The Conservative electors of the county of Wicklow entertained Colonel Acton, their representative, at a dinner, on Thursday last, in
Tommy's Hotel, Dublin. Nearly a hundred gentlemen sat down to table. Lord Powerscourt was the chairman. In giving the health of the Lord-Lieutenant, among the routine toasts, he inferred, from the appearances at the first Castle levee, the popular approval of the prin- ciples on which the present Government entered office ; expressing, at the same time, his concurrence in the liberal tendency of those prin- ciples— There were 1,460 persons at that levee; nearly double the amount of persons Who appeared at any levee since George the Fourth made a personal visit to Ireland. In that number were men of all creeds and parties, professing every sort of opinion. He saw there Roman Catholic Bishops and Protestant clergy- men, Presbyterians, Dissenters, and men of all principles, Liberals and Con- servatives; and he should consider any observations on his part superfluous in reference to this demonstration, which carried with it more weight than any other demonstration that could be made in allusion to it. It would be pre- sumptuous in him to suggest any course for the noble Earl to adopt in his go- vernment. He would be far from advising him, if he might presume so to say, to any course which would in the slightest degree have the effect of increasing and strengthening religious antipathies in Ireland. He hoped to Bee him hold out the right hand of fellowship to every person. If the Roman Catholic proved by his acts that he was as loyal as the Protestant, he had a right, in his opi- nion, to the fostering encouragement of the Government. But he was to be judged by his acts, not by his words; and he did Bay that the Lord-Lieutenant would be justified in withholding the countenance of the Government from persons who went about agitating the country for the dismemberment of the empire, and sought to effect their political projects by the attainment and application of foreign gold.
But the most interesting part of the proceedings was a statement made by Mr. West, the Member for Dublin. When the health of Mr. Grogan his colleague and himself was drunk, Mr. West seized the occasion to make some explanation as to the appointment of Mr. War- ren to the vacant Sergeantcy, which the Irish Tories had appropriated by anticipation for Mr. West himself— "It was thought by many of our friends, and indeed it appears to have been thought generally, that a Conservative Government succeeding to power by the exertions of its friends in a long party struggle, would have been glad to confer that honour upon some of those who, if not otherwise unfit, bad actively shared with themselves for so many years the labours of securing that victory which spade them the Ministers of the Crown. The Government, however, did no such thing: it selected a man who had taken no active part in obtaining its own political triumph, and it bestowed the compliment upon a valued friend of any own, whose private worth and professional eminence will reflect a lustre upon the highest office in the power of the Crown to confer upon him. There cannot be the least doubt that in this the Government meant well to the gene- ral interests of the country. There can be as little doubt, I think, that they have asserted by it a new principle, involving interests of extreme importance to themselves and to us as a party. The press took it up : tried friends, who have long stood the faithful and vigilant sentinels to guard the interests of our party in Ireland, saw at once how those interests might be affected by perse- verance in such ficourse. The appointment of Mr. Warren amounted, in their opinion, to one of two things—a judgment of incapacity against the individuals wham they believed to have been neglected, or a judgment of disqualification against all those who should for ever hereafter take any prominent part in the political affairs of the country. But I am now quite satisfied that no unkind intention towards any of its friends or supporters entered at any time into the contemplation of the Government. I have the highest possible assurance of this, for I have it from the Lord-Lieutenant himself. When his Excellency was informed and made to believe that an act of his had given pain to our friends and dissatisfaction to many of the supporters of his Government, he at once desired to see me. The Evening Post has honoured me with an elabo- rate article upon the subject of my interview upon that occasion : it is headed 'Lord De Grey's Apology to the Orangemen'; from which it infers Lord De Grey's humiliation. I am not sorry to have this opportunity of destroying both the premises and the conclusions of the Evening Post. I have never been an Orangeman, and Lord De Grey never made any apology to me. Lord De Grey did nothing humiliating, unless it was this—that feeling an act of his Government was understood to mean what it never was intended to mean— that it was intended to imply great personal disrespect to warm and faithful friends towards whom he entertained no such sentiment—his Excellency did not consider it beneath his station or dignity to remove the pain that arose from false impressions, when he thought it could be done by a simple statement of the circumstances that had occurred."
On Sunday last the annual collection on behalf of Mr. O'Connell was made at the doors of the Roman Catholic chapels throughout Ire- land. In the Dublin district, the amount collected was 2,0061.; which exceeded that of previous years. The Dublin Monitor, however, labours to show that it is not great in comparison to the extent of the district which the collectors comprise within the metropolis ; and that in fact not one-half of the adult male population subscribed their shil- ling. The Monitor has for some days vigorously argued for the expe- diency of pensioning off the Liberator with a final contribution, instead of the periodical collection.
