5 AUGUST 1848, Page 7


We lost sight of Mr. Smith O'Brien after his departure from Dublin : last week he was once more in view, on the Eastern border of Tipperary, where he seems to have been in a ceaseless alternation of change, from rapid movement and vehement oratory to perfect prostration of body and mind.

On Tuesday, Mr. O'Brien, with Mr. J. R. Dillon, Mr. P. Donaghne, Mr. C. T. Cantwell, and several other friends, arrived at the house of Mr. Thomas Wright in Mullinahone. A large crowd of the people assembled and called for speeches. Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Dillon, and Mr. Wright, com- plied, and spoke for some hours, from the garden-wall of Mr. Wright's house; the two first in a warlike, the last in a peace-advising style. After the speeches the crowd dispersed to toll the chapel-bells and raise the surrounding district. Accordingly, a great multitude assembled round Mn. Wright's house, and staid by it, on guard all the night. Next morning, Mr. O'Brien dismissed them for a time, and " silently dropped into the Police barracks; where he questioned for some time the temper of the police." While he was doing this, the respectable townspeople assembled, with the Reverend Mr. Corcoran, P.P., and remonstrated with Mr. O'Brien, both on his general proceedings and on his attempt to tamper with the police: Mr. Corcoran addressed the populace who had gathered, and in- duced many of them to go to their homes. At last, Mr. O'Brien left the town, and set off with such persons as would accompany him to Ballingarry and the mines of Slievardagh. The sergeant at the Police station and his men behaved in so praiseworthy a manner that Government have ordered them sums of money as rewards of merit.

On Thursday, Mr. O'Brien returned again to Mullinahone, with some hundreds of armed miners and men of Ballingarry. The populace turned out to join his troop, and proceeded, as they supposed, to encamp on Slie- vanamon; but Mr. Corcoran and his curate Mr. Cahill again mingled with them, and in the most strenuous manner exhorted them to leave Mr. O'Brien. The two priests prevented their own people from joining him, and actually induced nearly all the men of Ballingarry to secede and go home. Mr. O'Brien left Mullinahone towards Slievardagh, with few followers, and in a despondent state. His manner was such as to convey an idea of mental derangement. He was dressed in a green uniform, with epaulettes, and a sash and gold-tasselled cap; was armed with a girdle full of pistols, and a pike nine feet long. At Slievardagh his followers dwindled to below a hundred. In the evening he became excited at this desertion, and left the small body who remained with him; and late at night went out of the house in which he was about to rest, and lay down in the open field. On Friday, however, he got his followers round him again, in large num- bers, and confided to them his intention to establish a camp immediately on Slievanamon side. Nothing is known of his doings- on that day, till late at night, when he entered the village of Commons with a large party of gentlemen in three jaunting-cars. The neighbourhood turned out and seized the arms of "two streets of Palatines,"—that is, of a small Protestant colony of German descent, who work in the neighbouring mines. " That night," says a writer on the spot, "was passed by O'Brien and his party re- viewing and marshalling their force of upwards of a thousand armed men; thirty-two of whom guarded the cabin to which O'Brien at last retired for a brief rest."

Close to this cabin was the scene of the struggle on Saturday morning; but it will be convenient to leave Mr. O'Brien for a space, and accompany other parties to his camp.

"In the middle of Friday night," says the Times reporter, "intelligence was received at Kilkenny, that O'Brien, Meagher, Doheny, O'Reilly, and Dillon, bad been proclaimed traitors; that rewards had been offered of 5001. for the apprehen- sion of O'Brien, and of 3001. for that of each of his four confederates. Notices to this effect were posted up not only in Kilkenny, but all over the country,

men having been despatched on cars in every direction for that purpose.

ly had the announcement been made at Kilkenny, when Mr. Blake, the County Inspector of Constabulary, resolved to undertake the im- portant duty which the Lord-Lieutenant's proclamation pointed out. Having !natured his plans, he started from Kilkenny shortly after daybreak; and reach- ing Harleypark, ascertained there on undoubted authority, that Smith O'Brien and the other proclaimed traitors had passed the night among the colliers (or 'Black Boys ') of Boulagh, within a mile of Ballingarry. This important point having been settled, Mr. Blake sent a messenger to Callan, where the constabu- lary of the surrounding district had been concentrated some days previously. These, to the number of fifty or sixty men, under the command of Chief Con- stable Trent, he directed to march on the common of Boulagh, a distance of ten Irish miles. Mr. Blake also despatched a messenger to Mr. Greene, the resident Magistrate of Kilkenny, requesting him to get a strong military force moved at once from the barracks there to the same point. Proceeding to Ballyphilip, the residence of Mr. Going, he there received farther information as to the where- abouts of Mr. O'Brien and his rebel crew. Acting upon this, he proceeded at 0000 to Thurles; and having secured military reinforcements Of the most concentrated on the corn- and overwhelming kind from that place, and by the aid of messengers, from

