recommendation, but a strong recommendation. The priests did not want to dictate to them, but, having the interests of the people at heart, they had taken the matter into their consideration. Very few men who were friends of Ireland would have any doubt at all about the earnestness and honesty of the priests in making that recommendation. They all knew Mr. O'Brien, and his greatest enemy knew nothing bad of him. He was an Irish Catholic, and a practical Catholic, which ought to give him the very strongest claims upon them at this juncture. . . . On the question of Home Rule, which was of paramount importance, he was also up to the mark, and lest anyone would be malicious enough to imagine that he would associate himself with those sleepy members who went to Parliament, did nothing for their country, and held their tongues, he said he intended to be active and to associate himself in Parliament with that party that was called the active party. . . . Under these circumstances there were the very strongest grounds why they should give their votes to Mr. O'Brien. . . .

In the Franciscan Friary the clergymen also recommend Mr. O'Brien.

The first public meeting in connection with the election was held to-day by Mr. Finigan's supporters. At four o'clock this morning, though there was a great deal of rain, Mr. Finigan and a small crowd received Mr. C. S. Parnell, M.P., and Mr. T. D. Sullivan at the railway terminus, where they had arrived by the mail train, and escorted them to Carmody's Hotel. Shortly after three o'clock to-day a meeting was held in the Square, near the O'Connell Monument. A large crowd assembled having with them six flags. They were addressed by Mr. Finigan, Mr. Parnell, and Mr. Sullivan out of the window of a house opposite. . . . In the room in which the speakers stood there were — Mr. M G Considine, in a suit of green; Mr. Parnell, M P; Mr. J Lysaght Finigan, Mr. T D Sullivan, Mr. A McMahon, Mr. T Lynch, Mr. St George Joyce, Mr. Stephen J Meany, Mr. Francis Tuohy, Mr. John Keane, and Mr. John Burgess.

Mr. Considine, in introducing Mr. Finigan to the meeting, referred to his being a Papal Zouave, and to his having fought in the Franco-Prussian war under the flag for which Sarsfield died. The clergy had not issued any canonical document to bind the voters in the selection of a candidate. The electors were free to exercise their own choice. O'Connell, when Pius VII, was supposed to favour the vote, said — "I know that the Holy Father will never interfere with the Church or faith of St. Patrick; but, will all the respect and obedience I owe to his spiritual authority, I tell Him that He has no political right in this country." Mr. Considine concluded by saying that if the clergy offered them a piece of cloth they were entitled to use their own judgment in the selection. He would offer them a piece of cloth in Mr. Finigan, and they could judge whether it was not better that the other (applause). Mr. Finigan and Mr. Parnell wanted no situation, and the situation that Mr. Parnell would be likely to get would be that of Robert Emmett, in Thomas street (applause).

Mr. Lysaght Finigan said he could appeal to the claims of his own flesh and blood, the Lysaghts, in Clare, to his own services in the Pontifical army and to his services in the late French war, but he did not believe the past services of any man, beyond the services he owed to his country, should have any weight in an election like this. From the first moment of the inception of Home Rule, he had taken an active, though humble, part in the movement in England. . . . [long speech continues] . . . .

Mr. T D Sullivan said they knew that a large number of Irish representatives had been sent to Parliament to work out the cause of Ireland's liberation from foreign rule. In the year 1874, at the general election, they were glad to accept and send into Parliament every man who wrote the words "Home Rule" in his address; but, after five years' experience, they had found that the writing of "Home Rule" into the middle of a man's address was not enough. . . . [long speech continues]. . . .

Mr. C. S. Parnell, M.P., who was received with a great deal of enthusiasm, said he had not come there to dictate to them, but to put before them his views and the views of the party with whom he worked on the means of obtaining justice from an English Parliament. . . . They believe that be refraining from attaching themselves to any English party, and by opposing every English party that refused to do justice to Ireland, they could compel justice to be done to this country. They believed they could gain Catholic University Education; they believed they could gain for Ireland the rights for Irish farmers to live on the soil that God gave them; and, finally, they believed they could gain that greatest and inestimable blessing — the legislative independence of their land (applause). There were practically two candidates before the constituency — Mr. Lysaght Finigan and Mr. O'Brien. Mr. Finigan, though an exile from his native land, was a promising young Irishman, who had ever endeavored to promote Irish interests. Then there was the other candidate — Mr. O'Brien — who was only known in Irish political life for bad actions and for bad deeds. He was known as the henchman, the place-hunter, and the servant of the British Government in this country. The paid servant of the Government — a Crown prosecutor — ge came before them and said he was prepared to fight again that Government. . . . Could he contend against a Government that paid him quarterly? No, he thought not (applause). . . .[speech continues]. . .

Mr. Considine put the resolution, which was carried by acclamation.

Mr. Finigan returned thanks, announcing that he intended on Monday, accompanied by Mr. Parnell, to make a personal canvas of the town.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 21 July 1879
** "A Manchester man, Drinkwater, was the principal character behind land reclamation on the Fergus. Under his direction Islandavanna became a peninsula connected to the mainland by a massive stone causeway. . . [last two paragraphs of Clare Library article] . . . . http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclar ... istory.htm

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Mon Dec 09, 2019 10:20 am

Hi Jim

Thank you for that 1879 speech by Michael Considine and for going over all those postings again and reviewing it all. Yes, the election of James Lysaght Finigan (by 6 votes, I think) must have been a good moment. My own favourite moment is when the last stone of the column is put in place in Feb. 1863 and Considine says, “Yes, I can stand today, not on the old barrel, but at the base of this national column”.


Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:43 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Jimbo » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:28 am

Hi Sheila,

A few months back now (see page 4) you pondered where Michael Considine might have lived in Ennis and the location of his newsstand. In a letter written in 1873 to the Clare Journal, Michael Considine appears to have identified his ancestors as having lived in a house on Church Street in Ennis. Whether or not he ever lived there or was closely related to the Considine family living there in the 1860's and 1870's, is not very clear:
6 Cluain-Ramhfhoda, i.e., "Meadow of Long Rowing," south-east of, and separated from Inishalee, by a small tributary of the Fergus, still partly traceable. This stream once divided the town of Ennis into two. It flowed through the Market, where there was some sort of causeway, or ford, the spot still being called Cloghan-an-Gabhair ("The Goats Stepping Stones"), along Market-street, and crossing Jail-street at right angles, took its course through the present convent grounds to join the Fergus at "Babby's Bridge," a little west of the former site of Clonroad Castle.

In a letter written by Michael G. Considine, the well-known Secretary of the Ennis Trades, to the Clare Journal, dated January 10th, 1873, among other things, he states that this stream was the original course of the River Fergus, which, according to him ran "through the old Ball-alley, across the Mall (the Market) and Jail-street," to Clonroad, but the general belief now, as far as I could make out, is that it was only a small tributary, and came from the direction of Cahercalla. Mr. Considine, in the same letter, makes the following interesting statement of facts that must have in part have come under his own observation :—

"The original gaol at Ennis was in Jail-street, not far from the Town Hall; and as there was no provision made for the support of prisoners (debtors?), they were forced often to live on public charity, and bags were hung out of the windows to receive the alms of the public who passed under the arch of the gaol, which spanned the street."

"Patrick Sarsfield, passing from Aughrim to Limerick, slept in the house of Mr. J. Considine, Victualler, Church-street, which was a hotel at the time [the 17th century]. When that house was being repaired a few years ago there was found, in the old wall, a bill against Patrick Sarsfield for a dinner, bed, and breakfast, together with the brass barrel of a gun. It is to be regretted that those who found them did not place the proper value upon them, and preserve them."

"Inchiquin, County Clare" by Dr. George U. MacNamara (1837-1919), from The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquarians of Ireland, Volume XXXI (1901), footnote 6, pages 216-217,

https://books.google.com/books?id=ExtLA ... &q&f=false
The 2014 Clare Champion article "The man who helped O'Connell reign above Ennis" also mentioned that Michael Considine's "proud boast of the fact that Sarsfield had lodged with one of his ancestors was characteristic of the man."
https://astheywere.blogspot.com/2014/04 ... otten.html

This provides yet another John Considine in Ennis that Michael Considine could possibly be related to.

John Considine and Susan Rickards of Church Street had eight children baptized in the Ennis baptism records from 1859 through 1875. In the 1870 Slater's Directory for Ennis, John Considine of Church Street was listed as a Butcher. However, by the 1881 Slater's Directory, it was his wife Susan Considine of Church Street reported as the only woman of the eleven butchers of Ennis. In 1875, two men by the name of John Considine died in Ennis; one at the age of 60 and the other at 74, but these death records are currently not available online. Susan Considine of Church Street, widow of a butcher, died in Ennis on 25 April 1881.

Their eldest son Michael Considine was born in 1861. On Sunday, the 9th of July 1882, it was the young victualler Michael Considine who was returning to Ennis from a delivery when he came upon an old woman near Knockanean National School. She told him that up ahead on the road a man had been shot. Michael Considine and another man would move John Delahunty to the side of the road. Michael Considine provided important testimony at the inquest and special investigation prior to the trial of Francis Hynes. The 1882 shooting of John Delahunty and the trial of Francis Hynes for his murder is being further investigated here:

http://www.ourlibrary.ca/phpbb2/viewto ... &start=315

The victualler John Considine of Church Street in Ennis appears to have been rather prosperous, especially compared to Michael Considine of the Ennis Trades. His father-in-law was William Rickards (≈1807 to 1891), a wealthy merchant of Ennis.

In 1858, Michael Considine of the Ennis Trades condemned the Town Council for introducing a Russian Gun into Ennis as a British Trophy. And on the 14th of March 1859, Michael Considine gave a speech to a mob just prior to the burning of the effigy of Right Hon. J.D. Fitzgerald. On the following 21st of March, a meeting was called for the electors of the borough of Ennis to protest this treatment. Among the electors invited to the meeting were John Considine of Church Street and William Rickards (see page 1, names now highlighted). So, I have some doubts whether Michael Considine of the Ennis Trades was a brother of John Considine, the Victualler of Church Street. Michael Considine, of "the wretched little shop in a trumpery cabin," appears to have been of a different social class.

The youngest child of John Considine and Susan Rickards was Frances Mary baptized in 1875, with sponsors Michael Considine and Mary Kate Considine. However, these two sponsors were unlikely the siblings of father John Considine, but more likely the elder siblings of Frances Mary — Michael born in 1861 and Mary Catherine born in 1859.

Below is a recap of the various John Considine's of Ennis and vicinity we've discussed. Joseph Considine, the known brother of Michael Considine, had a first born son named Michael, as did the first three John Considine's listed below. If I had to select one as the brother of Michael Considine, I'd choose John Considine #2 as both men were news agents who were heavily involved in politics and the temperance movement. But perhaps all three were cousins, we don't know, based upon the evidence presented to date.

