Random Ramblings from a Republican
Friday, May 28, 2004
  Continued from yesterday

Rossa's Recollections
Chapter XiX

In the year 1861 came ont he funeral of Terence Bellew McManus in Ireland. He was one of the '48 men who died in San Francisco. His body was brought to Ireland. I had a letter from James Stephens asking me to be one of the delegation who would accompany the remains from Cork to Dublin.

The funeral procession in Cork City was on a Sunday. There was an immense gathering of people. Passing along the quay, a ship in the river was flying the English flag, and a little boy caused a little commotion by running and clambering up the ship's ropes and poles and tearing down that flag.

Coming on nightfall wer were on board the train for Dublin. The delegation having charge of the coffin were in the train compartment next to the coffin. We were armed with pistols, as it was rumored that there might be some necessity for using them. Some men were, it seems, in favour or making the funeral the occasion of a "rising"; they thought it would arouse the country if the remains were taking to Slievenamon or some such historic place on the way between Cork and Dublin, and the people called upon to rally around, for God and for country. James Stephens was averse to that being done, and this is why he thought it well to have and armed guard to prevent its being done. I saw, a few nights after, that one of the men who favoured the project, was James Roche, of Monaghan, who came from New York to Ireland the time of the funeral. The delegation from America and some others went to Shelburne hotel in Dublin to see William Smith O'Brien on some matter. Smith O'Brien was not in when we called. We were waiting in the coffee-room; the subject of the "rising" came to be spoken of, Maurice O'Donoghue, or Killmallock, one of the Dublin Centres, charged James Roche with being the prime mover in the project of the "rising". Hot words passed between them. Maurice moved angrily toward Roche; Roche drew a cane sword. Some of us rush between the two angry men, and matters were soon quieted down.

But on the railway route between Cork and Dublin, something occurred that I may make note of. When the rain came to the Limerick Junction, there was a stop there of several minutes. A large crowd was on the platform. If there was an attempt to be made anywhere to take away the body, it was thought that would be the place most likely for it. James Stephens would was in the coach with us. He had previously given orders that the men of Tipperary town be there to prevent such a thing being done. As the premonitory bell rang for the starting of the train, Stephens called on the men to kneel down and say a Pater and Ave for the dead; and, while the whole crowd was on their knees, the train rolled out from the depot.

Arriving in Dublin I attended a banquet given to Colonel Smith, Colonel O'Reilly, Colonel Doheny, Michael Cavanaugh, Jerrie Cavanaugh, and Captain Frank Welpley, the members of the American delegation, and I called upon some friends I had been in correspondence with. The dinner had been at Coffey's or Carey's Hotel in Bridge Street. Father Conway of Mayo, who was staying at the hotel, attended it. When the toasts and speech-making commenced, he was called upon to speak. He spoke of the sad state of his part of the country, and said that he was then traveling on a mission to collect funds for some parishioners of his who were under sentence of evictions - dwelling particularly upon one case, that of a man and his wife who had eight young children. "Put my name down for ten pounds," said Michael Doheny. The priest taking his notebook, commenced to write. "Hold", said Doheny. "The ten pounds is to buy a gun, powder, and a ball for the man who is evicted, that he may shoot whoever comes to put him out of his house." The priest shut up his notebook.

*More tomorrow.  
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Ta ar la anois.

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