Clonmel, Templemore, and Cashel, he had these all spot which had been pointed out to him as the head-quarters of the rebel army." These combinations were executed with rapidity. Inspector Trent set off with his body of police, and used such speed as to anticipate those who Were to ooliperate with him. He obtains the chief honour of the result; but it is probable that his too early arrival prevented that result from being complete.

O'Brien, by his spies, had early notice of the approach of Inspector Trant's force.

" Mr. Smith O'Brien," says the Morning Chronicle reporter, " assembled and addressed his men on two great plateaux of calm; and about half-past twelve o'clock they saw the Callan police force, under Inspector Trent, advancing from Ballingarry to meet them. The police had advanced as far as a cross-road that comes down the hill past Mrs. M'Cormack's house, when, suddenly seeing the great numbers that were under Smith O'Brien, they turned up the cross-road with a view of gaining a post of defence. Smith O'Brien's body then broke, and rushed up the lull to ' cross-cut' them. But the police got in first, running neck and neck."

The fortalice seized is thus described—" Widow M'Cormack's house stands in an oblong enclosure, made by a low wall about four and a half feet high, which leaves room for a small patch of green in front, and a yard of somewhat larger extent in the rear. It stands as it were across the enclosure, leaving about six feet free at each side of the house. There is a wicket-gate in front, and in the yard behind there is exit by a common field-gate, adjoining a low slated barn, which makes the end of the yard. On the East side, outside the wall, is a Cab- e-garden; and at the South, behind the barn, lie three cocks of hay." Once safely inside, the police proceeded to barricade the windows and doors. Mantel- pieces were torn down, doors pulled from their hinges, and dressers displaced for this pumwe.

" Widow M'Cormack, who some minutes before had gone down from her house to the National School, alarmed, by reason of the music and the hurrain , for the safety of two of her children at school there, found herself mingled by the crowd rushing up. She ran with them, for she had left five children in the house; and reached the yard-gate just as the police had secured the house-doors. Outside the wall were hundreds shouting, while within in front and in rear were a few. At the gate they stopped her, and cried, Why did you let them in?' But she rushed, and standing up on the parlour window-stool, begged in vain that her children might be given out. She then said to the police, I will send for the priest to make peace.' And she offered to put a boy on Mr. Trant's grey horse that was loose within the enclosure in front. But the Inspector ads vised her to send a boy on foot. She then went to Smith O'Brien, who was sit- ting under the wall in the cabbage-garden, and asked him what it was he wanted? He said, Tell the police it is their arms I want.' She returned to him with a refusal; and, putting her hand on his coat collar, she said, ' Go, Sir, and speak to them yourself. Bat he refused, unless she went with him; which she did; and she saw him parley with them through the parlour-window, and shake hands with them." Having gained her object so far, and seeing that a conflict was inevitable, Mrs. M'Cormack wished to recover possession of her five young children; for she had seen the black-coated men piling straw against the door to fire it, and heard O'Brien harrying them on." [Another account reverses this statement in favour of Mr. O'Brien. " The peasantry, in their rage at seeing their comrades dead, took straw and faggots, with which they were about to sat fire to the house; but Mr. O'Brien fell on his knees and abjured them not to perpetrate such an act, adding, that he would never consent to act as leader of incendiaries. The pri*. also arrived at the same time, and added his injunctions; when they desisted.")

The police, however, refused to give up the children; retaining them as hostages for their own safety, but placing them under the staircase, as the spot most shel- tered from the fire of the rebels.