1) John Considine, the victualler, of Church Street, first born son Michael Considine.

2) John Considine, the news agent, of High Street (later O'Connell Square), first born son Michael Considine.

3) John Considine, married to Mary McGrath, first (known) born son Michael Considine, possibly of Brewery Lane.

4) John Considine, townland of Cragleigh, widower who died in 1898 at the age of 100.

5) John Considine, married to Mary Considine, of Cragleigh / Kilquane.

6) John Considine, married Hannah Considine in 1875, of Carhue (this John likely much younger than others)

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:13 pm

Hi Jim

Thank you once again for all your work on Michael G. Considine and for that interesting piece by George U. Macnamara.

Just lately I found what I think might be the Immediate Cause for the decision to build a monument to O’Connell in Ennis (History was full of Remote Causes and Immediate Causes when I was at school): I discovered that the O’Connell monument in Limerick city was mooted in 1852 and was in place and unveiled by 1857 - see “Reputations, Nineteenth-Century Monuments in Limerick”, by Judith Hill, in History Ireland, Issue 4 (Winter 1997), Volume 5: https://www.historyireland.com/18th-19t ... -limerick/. Something had to be done in Clare, and quickly!

Jim, you may recall that it seemed to me, at first, that the Young Ireland movement had gained very little hold in County Clare, but as time went on it became clear to me that this was not the case, especially when you posted the letter from Fr. Vaughan to John Martin. And recently I came upon further evidence of this in Sable Wings Over the Land, by Ciarán Ó Murchadha. I was re-reading that book because Ó Murchadha does not stop at 1850, as so many writers on the Great Famine do, but continues on into the aftermath and right up to the lesser famine of 1860, and so I decided to read the last three chapters in order to get a picture of that very blank period in Irish history: the first half of the 1850s. Chapter 9, “Pseudo-Patriotism and Mendacity: the 1848 Rebellion and the Workhouse Bureaucracy”* includes a couple of pages (180-2) under the sub-heading: “The Confederate Clubs and the Rebellion” and this tells us that “in the same summer months [1848], ripples from the failed attempt at revolution by the romantic young militants of the Irish Confederation reached Ennis.”
*the title is taken from a piece by John B. Knox, editor of the Clare Journal, on 11 September, 1848, in which he says, “We had hoped … that Ireland was at last released from this deadly evil – this base compound of pseudo-patriotism and mendacity.”

Ó Murchadha explains that some elements of the local Repeal movement had gravitated towards the Confederation and that there had been a couple of public demonstrations in favour of its objectives in the spring of that year [note 22: Clare Journal, 20 March, 3 April 1848]. Although the attempt at rebellion in Ballingarry in Co. Tipperary, led by William Smith O’Brien, was a fiasco, the magistrates and police in the surrounding counties remained on full alert for some time. Ó Murchadha says,
Towards the end of July, an Ennis shopkeeper named John McGrath was arrested by Sub-inspector Kelly of the constabulary for selling him a copy of the banned Confederation newspaper, the Irish Felon.
Confederate clubs had been formed in all the main towns in Clare, but
no attempt made at military organisation or the procuring of arms. Some time in early July, Confederation supporters in Ennis formed themselves into a body called the Dalcassian or Dalgais Club, which we first hear of through Knox’s denunciation of it. Despite his declaration that not a single individual of any standing in society was involved with the club, we know that its president was the twenty-year-old Bryan O’Loghlen, of Dromconora, son of the famous Sir Michael, and that closely associated with it also was Daniel O’Connell of Tuoreen, an extremely respectable Catholic gentleman and kinsman to the deceased Liberator. Its membership amounted to some 50 persons.

Sable Wings Over the Land: Ennis, County Clare and it’s wider community during the Great Famine, by Ciarán Ó Murchadha, (Clasp Press, 1998)
The club was very shortlived – it disbanded at the end of July. But notices offering rewards for the capture of rebel leaders were posted all over Ennis. It was some time after this that the escape to America of Richard O’Gorman was organised. Stephen Joseph Meaney was arrested in August. By mid-October all was calm again (and people went on dying and emigrating), the gentry were no longer alarmed and many of them were signatories to a petition to the Lord Lieutenant to commute the death sentence which had been pronounced for William Smith O’Brien.

Jim, I’ve also been reading the book you recommended, The Crimean War and Irish Society, by Paul Huddie. Huddie presents, in the first chapter, a rather strange picture of the Ireland of the early 1850s, or, at least, another side of the picture. When he uses the word “Patriotic”, he means loyal to Britain and to the Crown. He describes the Irish members of parliament as being indistinguishable from the other MPs (English, Scots and Welsh), and if, in the course of debate, they were accused of being unpatriotic, they were highly insulted. And those Independent Party MPs, who had committed to putting Ireland before Party, were hidden away among the other groupings under the umbrella of the Liberal Party. They backed the Crimean War just as much as the other MPs did, and some of them urged it and welcomed it because they were patriotic, plus some held commissions in the Militia and stood to benefit. The only specifically Irish proposal put forward was that whiskey should replace rum in the provisioning of the army. The MPs were defending the interests of distillers in Ireland, but they failed in this – the rum won.

