The Lord-Lieutenant invited some of the principal members of the Ulster Reform Association to dinner at the Viceregal Lodge on Sa- turday.
On Monday, the Lord-Lieutenant paid a visit to the workhouse of the South Dublin Union, in consequence of a request from the Guar- dians. Having concluded his inspection, his Excellency was conducted to the Board-room, where an elegant and recherché dejeuner Is la four- ehette was prepared for him and the other visiters.
A deputation from the Ulster Constitutional Association waited on the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, on Saturday, for a conference on the subject of an improvement in the Irish registration and election laws. Lord Ebrington received the deputation very courteously, and said that a bill for the purpose was now before Gowrnment, and would be introduced into Parliament early next session.
The great aggregate meeting of Irish Reformers, ostensibly to oppose Lord Stanley s Registration Bill, was held in the Theatre, Hawkins Street, Dublin, on Friday last. The requisition for calling the meeting was
signed by 44 Peers, 19 Baronets, 60 Deputy-Lieutenants, 380 Magis- trates, 300 Protestant and Roman Catholic clergymen, 300 landed pro- prietors, and 400 merchants and members of the learned professions.
The friendly accounts say every part of the theatre was .crowded, not- withstanding the high prices of admission : adverse accounts describe the theatre as being crowded only in the galleries, which were free to the public. Among those on the platform were, Lord Brabazon, 11.P., Honourable Constantine Dillon, Honourable Martin J. Ffrench, Sir W. Somerville M.P., Sir Percy Nugent, Sir Arthur Clarke, Sir Henry Jervis White, Daniel O'Connell, M.P., John O'Connell, M.P., James Power, M.P., Henry Grattan. M.P., Robert Dillon Browne, M.P., Robert Archbold, M.P., Honourable H. Westenra, M.P., D. J. Ross (Rostrevor), Nicholas Fitzsimon, M.P., John H. Lethbridge, (son of Sir Thomas Lethbridge,) Peter Purcell, Pierce Mahony, and a host of Irish gentry. A great number of letters from noblemen, Members of Parliament, and other influential persons, apologizing for unavoid- able absence, were read by the secretary : from the Marquis of Headfort, the Earl of Arran, Lord Cremorne, Lord Clements, the Earl of Listowell, Lord Wallscourt, Lord Lismore, Lord Carew, Lord Gor- manstown, Lord Stuart de Decies, the Catholic Archbishop of Team, Lord Marcus Hill, the Right Reverend Dr. Crolly, and several others. Lord Charlemont took the chair about two o'clock. Among the speakers were, the Chairman, Lord Brabazon, Mr. Robert Grimshaw, Sir W. Somerville, Colonel Westenra, Mr. Lethbridge, Mr. Thompson Tennent, Ian Peter Purcell, Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Halchell, QC., Mr. H. Grattan, Mr. Pierce Mahony, Sir Percy Nugent, Dr. Montgomery, and others.
The meeting did not separate till about seven o'clock in the evening. The resolutions adopted were to the following effect.— "That Ireland, as an integral portion of the empire, is entitled to equality of franchises and institutions with England and Scotland. "That we stand pledged to the adoption of every constitutional means in our power to secure a just and equitable extension of the elect:re franchise of Ireland upon as liberal and extended a principle as is now or may be hereafter established for England or Scotland.
- 'That we, the Reformers of Ireland, sincerely desirous of correcting those evils which have been produced by the present faulty laws of registration and election, and of promoting such a bill as may both secure the free exercise of existing rights and extend their basis, do hereby express our deep abhorrence of the measure proposed in the last tessien of Parliament by Lord Stanley ; the effect of which would be to reduce the franchise within the narrowest limits, by opposing a multiplicity of vexatious obstacles to its attainment. "That the principal of enfranchisement laid down and adopted by the Re- form Act has failed, after a full period of eight years' trial, to establish an electoral body in this country proportionate to its wealth, its wants, and its resources. That we, therefore, call upon the Irish people to join with the Reformers of Great Britain in seeking for a more simple and extended basis for the franchise, whereby property and numbers rosy be duly represented, and the elector protected in the legitimate exercise of his rights from the aftaelts of those who now seek to destroy it.
'That the system of registry or enrolment of electors, also established by the Reform Act, is vexatious, harassing, and oppressive, and subjects the claimant to unjust and unconstitutional difficulties in asserting his rights. We therefore are of opinion that a more practical and easy system should be adopted, whereby the right of voting should, without difficulty or trouble to the elector, be conferred upon him, to be exercised afterwards at his own dis- cretion.
"That the safety and advantage of extended franchise for the people, being fully ascertained by experience of the past, we invite the Reformers of the empire at large to a united and uncompromising effort, by all legal and consti- tutional means to extend our existing franchises, and to facilitate their attain- ment.
