the midst of this scene of distraction, Mr. O’Connell
died. The news was a stunning blow to the nation.
A great reaction, for a short time, ensued. Added
to the other crimes of the seceders, was that of being
O’Connell’s murderers. They, on the
other hand, resolved to treat O’Connell’s
memory with the greatest respect. They resolved
to attend his funeral procession, in deep mourning;
and they gave orders for expensive sashes, of Irish
manufacture, which the members of the council were
to wear. Mr. O’Brien communicated this
purpose to Mr. J. O’Connell. The answer
was too plainly a prohibition; and the Confederation
reluctantly abandoned their design. Mr. O’Connell
died at Genoa, on the 15th of May, 1847, and was buried
in Glasnevin, on the 5th of August. His corpse,
which was delayed some days in Liverpool, was conveyed
through the streets of Dublin, during the election
scene which resulted in the return of Mr. John Reynolds;
being thus made subservient to the success of the man,
to whom, of all his followers, he was most opposed
during his life. It was a strange end, surely.
Mr. O’Connell was buried with great pomp.
The trustees of the Glasnevin Cemetery were generous
in appropriating the fund at their disposal to the
purposes of the funeral; but when the sincerity of
the mourners’ grief came to be tested, by the
claim for a contribution to erect a suitable monument
to the great champion of the age, it was found how
hollow was their woe, and how lying their adulation.
Daniel O’Connell is yet without a monument, save
that which his own genius has raised in the liberalised
institutions of his country.
The reaction in the public mind, consequent on his
death, was short-lived; and the Confederation progressed
rapidly, during the closing months of the year 1847.
Although not formally acknowledged, every one saw
that it was the only public body in the country deserving
or enjoying anything like public confidence.
THE SPLIT WITH MR. MITCHEL.—HIS TRIAL, CONVICTION, SENTENCE AND
SPEECH.—THE “FELON” AND “TRIBUNE” ESTABLISHED.—ARREST OF MESSRS.
MARTIN, O’DOHERTY, WILLIAMS AND DUFFY.—CONVICTION OF MR. MARTIN.—HIS
SPEECH.—CONVICTION, SENTENCE AND SPEECH OF MR. O’DOHERTY.—DISSOLUTION
OF THE CONFEDERATION.—THE LEAGUE
At the opening of the new year, which was destined
to be its last, the Confederation, though yet regarded
with coldness by the Catholic Hierarchy, was in full
career. Its members had won the respect of every
educated man in the land, however widely most of them
may have differed from it in political faith.
Among the middle classes of the Catholics, all that
were left uncorrupted fell into its ranks, and embraced
its belief. Men began to regard as possible everything
which enthusiasm advanced with such unhesitating courage
and devoted self-sacrifice. Mr. Mitchel delivered
some lectures on land tenure and the poor-law system,