In the second chapter, “National and nationalist politics”, Huddie begins, "By 1854, nationalism in Ireland was, in the view of some former Young Irelanders, future Fenians and even elements of the contemporary nationalist press, ‘dead’ or at least ‘asleep’". He says that it is to America we must look to find Ireland’s nationalist response to the Crimean War (1854 – 1856). The cry of ‘England’s difficulty – Ireland’s opportunity’ was reportedly heard. Huddie goes to to describe the forming of societies, which split - and split again – and were full of infighting. He mentions other difficulties, including the success of the Know-Nothing (anti-immigrant) party in disbanding Irish militia units. And he describes the return of Joseph Denieffe to Ireland in 1855, sent there to make preparations for an invasion from America. All kinds of rumours of invasion were being reported to Dublin Castle, but, probably because too much hue and cry had been raised prior to the 1848 rebellion, these were received quite calmly. Huddie writes about John Mitchell, who had escaped to America and was declaring that he did not believe that Ireland could be dead, and was trying, by his speeches and writings, to inspire some action, but, instead, actually contributed to the splits within the societies and among his old adherents. Huddie writes,
Whatever credibility and support Mitchel may have had following his escape to America, being publicly feted and feasted at San Francisco and New York, and however much he might have been viewed as the future leader of militant nationalism in Ireland, even after his call-to-arms in March 1854, his support for slavery was ill-received in Ireland [note 25: Belfast Newsletter, 22 Feb. 1854; James Quinn, John Mitchel (Dublin, 2008), p. 53]. In 1854, he also entered into a war of words with his old comrade Charles Gavan Duffy and the Quaker activist James Haughton – what the New York Times termed ‘The Irish War’. This was fought through the pages of the Freeman’s Journal, The Nation and the Citizen, and it coincided with a similar conflict in America with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John Hughs. That second dispute was grounded in Mitchel’s denunciation of the Pope as a temporal prince [note 26: New York Times, 26 Aug., 1 Nov. 1854]. Thus, even if his efforts to secure Russian aid during his brief meeting with the Russian ambassador Baron Stockl at Washington, DC, sometime in 1855, had been successful, it is unlikely that Mitchel would have had enough support to utilise it [note 27: Mitchell, Jail Journal, pp. 377-8]. His actions throughout 1854 succeeded only in further damaging the already minimal existing support for nationalism in Ireland. (pp 40-1).

The Crimean War and Irish Society, by Paul Huddie (Liverpool University Press, 2015)
There are more chapters just as interesting as the first two: Chapter 3: Ireland’s popular response; Chapter 4: Ireland’s religious response; Chapter 5: Irish society and the military [this includes a short piece on the Nenagh Mutiny (often called the Battle of the Breeches)]; Chapter 6: The economy.

I don’t think Co. Clare is mentioned except in the piece on the Russian gun mentioned by you, Jimbo. It appears in the chapter on Ireland’s popular response. Following a paragraph on the erection of the statue of O’Connell in Limerick, Huddie says,
Similarly, although the Ennis trophy gun became the focus of definite Catholic nationalist-oriented agitation in 1858, the parochialism of the agitation was even greater than in Limerick. Their opposition was successfully agitated by a fervent nationalist and former supporter of O’Connell, Michael Considine, who described the cannon as a ‘British trophy’ won through the victories of ‘England’, which was an insult to the Catholic and patriotic spirit of the town [note 93: Munster News, 30 Jan. 1858; The Standard, 28 June 1858]. While the gun was the primary focus, the anger was actually aimed at the town commissioners for the gun’s chosen site, namely the plot of the then demolished Old Courthouse and the site of O’Connelll’s electoral victory in 1828, and also at the town’s MP, J. D Fitzgerald, who as Attorney-General was then prosecuting two Catholic priests in Galway. The storm of protest against the Ennis gun, which began in January 1858, had actually ceased by the end of the following month after the council decided to place it elsehere, and the official inauguration ceremony seems to have been a pleasant affair [note 94: Ignatius Murphy, ‘From Russian Gun to O’Connell Monument’, Other Clare, 5 (Apr. 1981), p. 45].
I think “fervent” is a slightly unfair description of Michael Considine, suggesting, I feel, a degree of irrationality.

Anyway, I think that all of the above gives some idea of the influences on Considine, and many others of course, in the years before it was decided to erect a monument to Daniel O’Connell in Ennis.


Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Tue Jan 28, 2020 11:46 am

Looking again at those (probable) influences on Michael Considine, I feel that I’ve dealt with the representation in Parliament, of Irish issues, in a rather sweeping way. And I think that in the early 1850s Michael Considine may have been quite optimistic about such representation, or attempts at representation. I think that he was probably a supporter of the Tenant Rights League when it was founded in 1850, and also of the Catholic Defence Association (often called the Brigade and sometimes called the “Pope’s Brigade). The League and the Brigade found some common causes and, in order to promote those causes, formed a group of MPs called the Irish Independent party. I’ve been reading again Fr. Ignatius Murphy’s article, “Tenant Rights in County Clare in the 1850s”, in The Other Clare, Vol. 12 (1988). Murphy says that, between mid 1850 and early 1852, large meetings in favour of tenant right were held throughout Clare but particularly in the eastern half of the county. The first big meeting was held in Broadford at the end of June 1850 and Murphy quotes the Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 2 July 1850, as saying that the numbers attending reached ten thousand. He says that during the following two years similar meetings were held in Ennis, Feakle, Quin, Kilrush, Mountshannon and probably elsewhere as well. He describes the meeting of the Tenant League, which was held in the square in Ennis outside the old courthouse, in October 1850 (I feel quite sure that Michael Considine was there):
The scene in the Square at Ennis in front of the old court-house (on the site now occupied by the O’Connell Monument) was a colourful one. The banners of the victuallers, the shoemakers, the carpenters, the tailors and other tradesmen of Ennis were hanging on the walls behind the platform. The Square and adjoining streets were thronged with men while “numbers of the fair sex filled the windows of the adjoining houses, and were not the least attentive listeners to the eloquent speakers”. Finally, among those who took vantage points at the windows of the old court-house were some policemen, “sent there for the purpose of hearing and reporting if any illegal or treasonable doctrines were propounded”. Although there were some heavy showers during the speeches the crowd remained until the very end.
Stephen J. Meaney, one of the secretaries of the meeting, commented on the significance of the occasion: “To succeed for Ireland Irishmen must have a united will – a united purpose – a united determination. Already we can boast of a move in the right direction. Our platform today affords evidence of it. Side by side – embarked in the same great cause – taking one another by the hand in cordial brotherhood, we have here the Presbyterian Minister and the Catholic Priest. We have on the platform two Presbyterian Ministers from what we have been accustomed to designate the Black North; they have come to fraternise with you their countrymen in the Sunny South, and to do battle with you in the same ranks for Ireland. Give them [Rev. Mr. Black, Rev. Mr. Rentoul] the welcome they deserve….” (note 11: Limerick Reporter and Tipperary Vindicator, 1 Nov. 1850)
This article by Murphy gives a good account of the lead up to the formation of the Tenant League, the important parts played by Fr. Sheehy and Fr. Quaid and the events of the 1852 election, but only gives a short paragraph to the collapse of the movement.
It was this collapse that led to Ireland being described as dead (for instance, Ireland was described as the Skeleton at the Feast by Thomas Francis Meagher, in a speech in New York in 1855, and as the corpse on the dissecting table by Charles Gavan Duffy before he left for Australia in 1856). One historian who looks with some understanding on the reasons for the collapse is J. H. Whyte. He believes that underlying problems embedded deep in the structure of Irish politics at the time made the collapse inevitable. His article, “The Tenant League and Irish Politics in the eighteen-fifties”, No. 4 in the Irish History Series, published for the Dublin Historical Society in 1966, is not available online, so I have made my own summary of it and attached it here for anyone interested in this Cinderella period of Irish history (the early years of the 1850s).

J. H. Whyte.doc
(46.5 KiB) Downloaded 349 times

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:38 am

Hi Jim

I’ve been reading an article in last year’s issue of The Other Clare: "T. J. Westropp’s Notes on the Discoveries at Ennis Abbey 1893", edited by Brian Ó Dálaigh, The Other Clare, Vol. 43, 2019. And I see now that I was wrong in saying in my very first posting that it was a great honour for Michael Considine to be buried in the Abbey. I see that the Abbey graveyard was used for ordinary burials right up to 1891. In your posting at the top of page 2 of this thread, you were right in drawing my attention to the story published by the travel writer, Stan Delaplane, in 1958, which you had posted on page 1. You drew my attention to the reply made to the Delaplane, “ But when I was a small lad, they buried even the commoners here”.

Ó Dálaigh opens the article with this piece,
Following the transfer of the Ennis Protestant community to the new church in Bindon Street in 1871, their fromer church in the nave of the old Franciscan friary fell into a state of decay and dilapidation. The burial ground surrounding the church, neglected and overgrown, became a blight on the streetscape, to the annoyance of the townspeople. Eventually an order was issued in 1891 closing the grounds to future burials but reserving the rights of five families, who had vaults within the friary. Thereafter Ennis friary was scheduled for restoration under the Ancient Monuments Protection Amendment Act, 1892.
Maybe I was wrong too in my reply to your posting of that story by Delaplane when I said ,
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.
I think now that “ashes” is the wrong word and that “embers” would have been better: embers don’t need a Phoenix to bring them back to life, just some kindling, or bits of newspaper.
R.V. Comerford, in The Fenians in Context: Irish Politics & Society 1848-82, gives several pages of the first chapter to the aftermath of the 1848 rebellion and to the early 1850s. On page 30 he says,
The Party Processions Act of 1850 discouraged the holding of the more spectacular kind of public demonstrations typical of the catholic emancipation and repeal eras, but it merely reinforced more effective inhibitions, above all the lack of any sense of political occasion or opportunity. The absence of political agitation and the lack of interest in self-government that mark most of the 1850s can be taken as evidence that the ‘nation’ was indeed in ashes needing the ‘spirit’ of fenianism to stir it up to a phoenix-like resurrection; that, however, is to accept a pseudo-spiritual concept of nationalism, which is no less naïve for being widely entertained, or for having, like all myths, an insidious attraction for the human mind.

But later in the chapter (pp 35-7) he speaks of people living in Ireland in the 1850s, who were still imbued with the nationalism they had imbibed in the 1840s. Comerford does not use the word “embers” to describe those people, but I think it might be a good word to describe someone like Michael Considine. Comerford says that ideological advancement for these people was realisable through the newspaper press. He says,
And so Ireland in the 1850s produced a small army of newspaper people fired with romantic nationalist ideals. It so happened that also during the 1850s the newspaper business in the United Kingdom in general entered an era of unprecedented opportunity and expansion.