"That we congratulate the Reformers of the empire on the fortunate and cordial unanimity of all sections of Reformers in Ireland upon this occasion— au unanimity which warrants a sanguine hope of continued national exertion for national objects.
"That, in pursuance of these our sentiments and determinations, as now expressed and declared, we call upon every class and denomivation of the Re- formers of Ireland to come forward and aid with purse and person, and by every means in their power, the struggle for that equality with England and Scot- land without which it is vain to expect general and enduring contentment. "That her Majesty's present Government being, as we believe, sincerely de- sirous to sustain the rights, and to extend, as we confidently hope, the franchise of Irishmen, are entitled to our confidence and support.
"That we join our fellow-subjects of this great empire in loyal and affec- tionate congratulations to our beloved Queen and her illustrious consort on the birth of the Princess Royal ; affording, as this happy event does, the hope that a race of sovereigns would be continued to this country educated as our be- loved Queen has been and therefore disposed to advance and protect the inte- rests and rights of Ireland; and that the address now read be presented to her Majesty and Prince Albert by our noble chairman."
There was nothing very remarkable in the speeches nor in the inci- dents of this meeting, The Repeal party had engaged not to introduce that apple of discord during the day.; and, with the exception of Mr. Lethbridge, they kept literally within the terms of the agreement ; though the people in the galleries readily applied many of the senti- ments, especially those of Mr. O'Connell, to the repeal of the Union. A too great readiness of this kind to apply significations to words, dis- turbed for a time the harmony of the proceedings. Dr. Montgomery,
in eulogizing the party with which he acted, said they would not be "led by an individual." This was mistaken by the galleries, and by
Mr. O'Connell himself, to allude to the way in which the Repealers were led by him. A great uproar ensued, which for several minutes interrupted Dr. Montgomery's speech. He, however, was allowed to explain, that he meant no reference to Mr. O'Connell; and he finished his speech without further interruption.
The Dublin Monitor, however, complains sadly of breach of faith on the part of the Repealers. Mr. John O'Connell agreed, for his father and his party, that all Repeal topics should be guardedly avoided. "Rot bow was this faith kept?" asks the Monitor; and it thus answesr the question-
" Why, by endeavouring to interrupt the harmony of the meeting by Repeal clamouring, and deliberately insulting the great body of Reformers present, who attended the meeting under a solemn engagement that it was to have been an assemblage of Reformers met to forward strictly Reform purposes. Now, however, that the meeting is over—now that faith has been broken—now that almost irreparable injury has been done to the Reform party in this city—it is attempted by Mr. John O'Connell to further damage the cause of Reform by representing the meeting to have been a Repeal demonstration. "The Repealers have now demonstrated that they will not act with the Reformers. Thus divided, how will the registries, on which the very existence of the Liberal party depends, be attended to ? As they have been—notoriously neglected. What, then, ensues ? Why, Reform loss and Tory gain ; and the first general election will, if the Repeal agitation is persisted in, give the Tories a majority in the Commons ; and thus the Repealers will have the satisfaction of knowing that to their exertions the Tories are indebted for office."
Mr. O'Connell's visit to Belfast, to dine with the friends of Repeal in that town, has been the source of much expectation and anxiety. The Orangemen and Anti-Repealers had given such indications of their intention to demonstrate their dislike of the "invasion of Ulster" by the Agitator, that the Government thought it necessary to send troops
down to Belfast, to be prepared against any tumult that might arise. Bets were made that O'Connell would not venture into the "black North "; but all these were decided by his departure incog. from Dublin on Friday, accompanied by Mr. Dillon Browne and Mr. Thomas Steele. Accounts differ as to the name assumed by Mr. O'Connell to avoid being recognized on the road; but all agree that he thought it prudent to remain unknown, and that his companions provided them- selves with loaded blunderbusses in case of an attack on the road. Mr. O'Connell arrived in Belfast on Saturday, two days before be was ex- pected; by which means he succeeded in escaping the notice of those who had prepared to give him a hostile reception on the journey. On Sunday, he kept close to the hotel; where he received an address from a meeting of operatives. The Roman Catholic Chapel, which it was expected he would attend, was crowded ; and a scene of confusion and alarm occurred when Messrs. Steele and Browne entered, as one of them was supposed to be O'Connell. The service was for a time sus- pended; and it was fortunate that no serious accident happened, as there was a rush to the door in the apprehension that the chapel was falling. On Monday, Mr. O'Connell also kept close to his hotel, until the time for the dinner; which took place in an immense pavilion. On his way there, he was accompanied by a large concourse of people, some groaning and hissing, :others cheering ; but there was no attempt at