“O’Connell was all for the poor. See what he did at Saint Patrick’s Island—he cast out every bad thing and every whole thing, to England and to America and to every part. He fought it well for every whole body.
“A splendid monument there is to him in Ennis, and his fine top coat upon him. A lovely man; you’d think he was alive and all, and he having his hat in his hand. Everyone kneels down on the steps of it and says a few prayers and walks away. It is as high as that tree below. If he was in Ireland now the pension would go someway right.
“He was the best and the best to everyone; he got great sway in the town of Gort, and in every other place.
“I suppose he has the same talk always; he is able to do for us now as well as ever he was; surely his mercy and goodness are in the town of Gort.
“He did good in the world while he was alive; he was a great man surely; there couldn’t be better in this world I believe, or in the next world; there couldn’t be better all over the world.
“He used to go through all nations and to make a fight for the poor; he gave them room to live, and used to fight for them too. There is no doubt at all he did help them, he was well able to do it.”
“As to Shiel, he was small, dressed very neat, with knee-breeches and a full vest and a long-skirted coat. He had a long nose, and was not much to look at till he began to speak, and then you’d see genius coming out from him. His voice was shrill, and that spoiled his speech sometimes, when he would get excited, and would raise it at the end. But O’Connell’s voice you would hear a mile off, and it sounded as if it was coming through honey,”
THE TITHE WAR
“And the Tithes, the tenth of the land that St. Patrick and his Bishops had settled for their own use, it was to Protestants it was given. And there would have been a revolution out of that, but it was done away with, and it is the landlord has to pay it now. The Pope has a great power that is beyond all. There is one day and one minute in the year he has that power if it pleases him to use it. At that minute it runs through all the world, and every priest goes on his knees and the Pope himself is on his knees, and that request cannot be refused, because they are the grand jury of the world before God. A man was talking to me about the burying of the Tithes; up on the top of the Devil’s Bit it was, and if you looked around you could see nothing but the police. Then the boys came riding up, and white rods in their hands, and they dug a grave, and the Tithes, some image of them, was buried. It was a wrong thing for one religion to be paying for the board of the clergy of another religion.”