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:50 pm

“‘Serving the Farmer’ - The Tenant Right movement in the West, 1848-57”, an article by Andrew Shields in The West of Ireland: New Perspectives on the Nineteenth Century, edited by Carla King and Conor McNamara (The History Press Ireland, 2011), focuses mainly on the rise and fall of the movement in Connaught*, but much of it is relevant to this thread as it explains the support for Archbishop MacHale, and the enmity shown to John D Fitzgerald, Attorney General, over his prosecution of Fr. Conway and Fr. Ryan in 1858.
*counties Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Mayo and Galway.

Shields says that it was only after the tenant right movement became well established elsewhere in the country that it gained its first footholds in Connacht.
In late April 1850 Frederick Lucas, who was to become one of the leading figures in the tenant agitation, wrote to John MacHale, the Archbishop of Tuam, informing him that all those involved in the preparation of the national conference of the various Tenant Defence Associations were agreed that it was ‘most important’ that there should be ‘a strong expression of opinion from the west’ in favour of the new agitation …. By this time, MacHale, who had been a leading member of the Catholic hierarchy since the mid-1820s and Archbishop of Tuam since 1834, had developed a personal popularity unrivalled by any other Church leader in the country. He had been notable for his involvement in Irish political life, particularly through his strong support for Daniel O’Connnell’s movement for the repeal of the Union…. During the Great Famine he wrote a number of public letters to Lord John Russell, calling his attention to the appalling conditions in which much of the western tenantry were suffering. He had also recommended the immediate introduction of some form of fixity of tenure and compensation for improvement…. His interest in the agrarian question meant that MacHale was to prove the most vocal and consistent supporter of the Tenant League among the Catholic hierarchy. (pp 55-6)
Shields goes on to describe a Tenant League meeting held in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, on 19 August 1850 (Fr. Conway was on the platform). In several of the speeches, much praise was heaped on the newly elected MP for Mayo, George Gore Ouseley Higgins, who had stood on a pro-tenant right platform and whose election was seen as a major victory for tenants in the county. His pledge to ‘uphold the great cause of tenant right’ secured the support of Archbishop MacHale. Ouseley Higgins and George Henry Moore (landlord) were seen as the chief champions of tenant right in the west.

Sheilds says that in the 1852 election, seven of the forty-eight MPs (who advocated an independent Irish party) who were elected were from the west. He says that it was notable that the election campaigns of successful candidates tented to focus more heavily on ‘Catholic’ questions than on the issue of tenant right and this meant that Catholic clerics were to play a particularly prominent role in the campaign.
Archbishop MacHale, for example, endorsed Independent Party candidates not only in the Mayo constituency but also in the two neighbouring constituencies of Galway city and Galway county. The election in Mayo also reinforced the growing political closeness between Archbishop MacHale and George Henry Moore. (p. 67)

By 1853, many Independent Irish MPs had defected and only 26 remained loyal to the Independent principle. One of those who defected was Ouseley Higgins. The result was that
he incurred the unremitting hostility of Archbishop MacHale, who, with the support of the majority of the local clergy, vigourously opposed his subsequent campaigns for election for the county…. Higgins’s defection to the Whig-Liberal camp won him the support of Archbishop Cullen, however, who used all his considerable influence to promote his candidacy at subsequent elections. By this point, Cullen, a prominent supporter of the Independent Party in its early stages, had begun to distance himself from it.
While the Independent Party benefitted from MacHale’s support in the west, it suffered by becoming enmeshed in the growing political and personal rivalry between the two archbishops. A great blow was inflicted on the party when George Henry Moore, who had been elected in 1857, lost his seat as a result of a petition brought against him by Ouseley Higgins, one of the defeated candidates. “In his petition, Higgins cited clerical interference as a key cause of his defeat”. Loss of support from landlord colleagues had caused Moore to rely more and more on the Catholic clergy and “this ultimately led to his undoing”. (p 70). At the inquiry into the conduct of the election, it was stated that Fr. Conway had cursed all those who intended to vote for Higgins. MacHale gave evidence at the inquiry, but
[in spite of] his impressive performance, his intervention did not succeed in ensuring Moore’s retention of his seat and the latter’s loss of the seat represented the death knell for the movement in the west. (p. 71)
Note: I’ve selected the parts of the article that help explain the Ennis speeches, and not the parts that show that the Tenant right movement did not have much support among poorer farmers, and labourers, so I should explain that the title of the article (‘Serving the Farmer’) is taken from a document found on a Sligo Ribbonman in August 1850, which stated: “What is your opinion of this bill? What bill do you mean? I mean the tenant right? It will serve the farmer.”