"Just about this time, some of the men outside the wall flung stones at the windows, fired a few shots; and she ran oat, hearing the police bid her clear away; and before she was many steps the volley was given from the house. She ran to her father's, three fields off; and, returning in a quarter of an hour, found the firing over, the priest there, and the mob standing round out of reach of shot. At the wicket one lay dead; at the adjacent corner under the wall another badly wounded, whom the priest was preparing; and another lay badly wounded near the yard-gate. A hundred and twenty yards down a sloping field West of the house, was a bulk of men; amongst whom Smith O'Brien was walking up and down quickly. They had a young man there, 'a purty young gentleman,' the blood pouring down his legs, his face pale and sweaty ; and he said,' Oh, lads, lay me down—lay me down anywhere.' She advised them to take off his boots; which they were doing when she left them. " Taking up the thread of the narrative at the point where Widow M'Cormack's information ceases, I hear from Mr. Trent that he was up stairs barricading the windows there when Smith O'Brien made his appearance below. The rebels had occupied some back premises, and were keeping up a cross fire, which made it very difficult for him to join his men below. Having, however, succeeded in getting down safely, he saw Smith O'Brien creeping on all tours out of the gate of the enclosure. Two of his men immediately shouted,*' There he is!' and, raising their muskets, fired at him, within a distance of twelve yards. He rolled over at the discharge, either to avoid the shot or because he was hit, and then disappeared." Shortly Smith O'Brien was seen to ride off alone the Kilkenny way, on Mr. Trant's grey horse.

The wounded man was at first supposed to be Mr. Dillon; but was ascertained to be Mr. Steevens, a student-engineer.

The Kilkenny Moderator contributes an episode in the history of the affair at Commons.

The authorities of Kilkenny deemed Mr. Blake's plans impracticable, and sent Police Sergeant Carroll to Callan to prevent Inspector Trent from marching, and to deliver despatches to Mr. Blake. When he arrived at Callan, the police had some time departed, and he hastened after them on horseback. Approaching Ballingarry, he heard the shots; and meeting two clergymen, he learned what was passing. He pushed direct for the house held by Inspector Trent. Mr. Trant opened a window, received the despatches intended for him, and learnt that he had only his own force to depend on for maintaining his position or getting safe out of it. The rebels at this tune had withdrawn, and were holding a council at a furlong's distance. Mr. Trant directed Carroll to make his way back to Kil- kenny, if possible, and state the strait to which he was reduced; observing, that he did not fear being able to hold out his fortified house till the arrival of a suffi- cient reinforcement, if promptly despatched. In obeying this direction, Carroll missed the road by which he came, and returned by a way that brought him sud- denly into the midst of the insurgent force: he was instantly captured, and taken before Mr. O'Brien. The people urged his immediate death, lest he should bring aid to Trant's force and cause all themselves to be hanged. Carroll owned that he was a constable in plain clothes, and said he had just taken despatches to the police ordering them to retire, and therefore tending to save bloodshed. Mr. O'Brien praised his candour; declared he should be protected; and handed him over to a guard of two pikemen and two musqueteers. Mr. O'Brien took Car- roll's horse, and used it in riding about. It was resolved to renew the attack on the house, and smoke or burn the police out of it; but before beginning, Carroll and a priest were sent to parley with Mr. Trent, and offer lives if arms were laid down: which was declined.

Three of Carroll's guard were by and by called away; and the fourth was soon wheedled by Carroll to "take a dhrink" in a public-house; where Carroll saw, in a corner, an immense pile of brogues thrown off by the rebels, that they might fight with greater agility. Carroll got his guard to let him go which way be liked; and presently ran off in the direction of Kilkenny, in hopes of getting succours. When ho had ran about two miles, he suddenly met his own horse, with a rider on it, whom he did not at first recognize as Mr. O'Brien in a

changed dress. Mr. O'Brien drew a pistol, and exclaimed—" I suppose you want me? your life or mine for it!" Carroll answered—"Mr. O'Brien, I am an un- armed man, and defenceless; you can shoot me if you wish." O'Brien replied— "It would be beneath me to do so"; and he immediately put up the pistol. He then told Carroll that he should return with him to the camp, and would not permit him to be hurt. He dismounted, and walked by the sergeant's side nearly a mile; conversing freely with him, and complaining bitterly that though he had sacrificed everything for his country, his countrymen did not seem dis- posed to aid him; and he might as well surrender himself. Carroll pointed out to him the madness of the course he bad pursued: whilst the Roman Catholic clergy were opposed to a rising, all attempts at an insurrection would prove abortive. O'Bnen's answer was—" You say the truth, I believe; and at all events, you are an honest-spoken fellow; so take your horse, and escape as you best can." He then presented the sergeant with his walking-stick, as, he said, "a token of remembrance," and left him to ride into Kilkenny with intelligence of the scenes he had witnessed. Carroll had been about four hours a prisoner with the rebels.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trent perfected the defences of his post. During most of the afternoon no person appeared ; nor was a noise heard. At about four p. m , Widow Cormack came to the door, to say all the people were decamped, and to beseech the police to give up her children and depart in peace. But the vigilant Trent suspected a device, and lay obstinately quiet. At five in the evening, the party of Inspector Cox was espied through a loophole in the roof, cautiously approaching with scouts in ad- vance. A signal-shot was fired, and presently the two forces united.