At the usual meeting of the Repeal Association on Monday, Mr. O'Connell brought forward a petition to the Queen, praying her to dis- miss from the Government Lord De Grey and Lord Eliot, for hypocrisy, deceit, and insult to Ireland; for, argued Mr. O'Connell, they had pro- fessed a desire to rule with equal justice to all, and they had truckled to the most bigoted of the Orange party. The motion of course was passed. Mr. O'Connell took occasion to vindicate his attack on the Spanish Regent last week— The Morning Chronicle accused him of a desire to weaken the power of England by condemning Espartero. He did denounce the vile and wicked Espartero, who was one of the worst enemies of civil and religious liberty—a man who established a military despotism, and adopted the very worst prin- ciples of the early French Jacobins against religion. A vile wretch, who courted the aid of the most brutal and sanguinary mob in the world—that of Madrid : when two gallant young gentlemen were on their trial, and the Court con- ceived that the terrible punishment of ten years' imprisonment was sufficient for their crime, the mob called for their destruction ; and, with the approbation of Espartero, these young men were sacrificed. This man professed himself the friend of liberty, while he was the bitterest enemy of all religion. Now, as to his desire to see England weakened, he saw no reason why he should wish to see England strong while the Tories were in power, oppressing and insulting his country. The Irish never gained any act of justice from England while she was in prosperity. The condition of England just now was such as should induce her statesmen to consider whether it was advisable to insult the Irish people by placing over them a government of hypocrites, in the persons of Lords De Grey and Eliot, and by compelling them to support a church from which they derived no benefit.
In Ireland, says the Dublin Monitor, and its view is confirmed by seve- ral Irish provincial papers—" There is a very general, and we fear, un- fortunately, a too well-founded apprehension, that in some parts of the country a famine will exist, owing to the lateness of the harvest and the premature setting in of the severe weather. A gentleman who arrived in Dublin the other day assured us that not one-half of the potato-crop, on which the poor people mainly rely for subtistence, would in some parts be saved ; in fact, that in a great many districts the potato-crop saved would not last over February."
In the Dublin Court of Queen's Bench, on Friday, a conditional rule for a criminal information was obtained on the part of Mr. Elliot, Sheriff of Waterford, against Sir Henry Winston Barron, one of the candidates at the recent election for that city, in consequence of hostile language applied by Sir Henry to the Sheriff. According to the statement of Mr. Brewster, counsel for the prosecutor, the Sheriff proceeded to the Assessor's room to complain of some disturbance during the polling ; when the defendant (then Mr. H. W. Barron) having entered the room, although he must have observed the marks of violence on the prosecutor's face, addressed him in an angry tone, and asked him what he was about to do? Mr. Elliot stated what had occurred, and intimated his intention to clear the hall; when the. defendant said, This is against the spirit of the constitution—you first rob the people of their rights, and then you seek to trample upon' them and to crush them with the bayonet." In answer to this, Mr. Elliot replied, that "such language might do very well with the mob, but it was out of place where there were only a few gentlemen." Mr. Barron retorted, "It is a lie!" The Sheriff intended, in con- sequence of this, to commit the defendant for contempt ; but upon con- sideration, and in order to remove any ground for popular excitement, he abandoned any such intention. On the 12th July, the election being over, Mr. Elliot closed the poll ; and on entering the Court for the purpose of making the usual declaration, he found it completely filled and in a state of great confusion. When Messrs. Christmas and Heade were declared to be duly elected, the noise became very great ; and Mr. Barron and Mr. Wyse leaped upon the benches and protested against the result of the election. Mr. Elliot was then about to leave ; when the defendant forcibly detained him by the collar, at the same time adding, "You shall not go, Sir." With some difficulty Mr. Elliot at length succeeded in getting away.
The great silver seal of the Irish Exchequer has been purloined front the strong box in which it was kept : it was wanted on Saturday to seal a commission, and the box was found to be empty. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has been written to, that a substitute may be provided without delay.
Patrick Woods was executed at Armagh on Saturday last, for the murder of Mr. Powell. He met his fate with an agony which, though not violent, must have been shocking to witness : a writer on the spot- says— "Rio step was firm, his countenance composed; but there was in his eye a settled silent agony that was painful to behold. He looked on the executioner- with apparent indifference, and patiently submitted to have his hands secured and the rope adjusted round his neck. Ile requested a few minutes more to' pray with his clergy; which the Sheriff humanely granted. His voice was not- faultering ; his mind was clear and unclouded by the awful prospect opening- before him. The rope was pulled rather tight, and the unfortunate man requested the executioner to slacken it a little, as he could not speak the few words he intended to address to the crowd below. He stood with his feet on the threshold of the door leading to the drop, and it was necessary to open the door again to place him on the centre of the drop, so that his fall might be unbroken. This painful duty the executioner had to perform. The wretched man said to the people that he was innocent of the murder of Mr. Powell—that he was seven miles off when the murder took place : he forgave his prosecutors, his judge, and his jury, and died protesting his innocence. After having delivered these few words, he seemed to be suffering intense mental agony, and was moving from side to side, not knowing what he did. He sunk down before the fall or the drop, in the centre of which he was placed by the executioner. In a few moments the bolt was drawn."