Having read that article by Andrew Shields, I looked for some information on the trial of Fr. Conway for intimidation. I found that, after 1857 election, he was accused with exercising undue influence over the people of Ballinrobe to vote for his favourite candidate, George Henry Moore. He was arrested and tried for incitement of his parishioners against Higgins prior to the election, and for impeding voters on election day. The trial was to be held in Mayo, but the Attorney General (John D Fitzgerald), who feared it would not be possible to get an impartial jury there, wished for the trial to be held in Dublin, and there was a hearing (very like a trial) in order to decide where the trial proper would take place. The Attorney General asked the court to enter into the record that a fair and impartial trial could not be had in County Mayo, and that it should be held in Dublin or some other county. At the end of this hearing, the Chief Justice decided that, having heard all the evidence, the case would go ahead in Dublin, before a Dublin jury, on Monday 15 February, 1858. This was controversial in itself. William Smith O’Brien contributed £2 to a fund for the defence of Fr. Conway, saying that he did not know the details, but disagreed with the decision to hold the trial in Dublin “to obtain a conviction”. Archbishop MacHale contributed £50. The trials of Fr. Conway and Fr. Ryan, another priest who had been charged with lesser offences at the same time, were conducted separately. The Queen V Fr. Conway began on 15 Feb. 1858. Evidence was given by James French that Fr. Conway had said in the chapel that Mr. Higgins was a scoundrel, a ruffian, a traitor, and that he had sold his soul to the vile Government of England. More evidence followed regarding the curses delivered by Fr. Conway. The case was widely reported – the case for the prosecution, as reported in the Boston Pilot on March 20, 1858, is here: https://newspapers.bc.edu/?a=d&d=pilot18580320-01.2.10., but I can’t find the case for the defence.
The jury deliberated for three hours but could not agree. They were sent back to reconsider. As this was a prosecution directed by The House of Commons, the Attorney General could not intervene, but was satisfied to have the Chief Justice call the jury back to ascertain whether they could they could agree on any of the charges as opposed to the full case. But the jury returned again to say that there not the slightest prospect of an agreement on any point. And so the trial collapsed. There was great jubilation in Ballinrobe and in Tuam, where a large bonfire was lighted and an effigy of Higgins was burned. Fr. Conway had won the battle, but he had not won the war: a House of Commons inquiry found that there was enough evidence of undue clerical influence to support the decision that George Henry Moore should be unseated. Maybe George Henry Moore would have been better off without Fr. Conway.

All of the above gives some of the background for the speeches by Considine in Ennis in 1858. The part played by John D Fitzgerald, as Attorney General,in the prosecution of Fr. Conway and Fr. Ryan, caused much anger, it seems. When his effigy was burned in March of the following year, he was shown wearing a wig and gown and holding a paper with the words “Brief on behalf of the Crown against the traversers, Rev. Messrs. Conway and Ryan. Fee £____.” But the anger against John D. Fitzgerald seems to have been short-lived. Kieran Sheedy, in The Clare Elections, says that in his acceptance speech after the 1859 election, "Michael Considine tried to interrupt Fitzgerald, but was ejected by the crowd” (p. 226).


P.S. The Valkenburg hotel in Ballinrobe is mentioned during the trial of Fr. Conway. The Valkenburg family are the subject of a topic on this forum: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7036&p=12601&hilit= ... urg#p12601

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:34 am

Here are two contemporary viewpoints of the Tenant Right movement, both scathing. The first is expressed in 1853; the second in 1859. Neither writer is from Co. Clare, but the same views were expressed there, I feel sure:

The first is the viewpoint of Mrs. Henry Smith of Baltyboys, who was now living in Dublin. She is Elizabeth Grant whose diary from 1851 – 1856 has been edited by Patricia Pelly and Andrew Tod and published as The Highland Lady in Dublin, 1851 – 1856. Elizabeth often spends hours waiting for her husband to finish with the newspaper because he dozes off while reading it. Elizabeth does not doze:
Tuesday, August 9: Parliament will be prorogued before the twentieth having done but little and, in that little, little good. A Tenant Compensation Bill, with a retrospective clause in it, will complete not the ruin only but the annihilation of the Irish aristocracy. Any tenant who chooses to swear to any improvements up to any amount that have been made on a farm by himself or his predecessors, being relations, within fifty years, is entitled to have them paid for unless disproved or else remain on his land at the same rent. It will be very hard to disprove back for fifty years any gate, fence, drain, path, all classed under improvements which a man may have made for his own convenience and has fully enjoyed the benefit of, and in this unscrupulous country what does an oath or string of oaths cost a man who will gain a fortune by false swearing and be absolved of the sin for a few shillings. Besides it is the custom of the country to give farms at low rents on the understanding that the landlord not having cash to make all such improvements himself, he takes the only way in his power to have them made, viz. by the tenant who can do them cheapest, and is remunerated by his low rent. A bad system, maybe, let it then be avoided in future, but that retrospective clause is unjust to robbery.
It has been a dull profitless session [of Parliament], very unsatisfactory in every way, no talent, no principle, no industry, no right intention to be seen among that crowd of incessant talkers. A poor display indeed, not one head rising above the rest. Papal aggression becomes daily more insolent, war with Russia seems inevitable. The wily Czar temporised till all his formidable preparations were complete and now comes out the great bear in earnest. He has seized on Moldavia and Wallachia, issues his orders there, appropriated their revenues, bearded us all in fact, and so we have sent another courier to Petersburgh!! (p 168-9)
Note: I’ve let the diary-entry run on just to show that Elizabeth Smith was quite scathing about a lot of politicians - not just advocates of Tenant Right.

The second viewpoint comes six years later from a Tipperary farmer, William Dalton, whose letter to his old servant, Ned Hogan, in Australia is one of of the letters included by David Fitzpatrick in his book, Oceans of Consolation: Personal Accounts of Irish Migration to Australia (Cork University Press, 1994). Mr Dalton is disgusted with politicians in general and with the way things have turned out:
22 Feb. 1859