Not one of Mr. Trant's forty-five men was hurt: each had seventy rounds of cartridge, but no person was allowed to fire except at a mark. The loss of the insurgents is officially stated at seven killed and many more wounded. But probable accounts swell the number of each to double that estimate.

The Times reporter gives a sketch of the state of the country about the time of the fight at Commons— "I left Kilkenny on the route taken by Mr. Blake on Saturday]; and having passed into Tipperary, am now in the immediate neighbourhood of Mullinahone, Ballingarry, and the collieries. It will hardly be believed that there was nothing in the appearance of the district through which I passed which indicated the slightest disturbance or apprehension of it. The live stock of the farmers were grazing on the fields as usual; the peasantry were seen hanging about their cabin- doors; even the carriers of calm-coal for burning limestone plied their dusty oc- cupation as usual. There was no excitement, no hurrying to and fro of armed bands, no ringing of bells or lighting of bonfires. In fact, the whole country ap- peared profoundly tranquil. Noble pasture lands and luxuriant crops met the eye wherever it turned; while on the summit of Slievanamon rests a canopy of mist as lazy-looking and imperturbable as the most ardent lover of peaceful scenery could desire. Such was the external appearance of that part of Tipperary through which I travelled, when the long-promised and much-feared rebellion of 1848 broke out there.

" Yet it was evident after a time that some mischief was on foot. The faces of thb men one met appeared dejected. In the dusk of the evening I passed a man in a cart, who had evidently been just wounded; and on arriving at a gentleman's house, where I went to receive accurate information, I found the place barricaded and fortified in the most formidable manner: the lower windows were built in, the door was of immense thickness and double-bolted, the windows above were most ingeniously fitted up to protect the besieged, and yet enable them to pour their fire in the most destructive manner on their assailants. Within were six or seven young men as a fighting garrison, and a large party of ladies, many of whom had come there for protection. Pistols, double-barrelled guns, and band-grenades were the weapons of defence. The place altogether was a perfect fortress on a small and domestic scale. Nor was all this caution unnecessary; for yesterday the gentleman to whom the house belongs was upon the point of receiving a visit from Mr. Smith O'Brien and twelve other leading Confederates and friends. They filled three cars, and were armed to the teeth. About ten out of the large number of hands employed by the gentleman whose house I have just described met the King of Munster' and his staff; and refused to allow them to pass. Mr. O'Brien they would allow to go, but no one else. Mr. O'Brien, whose object was to de- mand arms, declined going on such conditions; and so the matter ended.

Mr. John Shea Lalor, of Cork, has written a letter to a Club officer ad- vising a cessation of the war, that it may be advantageously renewed here- after--

" We must retire fOr a while. To escape this sudden storm of tyranny, we must, during its first burst and violence, bend before it. It cannot last, no more than can the hurricane. Once it has passed over oar heads, Ireland will imme- diately regain her proper attitude. She will stand erect and uninjured; and with her strength unimpaired, she, in her turn, may hail her hoar. Retreat and defeat are not synonymous. How often has the former been the antecedent of the most brilliant victories?"

The Daily News states, on information derived through two sources from "good authority," that Mr. Smith O'Brien arrived in Bristol on Sunday morning in disguise, and came by the Great Western to London, just in time to get on board the Batavier as she sailed for Rotterdam'. At Rotter- dam he showed a passport out of date, and was detained; and then owned at once that be was one of the Irish leaders.

A Southern Irish paper states " that Smith O'Brien has made over all his property to his family. His father-in-law (Mr. Gabbett, of Limerick) and his own family are said to be in a state of very great affliction at the pro- bable results of his conduct."