outrage. In the pavilion, accommodation was made, according to the Northern Whig, for eight hundred at the dinner-tables, and the galleries were filled with ladies : the Pilot states the numbers who dined at thirteen hundred. Mr. O'Connell's reception within the pavilion was enthusiastic. In his speech he avoided all mention of Repeal, out of deference to those Reformers who did not go so far. • He expressed his astonishment and delight at such a scene as presented itself. A speci- men of his opening address is worth quoting— 'Bear with me, I implore you: I implore of you to tolerate me while I attempt what is impossible—to give expression to gratitude, deep, ohl inex- pressible. It ought to be the overwhelming impulse of my mind ; and yet there are sensations of a still more powerful nature pressing upon me : I am lost in admiration—in astonishment at the magic scene that is before me. Is this Ulster? (Cheers and laughter.) Why, the enthusiasm of the warm Southern heart is nothing to yours. ( Continued cheering.) Perhaps it is, that it takes a longer time to warm you? Here, if you once warm, you'll never grow cool." (Loud laughter, and cries of "Get up on the table.") He then ascended the table, and continued—" I was quite right : you are boiling over already. What I want to know is, why did I not come sooner amongst you? for I never met men after my own heart till I came here. Will they call this— have they ever called this, I want to know, the 'black North'? To me it is the bright and brilliant North—(Pointing to the ladies' gallery)—no North contains such stars as these. This galaxy of beauty would ornament any region upon earth. 1 did ask and implore of you to bear with me ; for im- pressions come over my mind that almost revive the visions of my boyhood's hour, and I fancy myself young again."
He deprecated all religious animosity, and prided himself upon being always as willing to serve a Protestant as a Catholic. He dwelt on the usual catalogue of the grievances of Ireland, but the Repeal remedy he did not enforce. That topic, he said, he would not there advert to : he should adjourait till the next day at the public meeting. "To-night," he said, " I go to bed a Reformer, to wake a Repealer to-morrow."
Before the public meeting on Tuesday, great apprehensions of a dis- turbance were entertained; but it passed off without tumult. The pavilion where the dinner was given was not large enough to hold the numbers assembled,—estimated by the reporter of the Pilot at 30,0001 The meeting therefore took place in the open air. A correspondent of the Pilot writes, in full capital letters-
" Nothing could possibly exceed the triumph here. The pavilion was too small for the Repealers, so we met in the street in tens of thousands. Scattered Orangemen groaning—but out-numbered hundreds to one—pre- vented the speeches from being well heard, but could not stop or impede a single resolution. This is indeed a proud triumph. Hum for Ulster!"
When Mr. O'Connell rose to speak, he threw off a green cloak, and displayed a surtout of Repeal frieze, with a white velvet collar and Re- peal buttons : he was received with deafening shouts of applause, mingled with discordant yells from the rear of the crowd, which pre- vailed incessantly from the speakers mounting the platform. His speech was nearly a repetition of former addresses, with the addition of pro- testations against religious bigotry. In conclusion, he earnestly re- commended the crowd to disperse quietly; and they did so.
A meeting, convened at the requisition of a large body of the landed proprietors of Ireland, was to be held in Dublin on Thursday, for the purpose of considering the propriety of securing for Ireland a com- prehensive system of railways under Government control.
On Monday, the Benchers met in the King's Bench Chamber at the Polar Courts, Dublin, to elect a Bencher, in the room of the late Chief Baron Woulfe ; and, what is an unusual occurrence, there was a con- test, which excited much interest at the bar. The Lord Chancellor supported, and we believe proposed, John Macan, Esq., the Judge of the Bankrupt Court. He was opposed, however, by a proposal to elect J. W. Bell, Esq., a Queen's counsel of old standing. Mr. Bell was elected by a large majority ; the numbers being, for Mr. Bell, 21; for Mr. Macon, 10; majority, 11.—Dublin Evening Mail.
Last week, "black lists" were posted up in the barony of Rathvilly, containing the names of the electors who voted at the late election for Carlow against the Government candidate, and calling on the people to mark them, and to dispose of the traitors that voted against their clergy.
Some of the officers of the Seventeenth Lancers, stationed in Kilkenny, have been distinguishing themselves by wrenching off the knockers from the doors of the peaceable inhabitants of that city. The Earl of Cassilis is named as the leader in these assaults. It is said that fifty knockers have been thus wrenched away. The matter is to be hushed up, on condition of the knockers being replaced and 25/. given to the poor. The Kilkenny Journal remarks on this arrangement—" For twisting off a single knocker, a poor fellow named Butler, not very long ago, was sentenced to twelve or eighteen months' imprisonment."
The state-carriage of the Dublin Corporation, with furniture and pictures, was advertised to be sold by auction on Thursday last, to pay for a debt of 600/. due from the Corporation, which there are no funds in the treasury to meet. It was intended to move for an injunction in the Court of Chancery to stop the sale.