Dear Ned,
…You will See by the papers I send you that wee are Seeking tennant Wright what we never can get as it is imposible to Frame one. But as the old Saying is it is by Making fools of half the world the other half lives. You will think a greadle [great deal] of the Thurless Meeting when you read it but you will be Surprized when I tell you it was got up by the rag tag of this Country by a few village attorneys and a Skow pool of a MP we have the O’Donohoo. He is a Kerry Man he is a frind of O Connels but Never recognized him.
But there is in this Country the venom of that ruffin Duffy who is gone over to yee they young Irelandders, who is formed by a parcel of half educated priests. It was Most afull [awful] to See those young fellows that would be Minding the pigs were it not for peels grant to Maynooth College. They get when in College a nough to eat and Drink and their education and 25£ a year to Cloath them. Were it not for this wee would have those fellows rosting potaties in the ashes as they Were reared. And when there is vacation in Summer they have this money and in place of coming home to their parents the are too full of money and them that reared them too poor they go about Spending and Sporting. I always Said the British government Never gave anything but to trample on the old country.
I am Sorry that my frind and Couzin is made a fool and a tool of by that Duffy. He tried his hand in this Country at every but he at last Came to the Conclution that he was to well Known and to well watched and he said I will try my hand in Melbourn and glad I will be to have a country and to Sell[?] it [the next page of the letter is missing] (pp 294-5).
“peels grant to Maynooth College” refers to Robert Peel’s grant - explained here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maynooth_Grant. Mr. Dalton seems to credit Robert Peel with predicting that the priests would keep the people underfoot. But if Peel so predicted*, then some of the priests did not exert their authority in quite the way he had hoped they would.
*The Wikipedia article on the Maynooth Grant includes this statement: “Catholic clergy were active and Peel hoped to win over their support and separate them from popular nationalism”


Edited to fix typo

Posts: 955
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:07 am

Re: Michael G. Considine and Daniel O'Connell

Post by Sduddy » Thu Feb 06, 2020 12:43 pm

Hi Jim

In your last posting above (page 5), you were looking at various John Considines who were living in Ennis (and nearby) at about the time that Michael G. Considine was living there, and in an earlier posting you gave us the John Considine who, in 1844, was ejected from the Post Office for wearing a Repeal button (page 4 of this thread):
On Saturday, Mr. John Considine, a highly respectable shopkeeper, and vice-president of the Temperance Society, went on the part of that body to make a lodgment in the Ennis Savings Bank. Mr. Considine exhibited on his breast the national badge, which no sooner met the eye of Mr. Thomas Mahon, one of the directors of the establishment, than an immediate order was given to have it withdrawn!
The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 17 July 1844
Another, or maybe the same, John Considine is mentioned by Kieran Sheedy in The Clare Elections, page 207. We must move forward 20 years from the incident of the Repeal button to the 1852 general election. The Ennis Borough seat was being contested by John D Fitzgerald (a newcomer) and by James Patrick Mahon (The O Gorman Mahon), who had held the seat since 1847. In 1852, Catholics in Ireland were reacting angrily to the anti-Catholic feeling in England at the time. Sheedy says,
Nominations for the borough election took place on Saturday 10 July. It was the first time that the new Courthouse was used for an election……In his speech, a somewhat defensive O Gorman Mahon accused Dean Kenny of “doing him grevious harm” and denied that he had adopted an anti-Catholic stance in Parliament, and he also strenuously denied rumours to the effect that he has spent two nights in an Ennis brothel. He claimed to have visited only the houses of John Considine and William Lardner and he pointedly asked Dean Kenny, “Which of these is a brothel?"
I wonder if this John Considine is the same John Considine whose name you have highlighted in the list of Electors of Ennis (men eligible to vote in Ennis Borough Elections) who had signed a request for a meeting of all the Electors to be held in Parson’s Rooms, for the purpose of condemning the burning of the effigy of John D. Fitzgerald.
I suspect it is the same John Considine, but Jimbo I don’t think I will try to find who Michael Considine’s siblings or cousins were – there’s simply not enough early records for the parish of Drumcliff. But if the John Considine, who condemned the burning of the effigy, was a relative of Michael G. Considine, I doubt they were good friends. Michael G. seems to have associated with the “mob” and did not have enough property to qualify as a voter. Intensely involved in every election as he was, this must have been very annoying for him.

The number of adult men eligible to vote in the 1850s is put at 10% by J. H. Whyte (The Tenant League and Irish Politics in the eighteen-fifies), but K. Theodore Hoppen puts it at one-sixth, which is a good bit higher (Ireland Since 1800: Conflict & Conformity). Even so, it’s clear that elections involved just one section of the people.
And for that reason the petition presented to Queen Victoria in 1861 is interesting: it sought a plebicite for self-rule for Ireland and could be signed by anyone who could write their own name (some wrote it more than once it seems!). R. V. Comerford says, in The Fenians in Context, (p. 63), that the plebicites used by Piedmont-Sardinia ‘to give the seal of democracy’ to the annexation of some smaller states were fulsomely approved by British statesmen. So, on 14 April, the Nation newspaper proposed that those statesmen be challenged by petition to apply the same principle in Ireland. The proposers knew that a plebicite would not be granted, but believed the petition itself, if signed by a great number, would be a kind of substitute. Only males over fifteen were allowed to sign; they could write their name or affix a mark. By the deadline of April 16 April, 1861, a total of 423,026 signatures had been gathered. The authenticity of many of the signatures is questioned, of course, and the number of signatures falls far short of the estimated number who qualified to sign. Anyway, it made little impact on Queen Victoria and the statesmen. Its importance, historians say, lies in its not being a local movement, but a countrywide one. This signified a change in the politics of the time.
Some people did not sign the petition, considering it to be begging and therefore demeaning, And, or course many did not wish for self-rule. But thousands did sign. and I’m wondering if this petition was circulated in Co. Clare and if it has survived.


Post Reply