Nothing is known of where Meagher of the Sword has gone. It was rumoured early in the week that he was concealed in Waterford, intending to leave the country. It is said that he has lately drunk hard: lest week, " a gentleman saw him enter a coffeeroom after haranguing, and swallow a tumbler of whisky—no addition of water at or after."

The most vigorous courses were pursued by Government against every species of disaffected movement. Lord Hardinge arrived at Dublin on Tuesday evening, to assume the command of a military district in the South. A force of nearly 6,000 troops and police and two field-batteries had been so disposed round the mountain district of Slievanamon, that the escape of Mr. O'Brien and his companions was thought impossible.

Official notices were issued on Monday that all persons harbouring or sheltering Mr. Smith O'Brien, and the other Confederates charged with hightreason and rebellion, or aiding in their disguise or escape, are them- selves guilty of high treason, and will be dealt with accordingly.

Arrests are made from day to day; districts are proclaimed; and the seditious press is put down. Mr. J. F. Lalor was arrested on Thursday, by a party of thirty police, at the house of a friend near Nenagh; Mr. Eugene Reilly has been compelled by paternal coercion to surrender in Dublin; and Dr. Cane, late Mayor of Kilkenny, has been arrested under the Suspension Act.

A body of ten merchant's clerks, bearing " commissions in the rebel' army," were arrested by the police in Dublin, on Monday morning, just as they were about to set out for the " camp at Slievanamon." The Irish Felon and the Nation are no more: their presses have been. seized, their types smashed, their printed numbers sequestered, and their private accounts and papers borne off for Government inspection. The counties Kerry, Kildare, Carlow, Queen's, Wicklow, Cavan, Louth, Westmeath, and Wexford, with districts in Cork, Down, Monaghan, Gal- way, and Armagh, are added to the country previously " proclaimed."

The consequence is, that from all quarters we have news that the Clubs are dissolving, the traitors seeking hiding-places, and the peaceable people regaining confidence.

The Repeal Association raises a late and stale protest against the desperate courses of the insurgents; and reminds the people of its own existence, and readiness to carry on agitation in a legal form, and by the means which the illustrious Liberator would sanotion if he were alive.

A true bill against Mr. Doheny was found at Clonmel on Wednesday, for a seditious speech delivered at Slievanamon on the 8th of July.

At Sligo, on Friday, Michael Brennan and Michael Hill pleaded guilty to an indictment charging a sale of the Nation and Irish Felon news- papers. It seems they were ignorant of the doctrines of the particular papers sold, and were loyal men of excellent characters. They were severally sentenced to find security for the future in regard to the sale of newspapers.

The Corporation of Dublin held a special meeting on Tuesday, to adopt an address to the Queen expressing affectionate loyalty to her person and abhorrence of the attempts at insurrection. An address having been moved by Alderman Staunton' and seconded by Alderman O'Brien, M.P., Lord Mayor elect, it was moved that a clause be added, stating the opinion, of the majority of the meeting that large remedial measures are wanting, and that the same majority retain formerly-expressed opinions as to the nature of these measures. Mr. Walker questioned the loyalty of the Cor- poration, and moved an amendment, simply suggesting that a loyal address- be presented. The Chamber was instantly in a ferment—loyalty was ve- hemently protested, and imputations and retorts flew from side to side. The discussion was adjourned to next day: but the motion and the addi- tion were carried.

The Marquis of Waterford lately called all his tenants around him, and addressed them in a loyal speech of characteristic chivalry.

" I have not called you here," be said, " to ask for protection: I can depend upon my own right arm, and the loyalty, courage, and attachment of my servants; and if I do fall by a rebel hand, the traitor may win but a dear-bought victory. I call you here to defend your honour, your property—to give new life to that confidence and friendship between landlord and tenant which I have always. prized as the greatest boon handed down to me by my ancestors. * * * Act as you have done in days of yore; declare your resolution to up- hold the Queen, the law, and justice. Such was your conduct in former rebellioni Have I any cause to doubt you now? have not I and my wife lived among you? have we not studied your comfort? have we not spent more than 100,0001. in the last six years for the general good, within twenty miles of this house? have I not been a good landlord? has she not been the best of women ? Now, then, do you expect to better your condition by passing from our hands into the guidance ofi set of coward traitors—today gaudy in uniform and daring of speech, and tomorrow vanishing at the smell of powder? "

The accounts concerning the potatoes are very conflicting. On the whole, it seems probable that any disease that exists is not extensive, nor on the advance. In extent, the crop is enormous.